Saudi Arabia has announced plans to build a 10,000 square mile super city, entirely powered by renewable energy, and served by driverless vehicles. The first phase of construction is scheduled for completion in 2025.

Neom is designed to operate as an independent economic trade zone with its own laws. Located in the north-western region of Saudi Arabia, it is set to include territory from within the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, to comprise a total area of 26,500 km, a technology utopia that easily covers an area the size of Rwanda.

Expected to emerge as a leading global hub that exemplifies the future of human civilization by offering its inhabitants an idyllic lifestyle, combined with exceptional economic prospects. Neom seeks to attract top talent from around the world to push the boundaries of innovation like never before and drive the growth of this zone and its residents.

The project’s strategic coastal Red Sea location is notable for its unique geographical location, which ensures a temperate climate, roughly about 10°C cooler – on average – than its surrounding areas and the rest of the GCC. Cradled in a mountainous region that is home to the breathtakingly diverse terrain in the North of Saudi Arabia, the area earmarked for the development also enjoys cooler winds coming in from the Red Sea for the best possible climate for future residents.

Thew focus at Neom is on sustainable energy, and artificial intelligence. It is expected that at some point, robots will outnumber humans in Neom. “We don’t want to find out in fifteen years that we’ve missed our chance,” stated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud on the day Neom was introduced in Riyadh.

A neologism of the Greek “neo” and the Arabic word for “future,” “mustaqbal,” the name says it all: Neom is part of Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030,” a grand plan to future-proof the country’s economy, the brainchild of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Translated to concrete measures, this means moving away from the dependency on oil markets and prices and moving towards new technologies and new revenue streams.

The main mind behind this transition is former Siemens chairman Klaus Kleinfeld. It’s his job to ensure that Neom will truly be as innovative as the royal announcement suggests. The city is designed to be a place of collaborative development, tailormade for novel technologies and processes, according to Kleinfeld’s speech held as part of the Neom introduction and presentation.

Focusing on nine key areas, Neom and its future residents will tackle innovations in the following fields: biotech, energy, media, farming, IT, entertainment, mobility, quality of life, and production. To this end, the royal house plans to invest around EUR 425 billion – approximately the size of Poland’s entire GDP.