Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion city
Saudi Arabia announced plans this week to build “a new $500 billion metropolis that spans three countries,” said Zahraa Alkhalisi in CNN.com. The megacity, dubbed NEOM, “is nothing if not ambitious.” Built over 10,000_square miles and extending across the Egyptian and Jordanian borders, the city will be powered by clean energy, with passenger drones available for transportation. “Wireless high-speed internet will be free.” Financed with $500_billion from the Saudi government, its investment fund, and outside investors including Japanese telecom Softbank, the city will operate outside of the “existing governmental framework,” according to its chief champion, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. NEOM will have no room “for anything traditional,” he said at a launch event this week in Riyadh. A promotional video featured women jogging in leotards in public and working alongside men.