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‘Saudi Arabia to start developing NEOM business zone in Q1’

By JT , Reuters - Jan 16,2019 - Last updated at Jan 16,2019

RIYADH/AMMAN — Saudi Arabia plans to start developing the first area of its mega business zone NEOM in the first quarter of 2019, state news agency SPA reported on Wednesday. 

The $500 billion NEOM project, which was launched in 2017 as part of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s 2030 Saudi vision, is expected to cover 26,, linking with both Jordan and Egypt.

The zone, powered entirely by renewable sources, will focus on industries in the fields of energy and water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing and entertainment.

Saudi Arabia will work with Egypt and Jordan to attract European cruise companies to operate in the Red Sea during the winter season, officials announced when the project was launched, noting that Riyadh is negotiating with seven such companies and plans to build yacht marinas.

Jordanian officials have stressed the significance of the major scheme, saying it would play a key role in driving economic growth in the country.

Adjacent to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba and near maritime trade routes that use the Suez Canal, the zone will serve as a gateway to the proposed King Salman Bridge, which will link Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

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