Crown Prince expects NEOM’s IPO to add $266bn

NEOM is one of Saudi Arabia’s flagship projects that aims to transform the region as it diversifies itself from an oil-dependent economy to a tourist destination…reports Asian Lite News

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the Kingdom plans for the Saudi stock exchange to be larger than many global peers as he expects NEOM to sell shares to the public in 2024, adding nearly SR1 trillion ($266 billion) to the market.

Speaking to reporters after unveiling the designs of The Line, the city in NEOM, the Crown Prince further noted that the NEOM will add more than SR5 trillion to the stock exchange in later stages as more parts of the project will be completed.

The Crown Prince also added that all companies owned by the Public Investment Fund will be listed on the stock market in the future, which will help it become one of the top three largest stock markets on the planet.

Talking about the funding plans for NEOM, the Crown Prince said that in 2027 the SR500 billion capital for the project will be collected — with SR200-300 billion of that coming from the services that will be created in the first phase. Another SR200-300 billion will be gathered from the market.

He also mentioned that NEOM’s capital will come from sovereign wealth funds, initial public offering, and international private investors. He said that this will be the main challenge that they will overcome in the next two years. 

He also made it clear that the project will have an additional SR200 to SR300 billion in governmental support, in addition to the investments the PIF will put in the project.

The first phase of the NEOM project will be completed by 2030, and at that time, the city will have over 1.5 million residents, he noted. He added that NEOM will have at least 9 million residents by 2045.

He further stated that the Kingdom wishes to have a population of at least 50-60 million people by 2030.

NEOM is one of Saudi Arabia’s flagship projects that aims to transform the region as it diversifies itself from an oil-dependent economy to a tourist destination.

As outlined in Vision 2030, NEOM will be a smart city, adopting advanced technologies.

With some 56 percent of the world’s population now living in cities, urban sustainability and public well-being have become a growing concern for governments worldwide.

To address these challenges, Saudi Arabia is boldly experimenting with how urban spaces are designed with its revolutionary NEOM smart city and its flagship development — The Line.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced plans for The Line — one of several mega-projects now underway as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform and economic diversification plan.

He said that the design would clarify the internal structure of the multi-layered city and address the problems of traditional flat horizontal cities, achieving harmony between urban development and the preservation of nature, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the initial idea and vision of the city that redefines the concept of urban development, and what cities of the future should look like, in January 2021.

During Monday’s announcement, the crown prince said that The Line would achieve “ideal living” and address the urgent challenges facing humanity.

“NEOM is one of the most important projects of the Saudi Vision 2030 and The Line is an affirmation of our firm commitment to presenting a project to the whole world. NEOM is a place for those who dream of a better tomorrow,” he said.

The designs of The Line embody how urban communities will live in the future in an environment free from roads, cars and emissions, he added.

The crown prince said that the project, which offers a new approach to urban design, would run on 100 percent renewable energy and prioritize people’s health.

“The idea of layering city functions vertically and giving people the possibility of moving seamlessly in three dimensions to access them is a concept referred to as Zero Gravity Urbanism,” he said.

According to the design plan revealed on Monday, The Line will have an outer mirror facade that will provide the structure its unique character and allow even its small footprint to blend with nature, while its interior will be built to create “extraordinary experiences and magical moments,” the crown prince added.

The Line will eventually accommodate 9 million residents and will be built on a footprint of 34 square kilometers, which is unheard of when compared to other cities of similar capacity, according to Monday’s statement.

Different from tall buildings, the concept layers public parks and pedestrian areas, schools, homes and places for work.

The narrow design is intended to reduce the man-made footprint on the landscape and promote greater efficiency. The city will feature a high-speed rail link with an end-to-end transit time of just 20 minutes.

The ideal climate within the structure, all year round, will ensure that residents can enjoy the surrounding nature while walking around. Residents will also have access to all facilities in The Line within a five-minute walk.

“The Line will be created by a team of world-renowned architects and engineers, led by NEOM, to develop this revolutionary concept for the city of the future,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.

Furthermore, the city’s design will be completely digitized, and the construction industrialized to a large degree by significantly advancing construction technologies and manufacturing processes.

The design has already enjoyed good reception for its boldness and ambition. According to Mohamed Ramady, a London-based economist, the vision for The Line is nothing short of revolutionary, despite some skepticism from traditional urban developers.

For Mohammed Al-Suwayed, CEO of Razeen Capital, the appeal of NEOM is in its youthfulness and willingness to break with old ways of building as well as living.

With backing from the Saudi Public Investment Fund, as well as local and international investors, planners say the $500 billion NEOM project will include hyperconnected, cognitive towns and cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centers, sports and entertainment venues and tourist destinations.

Its location means it is ideally situated to attract global investment by taking advantage of existing commercial routes. Around 13 percent of the world’s trade passes through the Red Sea, and some 40 percent of the world is less than six hours away by air.

The unique geographical location of NEOM ensures a temperate climate, roughly 10 degrees Celsius cooler on average than the rest of the GCC, cradled in a mountainous region that is home to some of the Kingdom’s most diverse terrain.

With sustainability at the core of the project, some 95 percent of NEOM’s land is conserved for environmental protection. All energy in NEOM will be 100 percent renewable — from solar, wind and hydrogen-based power generation — ensuring clean and pollution-free urban environments.

Communities will be built around people, not cars, with raised walkways connecting the site. Roads and streets will be replaced by piazzas and walkable boulevards filled with parks and green spaces. Communities empowered by artificial intelligence will learn and predict ways to make life easier to save time for residents and businesses.

The Line itself will connect four distinctive ecologies: coast, desert, mountains, and upper valley. Nature will be integrated into the heart of the communities, enhancing livability and well-being. It will also be supported by agricultural areas, supporting locally grown and sustainable food production.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the initial idea and vision with a view to redefine the concept of urban development and what cities of the future should look like.

“At The Line’s launch last year, we committed to a civilizational revolution that puts humans first based on a radical change in urban planning,” he said on Monday.

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