Backed by Saudi’s $500 billion Private Investment Fund, the group which purchased Newcastle United, the plans for Neom are so ambitious that some of the technology doesn’t even exist yet.
The city will be located on the border with Jordan and Egypt and will start welcoming residents and businesses by 2025.
It is being “built from scratch”, powered by solar and wind and will be 17 times the size of London.
According to Neom’s chairman Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (known by his nickname MBS), the urban area will be “be drone-friendly and a centre for the development of robotics.”
Planning documents show the city will have flying taxis – a vehicle depicted in science fiction films such as Blade Runner and Back to the Future II.
The plans say that “driving is just for fun, no longer for transportation.”
Saudi wants to attract “the brightest and the best” professionals to the city and create a major commercial hub to rival Dubai in the UAE and Doha in Qatar.
The documents say that robot maids will clean the homes of these highly paid foreign workers meaning they won’t have to worry about household chores.
Cloud seeding will also be used to make rain clouds in the incredibly dry country which is the size of Western Europe.
The process involves dumping substances such as dry ice, using planes or drones, into clouds to create rainfall.
Some of the other bizarre proposals for the city include “dinosaur robots” in a Jurassic Park-style attraction and “robot martial arts” where machines will fight each other for entertainment.
The kingdom also wants to create a giant artificial moon which will light up each night and serve as a major landmark.
MBS recently declared that he wanted the sand on the city’s proposed Silver Beach to “glow” in the dark.
However, two sources close to the project told the Wall Street Journal that engineers have not figured out a way to do that safely yet.
Saudi announced the construction of Neom at the 2017 Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh.
Speaking at the event, Marc Raibert, Chairman and founder of robotics firm Boston Dynamics, said machines could also be used as “security” in the metropolis. …. read more ( The Sun)