Pubblicato in: Medio Oriente, Religioni

Arabia Saudita. Un progetto da 500 miliardi.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-31.

Egitto e Sinai 001

«Saudi Arabia plans to build a new $500 billion metropolis that spans three countries»

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«The development, called NEOM, was announced at a conference on Tuesday by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It’s the latest in a series of mega projects designed to reshape the kingdom’s economy»

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«a $500 billion plan to create a business and industrial zone extending across its borders into Jordan and Egypt, the biggest project yet in a series of efforts to free the kingdom of its dependence on oil exports»

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«NEOM is situated on one of the world’s most prominent economic arteries … Its strategic location will also facilitate the zone’s rapid emergence as a global hub that connects Asia, Europe and Africa»

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«All services and processes in NEOM will be 100% fully automated, with the goal of becoming the most efficient destination in the world»

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«The city, which will be independent of the kingdom’s “existing governmental framework,” will be built across 26,500 square kilometers (10,231 square miles) near the Red Sea»

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«Saudi Arabia has made a string of big announcements recently that are aimed at diversifying its economy away from oil»

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«In August, it launched a tourism project that consists of 100 miles of sandy coastline and a lagoon with 50 islands»

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Al momento non sono noti particolari di questi piano grandioso, che è riferito essere lanciato completamente nel futuro dell’Arabia Saudita.

Alcuni elementi emergono però molto vistosi.

– L’esigenza di generare un qualche tessuto produttivo alternativo allo sfruttamento delle risorse petrolifere.

– La localizzazione in una zona decentrata rispetto al baricentro dell’Arabia Saudita, ma posta in zona economicamente strategica.

– Del tutto inaspettato il fatto che questo polo produttivo sarà indipendente dall’attuale struttura governativa. Non è nota la veste giuridica, ma questo è un modo molto elegante di evitare lunghi e dolorosi cambiamenti legislativi in un paese singolarmente conservatore.

– Questo annuncio integra quello già fatto sul progetto turistico: religione e provenienza delle persone che vi accederanno dovrebbero essere fattori irrilevanti.

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Questo progetto ha luci ed ombre.

Opinion: Saudi Arabia – progress, or megalomania?

«The crown prince of Saudi Arabia says he wants to fundamentally change his country. But the inexperienced and impulsive young Mohammed bin Salman could quickly find himself in over his head. ….

It is to be one of the biggest projects the Middle East has ever seen: A technology park and a new city with the futuristic name, “Neom.” What Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced in Riyadh sounded nothing short of spectacular ….

The crown prince is not looking for traditional investors though, instead his sales pitch is directed at “visionaries who want to create something utterly new.” ….

And the crown prince has plans to build a luxury tourist resort on the Red Sea for an international clientele – that means that women will be allowed to wear bikinis and bars and restaurants will serve alcohol – things that were heretofore unthinkable. ….

One thing that greatly angered archconservatives in the kingdom was the recent severing of influence exerted by the religious police, which over the years had grown into a practically independent state security apparatus with wide-ranging powers.»

In Arabia Saudita la polizia religiosa si è sviluppata fino a diventare un apparato di sicurezza con enormi poteri non supervisionati da quello politico. Chi la gestisce ha il potere vero, e non è Mohammed bin Salman.

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Vedremo nei fatti ciò che questo polo sarà in grado di produrre e, soprattutto, quanto i beni generati saranno richiesti e collocabili sui mercati internazionali.

Questo progetto richiama alla mente, mutatis mutandis, quello posto in essere dal Regno Fatimide mille anni or sono, istituendo in Alessandria un porto franco che divenne in breve il punto di incontro degli allora commerci mondiali, ossia quelli mediterranei.


Reuters. 2017-10-24. Saudis set $500 billion plan to develop border region with Jordan, Egypt

RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday a $500 billion plan to create a business and industrial zone extending across its borders into Jordan and Egypt, the biggest project yet in a series of efforts to free the kingdom of its dependence on oil exports.

The 26,500 square km (10,230 square mile) zone, known as NEOM, will focus on industries including energy and water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing and entertainment, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.

Adjacent to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba and near maritime trade routes that use the Suez Canal, the zone will power itself solely with wind power and solar energy, said the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s top sovereign fund.

“NEOM is situated on one of the world’s most prominent economic arteries … Its strategic location will also facilitate the zone’s rapid emergence as a global hub that connects Asia, Europe and Africa.”

The Saudi government, the PIF, and local and international investors are expected to put more than half a trillion dollars into the zone in coming years, Prince Mohammed said.

There was no immediate comment on the plan from Jordan and Egypt, both of which are close allies of Saudi Arabia.


Cnn. 2017-10-24. Saudi Arabia wants to build a $500 billion mega-city spanning 3 countries

Saudi Arabia plans to build a new $500 billion metropolis that spans three countries.

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The development, called NEOM, was announced at a conference on Tuesday by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It’s the latest in a series of mega projects designed to reshape the kingdom’s economy.

It is nothing if not ambitious.

“We try to work only with the dreamers,” the young crown prince told investors gathered in Riyadh. “This place is not for conventional people or companies.”

Plans call for the city to be powered entirely by regenerative energy, while also making use of automated driving technology and passenger drones. Wireless hi-speed internet will be free.

“All services and processes in NEOM will be 100% fully automated, with the goal of becoming the most efficient destination in the world,” the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund said in a statement.

The city, which will be independent of the kingdom’s “existing governmental framework,” will be built across 26,500 square kilometers (10,231 square miles) near the Red Sea. According to the fund’s statement, its land mass “will extend across the Egyptian and Jordanian borders.”

“NEOM will be constructed from the ground-up, on greenfield sites, allowing it a unique opportunity to be distinguished from all other places that have been developed and constructed over hundreds of years,” the fund said in a statement.

The project will be backed by $500 billion from the Saudi government and its investment fund, as well as local and international investors.

It has caught the attention of foreign investors including SoftBank (SFTBF) founder Masayoshi Son and Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, who joined the crown price on a panel dedicated to the project.

“NEOM is a fantastic opportunity,” Son said on Tuesday. “In the beginning, I didn’t understand. But when I visited the location, I said ‘Wow.’ “

Son said his Softbank Vision Fund, which counts Saudi Arabia as its biggest investor, would put money toward the new project.

The crown prince said there no set timeline for the development.

“This is a challenge,” he said. “We know this takes time … we are under pressure to deliver something new and to give innovative ideas.”

Saudi Arabia has made a string of big announcements recently that are aimed at diversifying its economy away from oil.

The country said in September that it would pump almost $3 billion into its entertainment industry.

In August, it launched a tourism project that consists of 100 miles of sandy coastline and a lagoon with 50 islands. The project even caught the eye of billionaire Richard Branson.

A year and a half into the efforts, officials have made progress on some parts of the broader plan — known as Vision 2030 — but also flip-flopped on others.

The government has cut some subsidies, announced new taxes and lifted a controversial ban on women driving. It also tapped global bond markets three times in less than a year, borrowing billions to balance its books.

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