A New Saudi Megacity Does Not Rule Out Alcohol - Neom

14 May 2022 Saudi Arabia

One senior official said Saudi Arabia's futuristic NEOM city could allow alcohol, marking a historic shift for the deeply conservative country.

There is still a blanket ban on alcohol in the kingdom, which is one of the holiest places in Islam, unlike other Gulf nations.

Saudi Arabia is regarded as a deterrent to expats who want to work in or visit the country.

In addition to its founding law, NEOM will operate under a set of rules that are still being developed.

According to AFP, NEOM's CEO Joseph Bradley, who runs the company's Tech and Digital Holding Company, it is not known whether alcohol will be allowed under the new legislation, but everyone understands the necessity for attracting foreign talent and tourists.

“We get asked a lot about whether there will be alcohol, what will you do about that? A Future Investment Initiative event in Riyadh was where he spoke.

As part of Saudi Arabia's 500-billion-dollar mega-project NEOM, 100 million trees will be planted, ostriches, cheetahs, oryx, and ibex will be harvested, and hunting, fishing, and logging will be stopped.

At NEOM's Arabian Travel Market stand, Andrew McEvoy, managing director tourism at NEOM, said visitors to the city will enjoy guilt-free holidays and holidays will be environmentally friendly.

This clean energy-powered net-zero city will be designed with a blueprint for the future of work, living, and sustainable development that seamlessly integrates nature and technology.

Sustainability is at the core of NEOM, said McEvoy.

NEOM's The Line, McEvoy explained to Arab News, creates a regenerative receipt that is more environmentally friendly than staying home on vacation.

NEOM announced 3 big projects, one of which is The Line, a 170-kilometer city without streets or cars.

"When you visit NEOM, we would like to provide you with a regenerative receipt. According to the official, all of your emissions are offset.

Visits will not only offset all emissions, but they will also generate economic activity in the area, according to McEvoy. "You have made employing locals as guides and rangers easier." he said.

In McEvoy's opinion, tourists will enjoy a guilt-free vacation at The Line since they haven't produced any emissions, and have therefore benefited economically, socially, and environmentally.

In addition, NEOM is developing OXAGON, the world's largest flood control structure, a port that will house cruise terminals, and TROJENA, a mountain ski resort where visitors can enjoy natural snow on Jabal Al-Lawz (a mountain in Saudi Arabia), said McEvoy.

NEOM is more than sustainable because it aims to be regenerative.

McEvoy explains that leaving the destination in a better state than we found it is very exciting.

NEOM's official responded that for this year, the company is targeting business-to-business sales.

McEvoy said NEOM wants to build assets in 2022. It will be open for visitors in 2024.

McEvoy said NEOM is currently home to 10,000 construction workers.

The number of construction workers will reach 30,000 by the end of 2022, he added.

In McEvoy's view, ATM is all about partnering for greater sales of NEOM once it opens.

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