NEOM is a visionary project by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that aims to become a leading global hub for innovation and sustainability. One of its main sectors is tourism, which seeks to promote ecotourism, wellness tourism, and adventure tourism. This post will delve into the opportunities for investment and employment in the tourism sector of NEOM, including its main projects, key numbers, and future prospects.
Promoting Tourism in Saudi Arabia
Neom’s Head of Tourism, Andrew McEvoy, has ambitious plans to develop a futuristic destination that will rival human imagination. According to him, Neom will be ready to host its first set of tourists within the next two years, with the first tourism asset opening at the start of 2024. McEvoy said that hospitality giants have already committed to coming onboard, but none of them has yet been announced. He expects the first announcement of an asset to be made as early as a few months from now.
Currently, work is underway on three of Neom’s main projects, with about 10,000 construction workers and approximately 1,500 project leaders and workers working on different sectors. An island development is expected to open by the end of next year, which will really kick off the development. After that, many more assets will be built, including the first assets on The Line, which will be completed by 2025-2026, and Trojena, which will be completed by around 2026.
Neom aims to become a top tourist destination, with a focus on ecotourism, wellness tourism, and adventure tourism. The vision is to promote a full visitor economy, covering everything from corporate, adventure, outdoors, sports, leisure and entertainment, family, events and conferences. Neom will cater to all segments of tourists, from midscale to high-net-worth individuals, and is set to have everything from midscale to upper upscale luxury and hyper luxury, and probably invent new classes at some point as well.
Neom seeks to redefine the future of humanity with cutting-edge technology and a sustainable way of living. It is part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan to diversify the economy and move away from dependence on hydrocarbons. Neom will be a free and open city that will not be bound by the existing legal system of Saudi Arabia, with its own authority, laws, and regulations. Alcohol and gambling may also be legal, as the aim is to benchmark Neom as a competitive destination. With tourism opening up at Neom, the global misconceptions of Saudi are set to change.
- Amaala: This project is set to become a luxury destination that combines art, culture, and wellness. It will feature resorts, hotels, marinas, and an airport. Amaala aims to attract high-end travelers who seek exclusive experiences and services.
- Red Sea Project: This is a massive development that covers more than 28,000 square kilometers of pristine coastal land and waters. The project includes resorts, hotels, villas, and other tourist facilities. It also has a strong focus on sustainability and preservation of the natural environment.
- The Islands: This project consists of 11 islands that will offer a range of tourist activities, such as water sports, hiking, and cultural experiences. The islands will also have hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
- NEOM aims to attract 1 million visitors per year by 2030.
- The tourism sector is expected to create more than 38,000 jobs in NEOM by 2030.
- The Red Sea Project alone is expected to create more than 70,000 jobs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Opportunities for Investment:
NEOM offers several opportunities for local and international investors who seek to participate in the development of its tourism sector. These include:
- Real estate development: NEOM has large tracts of land available for development, including beachfront properties, desert areas, and mountain ranges. Investors can participate in the construction of hotels, resorts, villas, and other tourist facilities.
- Tourism services: NEOM will require a wide range of tourism services, such as transportation, catering, entertainment, and marketing. Investors can provide these services and benefit from the growth of the tourism sector.
- Sustainability solutions: NEOM aims to become a carbon-neutral city, and the tourism sector is no exception. Investors who offer sustainable solutions, such as renewable energy, waste management, and water conservation, can contribute to the development of NEOM and gain a competitive advantage.
Opportunities for Employment:
The tourism sector in NEOM will create many job opportunities in various fields, such as:
- Hospitality: NEOM will require a large number of hotel and resort staff, such as receptionists, chefs, waiters, and housekeepers.
- Tourist services: NEOM will also require tour guides, drivers, and other professionals who can provide tourist services and experiences.
- Sustainability: NEOM’s commitment to sustainability will create job opportunities in fields such as renewable energy, waste management, and water conservation.
- Construction and maintenance: The development of NEOM’s tourism sector will require a significant amount of construction work, as well as ongoing maintenance and repairs.
NEOM’s tourism sector has great potential for growth and innovation, thanks to its unique location, natural resources, and sustainable vision. With the development of its main projects, NEOM aims to become a top tourist destination in the Middle East and beyond. Moreover, NEOM’s commitment to innovation and sustainability will attract tourists who seek new experiences and responsible tourism practices.