Saudi Arabia's multibillion-dollar Port of Neom opens for business

More than 7.5 billion Saudi riyals has been invested to develop the first phase of the port and logistics hub

The Port of Neom development in Oxagon, Saudi Arabia. Photo: Neom
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Saudi Arabia's Oxagon, Neom's advanced manufacturing city, has announced that the Port of Neom is now open for business.

Originally named Duba Port, it will meet rising volumes of cargo arriving at Neom, the country's much-vaunted city of the future.

The Saudi government aims to operate at net carbon zero levels, utilising 100 per cent renewable energy at source, making it the most sustainable next-generation port in the world, a statement by Neom claimed.

Saudi Arabia to build world's largest floating industrial complex

Saudi Arabia to build world's largest floating industrial complex

Given its location at the crossroads of global trading routes on the Red Sea, the port is expected to be a “critical enabler” for Neom and a catalyst for further economic development in the region.

Sean Kelly, Port of Neom's managing director, told The National the opening is a major milestone."

"It will be critical to the ongoing creation and operation of the Neom region as it grows and support broader economic activity in the north-west corner of the kingdom.

"We expect that seamless connection to one of the world’s busiest trading routes – and the other advanced and clean industries based at Oxagon – will combine to offer an attractive proposition to prospective innovators and manufacturers," he said.

Neom has invested more than 7.5 billion Saudi riyals ($2 billion) for development of the sustainable port.

“The Port of Neom will be pivotal to the continued commercial competitiveness, economic diversification and maritime trade ambitions of the kingdom,” said Nadhmi Al Nasr, Neom's chief executive.

“Our vision is to build one of the world’s most technologically advanced, efficient and sustainable ports with the first fully integrated and automated supply chain and logistics network, and this first phase of development is a step towards realising that.”

Neom will be powered by 100 per cent clean energy, through renewable solar, wind and green hydrogen-based energy.

The Line, a civilisational revolution that puts people first, provides a unique urban living experience while preserving the surrounding nature. Photo: Neom

What's The Connector?

The Connector is a high-speed railway that will run along the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia and connect Neom’s port city of Oxagon with The Line.

Webuild and its joint-venture partner Shibh Al Jazira Contracting Company signed a contract this week worth €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) to build 57km of a high-speed railway in Neom.

The Line will be home to nine million people, who will live in interconnected societies run by artificial intelligence designed to coexist with nature, with excavation on this enormous project having now started.

Webuild will be leading the execution and operations, which cover viaducts, road bridges, and road and rail underpasses to facilitate train speeds of up to 230 kilometres an hour.

The contract included designing and building for the majority part of the Connector, a railway connecting Oxagon, Neom’s centre for advanced and clean industries with The Line, announced in 2021.

Officials expect the railway lines to create more than 4,000 direct and indirect jobs for the Saudi labour market.

The Neom stand at Arabian Travel Market. Antonie Robertson / The National
Updated: May 18, 2023, 4:05 PM