Neom: A guide to the 11 projects in Saudi Arabia's mega-development

From futuristic city The Line to skiing destination Trojena, this is what's on the agenda for kingdom's north-west

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Neom is the futuristic multipurpose mega-development in Saudi Arabia everybody has been talking about for years now.

Ever since The Line hit international headlines, there has been huge interest in this $500 billion city in the north-west of the kingdom. And the latest destination – a luxury eco-tourism spot called Zardun – was announced on Wednesday, making it the 11th project revealed so far.

From the world's largest megastructure to the region's first major outdoor skiing destination, there's plenty to look forward to.

Here's a review of all the regions coming up.

The Line

Announced: January 10, 2021

Saudi Arabia's Neom reimagines Manhattan as a vertical city

Saudi Arabia's Neom reimagines Manhattan as a vertical city

Easily the most famous of Neom's communities, The Line made international headlines when it was announced in 2021 for its sheer ambitiousness. The 170-kilometre-long, 500-metre-tall dual towers will be the greatest real estate challenge undertaken by mankind, Giles Pendleton, executive director of the development, told The National.

Once completed, it will be the largest megastructure in the world – a futuristic, mirrored residential and business block that rises over the expanse of desert, emerald waters, rocky inlets and white beaches of the rugged Tabuk province.

The structures will be connected by walkways and a high-speed train will run beneath, with daily essentials a mere five-minute walk from anywhere. The whole city will run on 100 per cent renewable energy, with no roads or cars, and 95 per cent of the land will be preserved for nature, aiming to enhance air quality.


Announced: November 16, 2021

This city is set to be the largest floating industrial complex in the world. Oxagon will establish the first fully integrated port and supply chain ecosystem for Neom.

It will be built as an industrial city to showcase a radical new model for future manufacturing centres, one designed to help protect the environment while creating jobs and growth for Neom.

The plan is for it to be a net-zero city, fully powered by clean energy and it will focus on seven sectors – sustainable energy; autonomous mobility; water innovation; sustainable food production; health and well-being; modern methods of construction and technology; and digital manufacturing, including telecoms, space technology and robotics.


Announced: March 3, 2022

Trojena will be a new global destination for mountain tourism, set for completion by 2026.

It will be the first major outdoor skiing destination in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations and will host the 2029 Asian Winter Games.

Located in Tabuk, the kingdom's highest mountain range, the region's cooler climate makes the prospect of skiing possible in a country that is more closely associated with the desert.

Split into six districts – gateway, discover, valley, explore, relax and fun – the new year-round tourist destination will feature attractions such as a ski village, luxury family and wellness resorts, a wide range of retail stores and restaurants, in addition to sports activities, including a ski slope, watersports and mountain biking, and a nature reserve.


Announced: December 5, 2022

Seahorse-shaped Sindalah will be the first destination to open to tourists in the megacity. Spread over 840,000 square metres along the Red Sea, this luxury island destination will have a strong focus on conserving its surrounding natural beauty, most of which is untouched.

It will be home to several upscale hotels and a large yachting marina, as well as a beach club, wellness centre and luxury shopping outlets.

Sindalah will also be home to the GCC's first island golf course. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr, the nine-hole golf course will have a 280-metre driving range and golf practice suites. It will also be home to an on-site sports club with a training academy, Olympic-size swimming pool, spa and courts.


Announced: October 15, 2023

Sustainable tourism destination Leyja was announced late last year. The area begins at the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba and winds inland to form a valley carved between 400-metre-high mountains.

About 95 per cent of Leyja will be preserved for nature, while the rest will combine ecological design and construction techniques to ensure the development blends into the landscape, according to a statement.

There will be three hotels, with 40 keys each, offering 120 boutique rooms and suites. The first property will focus on active adventure as the design ascends the walls of the wadi like a staircase, folding into a cliff top and valley sides. The second property will sit at the heart of the wadi's largest oasis, while the third will be a wellness retreat with a reflective facade mirroring the surrounding valley walls.

Fine dining restaurants and rooftop infinity pools will also feature, while guests will have the opportunity to go on guided wadi walks, mountain biking trails and rock climbing adventures.


Announced: November 15, 2023

Epicon was another luxury coastal tourism destination with a residential offering announced last year. It will feature two towers, one 225 metres tall and another one reaching 275 metres.

These will be home to a premium 41-key hotel and luxury residences with 14 suites and apartments. A short distance from here will be the Epicon resort, with 120 rooms and 45 beach villas.

In the area, there will be a beach club, spa, gym, library, workspaces, pools and lounges. Amid the surrounding natural environment, activities and water sports will be on offer. An array of restaurants will also be built.


Announced: November 29, 2023

Located on the Gulf of Aqaba coastline, hexagon-shaped luxury hotel Siranna will be home to 65 rooms as well as 35 exclusive residences. Like hexagonal pillars rising from the water, the futuristic hotel promises to offer uninterrupted views of the Red Sea, while the tiered design will offer different perspectives.

Access to the hotel will be via boats where guests will sail through natural rock formations before reaching the entrance of the property.

A beach club, spas and state-of-the-art wellness facilities will be part of the offering. Guests will also be able to enjoy winding discovery trails on foot or horseback to explore where the sea, mountain and wadi meet. A range of dining and entertainment options will be offered.

The architecture will pay homage to the heritage of the local area and also blend into the adjoining mountain and wadi.


Announced: December 13, 2023

Utamo aims to be an immersive venue for art and entertainment cocooned in a mountain along the coastline.

The plan is for guests to arrive via an extended garden promenade, featuring more than 50 species of shrubs, herbs and flowers, before reaching the grand hall.

It will include a multipurpose performance space, VIP lounges and signature restaurants. There will be artistic installations, concerts and more, all with the promise of enhancement by advanced audiovisual systems.


Announced: December 27, 2023

This coastal residential area is set to be an active lifestyle community with capacity for 3,000 inhabitants among 711 properties, including mansions, apartments and beach villas that are integrated into surrounding mountains.

There are also plans for a 120-berth marina that aims to be an international hub for superyachts, with a yachting members' club and water taxi services available for residents and guests.

An 18-hole golf course will sit between the mountains, alongside an equestrian and polo centre. Sailing and diving will also be offered.

Sport, health and well-being will be at the core of this community, as will sustainability, with a particular focus on preserving local land and marine environments.


Announced: January 10, 2024

A luxury and experiential space within the mountains, Aquellum promises cutting-edge technology, avant-garde architecture and futuristic living.

Concealed from the outside along the coastline, it will be hidden within a 450-metre-high mountain range.

To access Aquellum, visitors will embark on a journey that begins at what is being called the world's first floating marina. They will board a specially designed vessel to enter through a concealed underground canal.

Once inside, the announcement says “visitors will be treated to an exhilarating, 100-metre-high vertical experience”, with a courtyard space stretching from the water to the sky. It is described as a “subterranean digitalised community” with hotel accommodation, apartments, retail spaces, leisure and entertainment zones.

A space called The Generator will house research labs for disrupters and creative thinkers, while an internal transit system facilitates easy access to upper floors, ascending to rooftop gardens with coastal views.


Announced: January 24

Yet another luxury eco-tourism destination, Zardun aims to be an exclusive sanctuary resort created to blend contemporary design with nature.

The coastline property will cover four square kilometres and host four signature buildings. The area will be filled with native plants and animals, stretching from the mountains to the shore and boasting an experience centre with a 360-degree observation deck.

There will be three boutique hotels with a total of 100 rooms and suites, each with a different theme.

Zardun will also have plenty of opportunities for trekking, mountain biking, rock climbing, stargazing, meditation and yoga. Guests will also be invited to join in educational programmes on nature protection, conservation and rewilding.

The sustainability strategy also includes the creation of a series of oases to support diverse habitats.

Updated: January 25, 2024, 8:55 AM