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Saudi Arabia refutes misinformation on NEOM, affirms sovereignty over city
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 16 - 05 - 2022

JEDDAH — An official Saudi source refuted the misperceptions published in the media about NEOM, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported early Monday.
The official source assured that NEOM project is completely subject to the sovereignty and regulations of Saudi Arabia, while saying it is one of the major strategic projects of the Public Investment Fund (PIF).
The source denied comments made by the head of tourism sector in NEOM, Andrew McEvoy, regarding the population situation inside the city, in which he said they will be referred with a special title to distinguish them from Saudi nationals.
McEvoy told The National newspaper that people living in NEOM would not be referred as Saudis but would be called by the title "Neomians".
The official source said that NEOM will operate within special economic zones subject to the sovereignty and economy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in terms of security, defense and regulatory aspects.
He added that the Kingdom will develop specific economic legislation to the project area that achieves the best concepts of governance of economic zones in the world, so that NEOM becomes one of the most important attraction points globally.
The head of tourism sector in NEOM was speaking to the UAE-based newspaper last week on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. His remarks went viral as he explained in detail how the new city Saudi Arabia is building in the northwest of the country was working to attract not only tourists but people to relocate and work there.
McEvoy said NEOM would be treated as its own state, separate from the rules that govern the rest of Saudi Arabia, and the government source responded clarifying this point in an official statement.
NEOM is tipped as the jewel of giant Saudi projects, within the framework of the Kingdom's new transformations, and has begun to take its real place in news headlines and the course of political events.
On 2017, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, chairman of the Public Investment Fund (PIF), announced a $500 billion plan to create the world's first independent special zone stretching over three countries, which is called NEOM.
NEOM was born from the ambition of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 to see the country develop into a pioneering and thriving model of excellence in various and important areas of life.
Since 2017, NEOM has launched a series of projects and initiatives such as THE LINE, OXAGON and TROJENA according to the project's master plan.


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