Meetings No 20
Intro
A Congress is a Workplace
Atti Soenarso: Perhaps it is time to sharpen the tone.
Cover Story
All Under One Roof
Carin Kindbom: “The ‘all under one roof’ business approach is considered a key USP.”
Intermission
While There’s Life, There’s Hope
Ever present words from the past.
Digital Mindset
AI and Robotics
Futurists: “Firms will need to strike a fine balance between AI and the human workforce.”
Safety and Security
CWT Global Forecast 2018
Security should be high on the planning agenda.
Performance
Brain Training
Sharp Brains on navigating brain training.
Radar
Business Events Must Adopt Olympic Safety Standards
Learn from previous Olympic events.
Clan vs State
The Clan Mentality is the Norm
Per Brinkemo on state and clan.
Sustainable Growth
GDS-Index
The sustainability performance of 40 meeting and events cities.
Intermission
Lunch With the Financial Times
An ­international “who’s who” of our time.
Creation
La Perle by Dragone
Emotions can be both a help and hindrance when creating a show.
Radar
AIME Launches Exhibitor Educational Series
Providing a deeper understanding of buyers.
Radar
Increasing Value of Meetings in Hamburg
Number of delegates visiting the city continues to grow.
Sharma
60 Tips for a Stunningly Great Life
Robin Sharma on leadership.
Brain Check
Going Behind the Mind
Tomas Dalström on neuromarketing and digital vs. print advertising.
Engagement
Where Event Design and Meetings Management Meet
Event quality is back on the table.
Van der Vijver
Locusts or Legacy?
Meeting designer Mike Van der Vijver: Bring the local community and the event community together.
Intermission
Benny Andersson
On composition.
Neuroscience
New Discovery on Memory Consolidation
Challenging a basic assumption about memory encoding.
Vision
Neom
The Saudi Arabian city of the future.
Kellerman
Obligations, Engagement and Legacy
Roger Kellerman: The word ‘obligation’ is high on the agenda.
classifieds
news

Meetingselect and NBTC Holland Marketing join forces
Complete overview of Dutch meeting venues in one spot.
UITP
Melbourne Wins
World’s Largest Event in Public Transport Sector.
business intelligence
Business Events:
Change Agents or Travel Agents?
new mission
Singapore to head up BestCities Board
Jeannie Lim Takes Over as Chair to Lead Global Alliance.
ICCA statistics
Bogotá leaps into top 50 world rankings
ahead of hosting BestCities Global Forum.
Flight industry
Emirates Group
announces 67% increase in profit.
business Intelligence
UFI elects first female president
for 2019/20 term.
the World Scene
IMEX will reflect
solid market growth and inspiring innovation in the meetings market.
business event
Anak Sarawak Awards
steers legacy impacts for conventions and convention hosts.
hotel news
Scandic Hotels
to open hotel in the fast-growing market of Voss, Norway.
Links
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Neom – The Saudi Arabian City of the Future

The Super-City called Neom, short for Neo-Mustaqbal, a Latin-Arabic term meaning “new future”, is scheduled to start taking shape in 2020 with the main city opening five years later. The $500 billion mega city will have artificial intelligence at its core, including the must-have Neom app.

The city will be powered entirely by wind and solar energy. Neom, which will focus on food, water, mobility, entertainment, media, biotechnology, technological and digital sciences and living, is an attempt by Saudi Arabia to diversify its revenue, which has slumped as oil prices collapsed in 2014.

The 26,500 square kilometres (10,230 square miles) zone will be situated on Saudi Arabia’s border with Jordan and Egypt, while 70 per cent of the world’s population will be able to reach it within eight hours. Overlooking the waterfront of the Red Sea to the South and the West, and the Gulf of Aqaba, Neom enjoys an uninterrupted coastline stretching over 468 km, with a dramatic mountain backdrop rising to 2,500 metres to the East. A constant breeze leads to mild temperatures.

According to its mastermind, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, everything in Neom life will be connected via an app which will give residents control over what they want to do.

Neom is 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. Neom aims to transform the Kingdom into a leading global hub through the introduction of value chains of industry and technology.

Investments and financing will play a vital role in Neom, set to be spearheaded by the Kingdom’s economy and supported by PIF (Public Investment Fund) – a major global fund with access to a worldwide network of investors and major companies – set to be brought onboard to drive the success of Neom.

With the ambition of becoming one of the world’s future economic and scientific capitals, in addition to being the future commerce capital of Saudi Arabia, Neom is set to attract new foreign direct investment that will contribute to PIF’s long-term growth strategy aimed at strengthening the Saudi Arabian economy.

Neom is developed to be independent of the Kingdom’s existing governmental framework, excluding sovereignty. Neom will adopt a regulatory framework that fosters technological as well as societal innovation and entrepreneurship in accordance with international best practices. Investors, businesses, and innovators will be consulted at every step of the development in how best to create the economic framework, design the urban plans, and attract top quality talent that will drive the growth of this zone and its resident population.

“Neom will be constructed from the ground-up, on greenfield sites, allowing it a unique opportunity to be distinguished from all other places that have been developed and constructed over hundreds of years and we will use this opportunity to build a new way of life with excellent economic prospects. Future technologies form the cornerstone for Neom’s development: Disruptive solutions for transportation from automated driving to passenger drones, new ways of growing and processing food, healthcare centered around the patient for their holistic well-being, wireless high speed internet as a free good called “digital air”, free world-class continuous online education, full scale e-governance putting city services at your fingertips, building codes that make net-zero carbon houses the standard, a city layout that encourages walking and bicycling and all solely powered by renewable energy just to name a few. All of this will allow for a new way of life to emerge that takes into account the ambitions and outlooks of humankind paired with best future technologies and outstanding economic prospects,” says Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Neom will achieve its ambitious goals of becoming among the top secure areas in the world – if not the most– by adopting the future technologies in the fields of security and safety. This will raise the standards of public life activities and ensure the safety and protection of residents, visitors, and investors.

All services and processes in Neom will be a hundred per cent fully automated, with the goal of becoming the most efficient destination in the world, and in turn be implemented on all activities such as legal, government, and investment procedures among others. Additionally, Neom will be subject to the highest sustainability standards, and will provide all transactions, procedures, and claims through paperless and electronic means.

A new concept for the workforce will be implemented, based on attracting high-caliber human resources with unique competencies for full-time innovation, decision making and business leadership. Repetitive and arduous tasks will be fully automated and handled by robots, which may exceed the population, likely making the Neom’s GDP per capita the highest in the world. All these elements will put Neom at the world’s forefront in terms of efficiency which will make it the best destination in the world to live in.

In an interview with Bloomberg, the Crown Prince said the city will have no supermarkets to visit because everything you need will be delivered to you using the latest technology.

He said: “Everything will have a link to artificial intelligence, to the Internet of Things – everything. Your medical file will be connected with your home supply, with your car, linked to your family, linked to your other files, and the system develops itself in how to provide you with better things.

“Today all the clouds available are separate – the car is by itself, the Apple watch is by itself, everything is by itself. There, everything will be connected. Nobody can live in Neom without the Neom application we’ll have – or visit Neom.”

The Crown Prince told Bloomberg that the first phase of the giant project will be Neom Bay, which will be like the Hamptons in New York. The plan includes a bridge spanning the Red Sea, connecting the proposed city with Egypt and the rest of Africa. Some 10,000 square miles have been allocated for the development of an urban area stretching into Jordan and Egypt.

New technology will transform mobility and livability in Neom, he said, adding that the likes of Amazon, Airbus and Alibaba have registered an interest in being involved in the city’s development.

“There are many enormous companies, enormous, considered among the most important companies in the world, that want to do their new projects in Neom to take advantage of this opportunity,” he noted.

Asked if Dubai is worried about the impact Neom may have on its own ambitions, the Crown Prince said: “I think we are creating new demand and this will help Dubai and it will help other hubs in the Middle East. I don’t think Hong Kong harmed Singapore or Singapore harmed Hong Kong. They are creating good demand around each other.

“It will help Dubai, it will help Bahrain. It will help especially Kuwait. Kuwait will export to Europe faster and cheaper than now through the pipelines and the railways to Neom, immediately to Egypt, to the north of Sinai, to Europe.”

He said all nationalities would be welcomed to live in Neom but, like the rest of the Gulf kingdom, alcohol will be banned.

“We can do 98 per cent of the standards applied in similar cities. But there is 2 per cent we can’t do, like for example alcohol. A foreigner who desires alcohol can either go to Egypt or Jordan.”

Klaus Kleinfeld, who was ousted in April as chief of US engineering firm Arconic and who will now be CEO for the Neom project, will lead an advisory team of more than 100 “world class” people.