Saudi Arabia’s Planned Megacity Invests $1 Billion in the Metaverse:
Saudi Arabia’s futuristic megacity, Neom, has announced its $1 billion ($3 billion) investment in the metaverse. The megacity’s subsidiary, Neom Tech & Digital (which has now rebranded to Tonomus), executed the investment. According to the company’s CEO, Joseph Bradley, a significant proportion of Neom would be dominated by robots and elements of the metaverse.
The plan to integrate the metaverse into Neom was first announced in October 2021. Mansor Hanif, Neom’s executive director of engineering, disclosed plans to establish a “twin” Neom city in the metaverse. The city is expected to present a lifelike version of Neom and help users experience daily life in the futuristic city. Now that Neom has made the metaverse investment, there are high probabilities that the Neom project will gain access to more investors. The existence of the twin city in the metaverse will help prospective investors get significant insight into what the actual city would look like when it is completed. This will help clear doubts and strengthen the Neom vision.
Neom: Dubai’s Multi-Billion Dollar Futuristic City
Neom is a Saudi Arabian smart city currently under construction. The city is expected to cover the Saudi Arabian desert with a land area thirty times larger than New York’s. The city’s initial budget is a whopping $500 billion. The city will also be zero carbon, depending entirely on renewable energy. According to the Saudi Arabian government, the deadline for the completion of Neom City is 2030. However, a skyscraper called’ The Line’ is one of the most significant constructions within the entire Neom city project. The Line is a mirrored building with vertically layered homes and offices. The government plans for the building to be self-sufficient to ensure its residents can get all their needs within the building. This is why there are plans to integrate parks and public schools into The Line. More importantly, the building will be mainly powered by a high-speed rail to transport residents.
More Details on the Metaverse Investment
In February 2022, Tonomus announced its investment in a cognitive metaverse project through the Saudi Arabian tech fund. This move to execute its metaverse investment holds numerous benefits. The metaverse move further establishes Neom as the innovative and futuristic city the Saudi Arabian government has foreseen. According to Tonomus’ CEO, the metaverse version would also help enhance the experience of actual Neom residents. The company plans to integrate the metaverse in such a way that residents seeking to host house parties in their Neom residence will be able to receive guests that join through the metaverse platform.
Other Middle Eastern countries have launched a metaverse strategy in recent months. For instance, Dubai launched its metaverse strategy earlier this year. The strategy is expected to create over 40,000 jobs by 2030. Should this metaverse city be executed, it will significantly change the tech industry both within the Middle East and globally.
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