Home » Saudi Arabia’s Neom invests $1bn in AI and metaverse

Saudi Arabia’s Neom invests $1bn in AI and metaverse

by Sion Geschwindt
Saudi Arabia to build world's largest floating industrial complex

Neom Tech & Digital, a subsidiary of the $500bn signature Saudi megacity Neom, has rebranded itself as Tonomus as it pours cash into the metaverse and artificial intelligence (AI).

The company has invested $1bn in 2022 in AI projects that include a metaverse platform, in the hope that it will advance Tonomus’ goal of positioning Neom as the world’s first “cognitive community”.

Neom – a Saudi megacity under construction touted to be 33 times the size of New York City – will include a 170km straight line city, to be known as The Line, an octagon-shaped city that floats on water, and a ski resort with a folded vertical village, among other grandiose and architecturally challenging projects.

Joseph Bradley, the chief executive of Tonomus, said the company was working to integrate AI technology into The Line, which will have robots, holograms, mirrored facades and run 100 percent on renewable energy.

Bradley said the metaverse would allow people from across the globe to visit Neom virtually before investing in the city. Digital Twin technology is already being used in the construction of The Line, and will help improve the lifestyle of residents once the city is complete.

Neom is at the centre of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s plans to diversify the country’s economy away from petrodollars and boost non-oil sectors such as tourism.

So far, very little construction has taken place for the project, but large sums have been paid to consultants.

To make way for Neom, Saudi authorities have sought to clear 170km of Tabuk province of its residents, many of whom belong to the Howeitat tribe.

Image: A 3D render of the OXAGON Floating City in Neom (credit: Neom)

Read next: Dubai architects reveal plans for 550-metre-tall megastructure encircling Burj Khalifa 

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