NEOM is an incredibly new, smart city-state being built in Saudi Arabia. It's data-driven, using networks, sensors, and analytics in order to make itself significantly more productive, efficient, and habitable.

It was named from a combination of the Greek word for "new" and the Arabic term for "future," and it positions itself as a "blueprint for tomorrow in which humanity progresses without compromise to the health of the planet."  

The initiative first emerged from Saudi Vision 2030, which was a plan that sought to reduce Saudi Arabia's dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors. 

NEOM includes hyperconnected, smart, or what it calls "cognitive" towns and cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centers, sports and entertainment venues, and tourist destinations. The project is planned to be totally powered by renewable energy sources.

NEOM also describes itself as "a hub for innovation," where entrepreneurs, business leaders, and companies will come to research, incubate and commercialize new technologies and enterprises in a groundbreaking way." 

Residents will embody an "international ethos and embrace a culture of exploration, risk-taking, and diversity - all supported by a progressive law compatible with international norms and conducive to economic growth." 

The project has won numerous criticism and praise, and yet nobody can deny that it's something incredibly special to watch and experience.