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Arabian Travel Market: NEOM banks on technology and sustainability to promote regenerative tourism


DUBAI: As Saudi Arabia is building multimillion-dollar giga-projects, it intends to alter the possibilities of travel through regenerative tourism, with an aim to build things with a circular economy in mind, NEOM Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said.  

Speaking at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, he said that “the world has commoditized travel.”

When asked about legislation on alcohol, he revealed that NEOM is building its own laws and regulations.

“Saudi (Arabia) is not westernizing but modernizing,” McEvoy emphasized.

NEOM’s top executives are attending the ATM, the Middle East’s largest travel and tourism exhibition, that will be addressing the concerns and hopes of the industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The event is expected to host more than 20,000 visitors and 1,500 exhibitors from 112 destinations over the four days.

“Technology has improved customer experience in most sectors.”

McEvoy highlighted NEOM’s utilization of technology to bring back Arabian culture and history, which is seen to be a huge asset for Saudi Arabia and the region. 

“The future of manufacturing is OXAGON,” he said, referring to the NEOM’s industrial city, which is set to be the largest floating industrial complex in the world.

It is located on the Red Sea close to the Suez Canal, and south of The Line, and it will include the current port of Duba. It will establish the world’s first fully-integrated port and supply chain ecosystem for NEOM.

The net-zero city which will be powered by 100 percent clean energy will seek to seamlessly integrate nature with technology with a blueprint for the future of work, living and sustainability. 

Speaking on the city’s vision, McEvoy said NEOM is building a destination of the future, adding that its value lies in the raw nature, ingenious tech and the Arabian culture.

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