Saudi King, Salman, has arrived for a holiday in NEOM, a mega city which is still underdevelopment. The prince has pledged to build this city from scratch in the kingdom's remote northwest area, state media said on Monday.
NEOM appears an unusual holiday destination for the 82-year-old monarch, who is known to spend his annual summer vacation in exotic palaces such as Morocco. “The king has arrived in NEOM, where he will spend some time in rest and recreation", the official Saudi Press Agency said in a brief statement.
Where will the king put up in this underdeveloped city is still unclear. Also the area remains to be off limits for the civilians.
However, in February, sources told Reuters that the government had asked local construction companies to build five palaces for the king, crown prince and other senior royals on the Red Sea coast about 150 km (95 miles) west of the city of Tabuk. These would be among the first contracts awarded for NEOM.
A design document seen by Reuters shows opulent buildings with modern and traditional Moroccan-style architecture featuring Islamic designs and colourful ceramic tiles. The complex of palaces is set to include helipads, a marina and a golf course.
The royal court did not immediately respond to questions about the current status of construction in NEOM, which is largely inaccessible to civilians. At least some of the palaces are believed to have been completed in a matter of months, at undisclosed cost.
Meanwhile, enjoy your vacay, King.