Egypt will reserve more than 1,000 square kilometers of land in southern Sinai for the giant city and business zone project announced by Saudi Arabia last October, reports Reuters.
To develop this territory along the Red Sea, a pool of more than ten billion dollars (eight billion euros), was set up by Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Its creation was announced Sunday evening during the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s visit to Cairo.
In total, the Neom project which was announced by Saudi Arabia last October is to offset the expected decline in oil revenues. It covers 26,500 square kilometers and three countries: Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. Private and public investment in this area is expected to reach $500 billion in the long term.
This futuristic city named Neom will be located in the north-west part of the country, on the banks of the Red Sea, in an area that is currently a desert. Eventually, it will spread all around the Gulf of Aqaba, encompassing the shores of Egypt and Jordan on 460 kilometers of coastline. The site will also be located at the main entrance of the King Salman Bridge, which will connect Asia and Africa.
Another important point: the two islets of Tiran and Sanafir, whose sovereignty was handed over to Saudi Arabia by an official decree of the Egyptian president issued on June 24, 2017, are also part of the Neom project.
In a decision made on Saturday, March 3, on the eve of Mohammed bin Salman’s trip to Egypt, the Egyptian High Constitutional Court overturned all decisions in favor of canceling the return of the two islets to Saudi Arabia. The debate over their sovereignty had focused the attention of Egyptian public opinion. Massive demonstrations took place in Cairo to demand the annulment of Parliament’s vote.
These two small Red Sea islands are located at the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba.