Everything we know about Neom, Saudi Arabia’s large-scale architectural showpiece, has sounded like a fantasy.
Flying elevators, zero-carbon zones and swimming as a way of commuting—none of it has been seen before at the scale envisioned by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known informally as MBS.
Now, the futuristic city is trying to tempt executives to lead growing industries like tourism and technology with pay as high as $1.1 million annually, the The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, based on an internal Neom document. And that number could get much higher when including bonuses and other incentives.
Neom is the latest in MBS’s efforts to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy, which is the largest exporter of oil in the world. In recent years, the kingdom has eased women’s ability to travel independently and drive cars, in an attempt to correct repressive practices and allow for greater freedom in its society. To project the image of being more welcoming of foreigners, Neom will also serve alcohol at one of its resorts, the The Wall Street Journal reported, marking a milestone for the Islamic kingdom where alcohol is banned.
Saudi Arabia is also hoping to attract new talent with its total absence of income taxes, which means executives will be able to keep their entire million-dollar paychecks. The project says it has already hired a number of experts from around the world in the departments of water, environment and more.
Neom—which is anticipated to be as big as Belgium when complete—has a wide array of job openings for project leads, including marine biologists, drainage engineers and more. Some roles are dedicated to The Line, an ambitious 1,600-feet structure that will house 9 million residents that the country says will have many elements of nature like a vertical garden city.
MBS announced Neom back in 2017 with a total budget of $500 billion. The first phase of the project will cost $319 billion, half of which will be provided for by the sovereign wealth fund, Reuters reported.
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