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Kalbod Design Studio has released its concept renderings for Neom Airport City.
The city would be part of the Neom, Saudi Arabia, metro area, which the country plans to develop.
In addition to airports, Saudi Arabia has already launched Riyadh Air and plans to establish NEOM Airlines in a bid to diversify its economy as part of the ‘Saudi Vision 2030’ plan.
Kalbod Design Studio, an Iran-based architecture studio, has released its concept for the Neom Airport City in Saudi Arabia, an airport that would serve the planned urban area of Neom. While the area already has an airport, Neom Bay Airport (NUM), the country plans to build another, NEOM International Airport (NIA), with Dallas, Texas, the United States (US)-based infrastructure consulting firm winning the contract to manage the project of NIA in March 2023.
Distinctive tourist attraction
“Neom Airport City embodies a visionary perspective, strategically positioned to establish a robust connection between Saudi Arabia’s Neom project and the global arena,” Kalbod Design Studio said in a statement. According to the Iranian studio, Neom Airport engages in a strategic dialogue with ‘THE LINE’, a city stretching 170 kilometers (105.6 miles), in response to the region’s communication needs. As a result, the potential airport and ‘THE LINE’ would form a “symbiotic relationship in terms of accessibility and economic integration.”
“Distinguished by its multifaceted functionality, this project is meticulously curated to align with the region’s emphasis on tourism,” with Kalbod Design Studio adding that the airport would also be a distinctive tourist attraction. For example, Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) has also described itself as a “lifestyle and retail destination on its own,” especially since the opening of the Jewel Changi Airport in 2019.
Nevertheless, the studio planned for the airport to have “museums, galleries, and exhibitions serve as compelling destinations, captivating tourists and visitors to Neom alike.” The studio added that the main aspect of this endeavor lies in creating multiple cities, noting that each would create its unique and diverse microclimates. “This innovative approach is integral to the project’s commitment to environmental and social sustainability.”
Lastly, Neom Airport City was envisioned to meet the region’s diverse needs, enabling seamless global connectivity with the best experience for travelers. “As an integral piece in the puzzle of Saudi Arabia’s megaproject, this airport is set to play a transformative role in the emergence of this new city,” Kalbod Design Studio concluded.
Saudi Arabia’s tourism push
In January 2016, Mohammad bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, launched the ‘Saudi Vision 2030’ program to transform the country’s economy away from fossil fuel-based revenues. The Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, is at the heart of the transformation.
The PIF has already launched Riyadh Air, led by ex-Etihad Airways chief executive officer (CEO) Tony Douglas. The airline is set to begin flights in 2025, with the carrier already ordering 39 Boeing 787-9 aircraft (with 33 additional options). The fund is also responsible for the launch of another airline in the country, NEOM Airlines, which would be based in the metro region. According to Klaus Goersch, its former CEO, the airline was scheduled to launch flights at the end of 2024. However, Goersch’s LinkedIn profile showed that the executive has already left NEOM Airlines, with the former British Airways executive joining Air India as its executive vice president (EVP) and chief operating officer (COO) in October 2023.