Neom: a planned smart city in northwestern Saudi Arabia
It appears that Dubai has no plans to make its property registry public. Some say officials have no need to improve control or openness because doing so would reduce corporate interest at a time when Saudi Arabia is actively trying to displace the Emirate.
When it comes to real estate, it appears that Dubai is ignoring Saudi Arabia's attempts to unseat it as the region's economic and expat center.
Even though Saudi Arabia has mandated that companies with government contracts in the nation (many of which have regional headquarters in Dubai) relocate to the kingdom by 2024, demand for real estate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) remains high.
Companies that are the sole bidder on a government contract and businesses with annual foreign operations of less than one million Saudi riyals ($266,000) were exempted from the limits last week after the country loosened them.
Having a clearer grasp of the situation
The real estate market in Dubai has shown no signs of being affected by the large-scale Saudi projects that have been announced.
The 25,000-square-kilometer desert metropolis Neom by the Red Sea is one of the most ambitious of these schemes, costing an estimated US$500 billion.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hopes that nine million people would eventually call Neom, which sounds more like a scene from a science fiction novel than a real-life endeavor, home.
In 2029, the brand-new city will play host to the first-ever international winter sports competition in the Middle East.
The planned city, envisioned as a linear metropolis, plans to create 15 islands in the first phase, in addition to a "full mobility system," the "biggest marina on Earth," a dedication to renewable energy, and the transformation of 95% of the city into a nature reserve.
If the ambitious plan for the city comes to fruition, Neom, a metropolis centered on The Line, a 34 square kilometer linear smart city, will use only renewable energy, produce zero carbon emissions, have no roads or automobiles, and keep most of its area for wildlife due to its smaller infrastructural footprint.