Inside Saudi Arabia’s Oxagon: the biggest floating city in the world
Oxagon targets to house around 90,000 residents by 2030, with the first one expected as early as next year.
Somewhere along the Red Sea, close to the Suez Canal, Saudi Arabia is building a floating city it touts to radicalise the global manufacturing industry – the Oxagon.
Shaped exactly how it’s named, the new city is part of the Kingdom’s Neom megaproject, and is focused in creating a new logistics centre that will redefine “world’s approach to industrial development in the future,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman said at the time of the launch.
It was first announced in November last year, with full completion slated at 2030. Some of its key features – advanced logistics solutions facilities – are expected to take shape by 2025.
Factories, a lot of them
Although there will be residential communities, the floating city will mainly have factories, manufacturing facilities, and other logistics-related sites.
Its location, which is close to the Suez Canal where around 13 percent of global trade passes through, is believed to be an advantage for the industrial sector.
“Oxagon will be one of the world’s most technologically advanced logistics hubs with state-of-the-art integrated port and airport connectivity,” a statement in November read.
The city claims to build the world’s first fully integrated port and supply chain ecosystem – all planned around the Kingdom’s net zero goals.
It will focus on seven sectors – sustainable energy; autonomous mobility; water innovation; sustainable food production; health and well-being; technology and digital manufacturing; and modern methods of construction.
Oxagon already has some confirmed tenants that demonstrate these statements – including the hydrogen project between Air Products, ACWA Power, and Neom. Gulf Modular International will also set up shop in the city, as well as Hyzon Motors and Desert Technologies.
Communities ‘integrated with nature’
As for the residential areas, Oxagon is set to build communities “integrated with nature.” They will either be walkable or people can commute via hydrogen-powered modes of transportation.
“Oxagon complements the same philosophy and principles of THE LINE and will offer exceptional livability in harmony with nature,” it said in a statement.
Most communities will be waterfront, owing to its location, and they will be “cooled and controlled using the ocean’s natural moderating effects,” Oxagon’s chief executive officer Vishal Wanchoo told Arabian Business in November last year.
The city will be resilient to sea level rise, he added, and will provide “unprecedented living qualities and immersive recreational opportunities.”
Research and innovation have been key elements in Saudi Arabia’s ambitious megaprojects. The Oxagon, for instance, will have an innovation campus set to “rival established global centres.”
“Oxagon will innovate to create a truly circular economy with a collaborative environment built around research and innovation,” it said.
Source: Arabian Business