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Saudi Crown Prince announces new 'non-profit city'

Saudi Arabia announces plans for 'Prince Mohammed bin Salman Non Profit City'
2 min read
15 November, 2021
The new 'non-profit city' will be a hub for innovation and the arts designed in a sustainable way, according to the Saudi government.
The city will be 'the first non-profit city of its kind,' said Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [source: Getty]

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) announced Sunday that the world's first "non-profit city" will be established in the Gulf kingdom.

The new city, named after the prince, is intended as a hub for innovation, research, education and the arts, according to a statement from MISK, the crown prince's non-profit foundation. 

The Saudi prince says it will be a sustainable, green metropolis covering an area of 3.4 square kilometres located in the Irqah neighbourhood. 

"This will be the first non-profit city of its kind," said the crown prince. 

The city will support "innovation, entrepreneurship and... non-profit work" as well as providing "opportunities and youth training programmes", Mohammed bin Salman said. 

There are plans to have academies, colleges, museums, theatres, and galleries at the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Non-Profit City. 

There will also be "a creative centre" dedicated to scientific and technological development, such as AI and robotics, according to MbS's foundation. 

The goal is to provide "an attractive environment for all beneficiaries of the city’s offerings", Prince Mohammed said. 

The design of the city will be "human-centered...sustainable [and] pedestrian-friendly". 

More than 44 percent of the total area is slated for green spaces. 

This follows an announcement in October by the crown prince to cut carbon emissions in Saudi Arabia to net-zero by 2060. 

However, despite these emission reduction targets, the kingdom has faced criticism for alleging attempting to block negotiations at the COP26 Glasgow climate conference.

On top of this, the oil-rich nation remains adamant that it will pump and sell oil for as long as there is demand, rather than weaning off non-renewable fuel sources. 

The new "non-profit city" is one of many projects the de-facto Saudi ruler has announced in recent years, in a bid to wean the kingdom off its reliance on oil and gas.

Other large-scale projects include Qiddiya - the "capital of entertainment" - and NEOM a high-tech city dedicated to future technologies.