Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday that it will start developing the first area of NEOM, the Kingdom's multi-billion dollar mega-city.

The founding board, chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, approved the concept of the masterplan for NEOM Bay which will be the first urban area to be developed in the city.

Construction work is expected to start in the first quarter of 2019 and will be completed in 2020, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

“The year 2019 will be a milestone in NEOM's journey. We are now preparing for the development of NEOM Bay area, which will provide a new concept of urban living that will enable it to become a platform for attracting the world's top minds for creating advanced economic sectors,” CEO of NEOM, Nadhmi Al-Nasr, said.

NEOM Bay will have white beaches with a "temperate climate" and designed to be eco-friendly and generate energy from renewable sources. Water desalination will be made without the disposal of harmful materials or residues to the marine environment.

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