NEOM Greens in the Saudi Arabian Desert. The Edible Kind, Julia.

saudi arabian desert, saudi arabia, desert,

Saudi Crown Prince MBS’s new venture in the Saudi Arabian desert is a series of greenhouses the size of New York’s Central Park.

  • He MBS has joined forces with Dutch greenhouse company Van der Hoeven Horticultural Projects to establish massive greenhouses within NEOM.
  • The project’s two pilot facilities will cover 110,000 m2 in different climate zones.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) has made plans to construct greenhouses three times larger than New York’s Central Park, set to revolutionize agriculture in the arid Saudi Arabian desert region of NEOM.

Spread across 26,500 km2 on the Red Sea coast, NEOM is expected to house 450,000 people by 2026, growing to a staggering 2 million by 2030. The project is responsible for Saudi Arabia’s most ambitious project yet, The Line. Stretching over 170 km, it’s a linear smart city under construction in Tabuk province, designed to have no cars, streets, or carbon emissions. As part of Saudi Vision 2030, the city is set to house around 9 million people. You definitely need greenhouses the size of New York’s Central Park to feed THAT many people.

Partnering with Dutch greenhouse company Van der Hoeven Horticultural Projects, MBS seeks to create an artificial climate within these immense greenhouses. Theoretically, it would allow the cultivation of crops year-round, despite the challenging Saudi Arabian desert conditions and extreme temperatures.

The contracted company will first establish two pilot facilities covering an impressive 110,000 m2 in distinct climate zones. Their strategic placement would optimize horticultural techniques for different conditions. One of the project’s biggest features is a solar and seawater-driven cooling system designed to maintain a suitable climate even during the scorching summer months, all without relying on fossil fuels.

Michiel Schoenmaeckers, recently appointed CEO of Van der Hoeven, expressed their enthusiasm for this extraordinary undertaking. He noted that the scale of the project is unparalleled in the industry and showcases their commitment to cutting-edge sustainable solutions. “The scope of this contract allows us to realize and demonstrate the latest technologies, with the aim of bringing the horticultural industry forward on a global scale in terms of carbon-neutral climate control, efficient water management, and A.I.-driven crop growing and harvesting.”

With Saudi Arabia‘s unfavorable climate for conventional agriculture, they had to get creative. The nation currently imports around 80% of its food. NEOM’s grand vision addresses this challenge by creating a self-reliant oasis in the Saudi Arabian desert, producing diverse and healthy food while preserving natural resources.

The collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Van der Hoeven Horticultural Projects signifies a monumental step toward a more sustainable future. By transforming the Saudi Arabian desert into a thriving hub of agricultural innovation, MBS and his team are once again demonstrating their determination to turn audacious visions into concrete reality.

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