Lately, when we’ve talked about Arab culture or the Arabic language, we’ve often talked a lot about the oldest this or the oldest that. However, with the recent news of the United Nations estimates that predict two-thirds of the population of the Middle East will live in cities by 2050, it’s time we switched directions and started talking about the youngest this or that. So, today, that means we’re going to talk about the youngest Middle East cities.
1) Rawabi / Palestine
Rawabi City is the first planned city in Palestine’s West Bank. It is located 25 kilometers south of Nablus, Palestine and 70 kilometers to the west of Amman, Jordan. Construction began in January 2010, and by May 2017, 3,000 Palestinians had taken up residence there in the city. The city remains under construction a decade later. The city’s master plan hopes for an eventual population of 40,000 people.
2) King Abdullah Economic City / Saudi Arabia
King Abdullah Economic City’s location lies on the coast of the Red Sea around 100 km north of Jeddah. With a total development area of 173 km², the total cost is expected to be around $55 billion USD. The city is part of Saudi’s ambitious “10×10″ program. The first stage was completed in 2010 with hopes of it being fully completion by 2020. Along with the goal of diversify the kingdom’s oil based economy by bring in both foreign and domestic investments, the city, said to be larger than Washington, D.C., also hopes to create up to one million jobs.
3) Neom City / Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt
Neom is an acronym meaning “new future”. The first three letters from the English prefix neo (“new”) and the “m” representing mostaqbal (the Arabic word for “future”). The project is a cross-border city in northwestern Saudi Arabia that extends along the Aqaba Gulf through Egypt and Jordan. It will spread for a total of 468 km of coastline along the Red Sea with beaches and coral reefs, as well as mountains up to 2,500 m high, with a total area of around 26,500 sq. km.
Part of the Saudi Vision 2030 plan, Neom will serve as a tourist destination. They are aiming to incorporate smart city technologies. These include using robots to perform functions such as security, logistics, home delivery, and care giving. Also, they want to power the city solely with wind and solar power. The first section of Neom, Saudi Arabia is expected to be completed by 2025. The estimated cost is 500 billion USD.
As you can see, there are lots of exciting things happening in the Middle East these days. If you would like to be a part of it, why not learn Arabic language skills starting today with the downloadable Arabic learning app from Kaleela? After all, studies have shown that Arabic learning apps are the best way to learn Arabic and Arabic dialects and the Kaleela Arabic learning app let’s you learn the Arabic language on your own, at your own pace, whenever and wherever you want. Visit our website and find out how you can download our Arabic learning app to your IOS or Android mobile device and start to learn to speak Arabic today.