February 8, 2018 / 7:26 AM / 6 months ago

Saudi awards contracts to build palaces in huge new business zone

RIYADH, Feb 8 (Reuters) - The Saudi Arabian government has begun to award contracts for the development of a huge business zone in the northwest of the country, asking local construction companies to build five palaces there, sources close to the matter told Reuters.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced plans for the 26,500 square km (10,230 square mile) zone, known as NEOM, at an international investment conference in Riyadh last October. Officials said public and private investment in the area was eventually expected to total $500 billion. (Reporting by Marwa Rashad; Additional reporting by Stephen Kalin; Editing by Andrew Torchia and Matthew Mpoke Bigg)

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