Saudi Arabia will now be witnessing a new city with no sign of cars, roads, or carbon emissions.
This becomes a part of the latest announcement made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday. In his television appearance, the Prince spoke about a new development called “The Line”, a 170-kilometer-long entity that poses as a portion of the $500 billion projects, Neom. The construction work is likely to begin in the first quarter of 2021.
‘The Line’ is defined as a walkable “belt of hyper-connected future communities, without cars and roads and built around nature,” according to the news report. It said that the city will allow the occupation of 1 million residents, also helping create 380,000 jobs till 2030. Around $100 to $200 billion will be used in the infrastructure, the crown prince said.
Prince Mohammed’s plan to diversify the economy of the Kingdom includes Neom as the prime project. First declared in 2017, the venture will be spread across 10,000 square miles in a secluded location in the world’s largest oil exporter’s northwest region. The Arabian website describes the project as “a bold and audacious dream,” which will become an attractive place for businesses.
However, the dream project of the Prince has seen its share of criticism and opposition since it was announced as residents say they were forced to shift from the area to allow the construction work of the new city.
As the region has already created good bonds with Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar in terms of transport and business, analysts and experts ponder as to whether the project is realistic enough and holds the potential to gain investors.
“The backbone of investment in The Line will come from the $500 billion support to Neom by the Saudi government, PIF, and local and global investors over 10 years,” the prince told the media in Al-Ula regarding Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Meanwhile, it is also being said that the project brings light on Prince Mohammed’s plans for the country after it runs out of oil that has managed to garner more than 50% of the government’s revenue from the crude department in 2020.
“Why do we accept sacrificing nature for development?” the prince said, referring to the rising sea levels and carbon emissions, which is a quite rare subject to be taken up by any Saudi leader.
Despite all this, journeys within The Line will not extend 20 mins, he added. The city will be constructed around “ultra-high-speed transit,” the Prince’s statement read.
Apart from these attractions, Neom will be the home to one of the largest airports over the globe, according to Neom chief executive Nadhmi Al-Nasr. Though he did not mention the completion date or the timeframe allotted for the construction work to be done within, he said that the airport will act s the final part of The Line.