Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman has announced his plans for a zero-carbon city called “The Line“. It will be built as a previously announced project NEOM. Let’s see how this vision will materialize in real life.
Crux of the Matter
What Are The Plans?
Construction of the 170 km long “The Line” city, which shall be part of a mega-project named “Neom”, will start this year, announced the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
Usage of Public Investment Fund
As per the Prince, the backbone of investment in “The Line” will come from the $500 billion support to NEOM by the Saudi government, Public Investment Fund, and local plus global investors, over a 10 year period.
What Is The Line?
As per various news sources, it is a walkable “belt of hyper-connected future communities, without cars and roads and built around nature.”
- 380,000 jobs will be created and 1 million residents will inhabit the place by 2030.
- The estimated to cost of the infrastructure $100-$200 billion.
- The city would be built around “ultra-high-speed transit.”
- It would have one of the “world’s largest airports.”
What About NEOM?
Neom is part of the Prince’s plan to diversify the economy of the world’s largest crude exporter hub i.e Saudi Arabia and make a place for new smart technologies, businesses and tourism.
Where Would NEOM Be Located?
It would be a 26,500 km², a cross-border city in the Tabuk Province of northwestern Saudi Arabia, near the Red Sea, and Strait of Tiran and the borders of Egypt, Israel and Jordan.
Controversy Around These Plans
The NEOM project has been facing opposition from residents, who will be forced to relocate during the construction period. Analysts are questioning whether an investment is needed in a place of already well-established business hubs like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Qatar.
What Does The Prince Say?
Thinking about life after oil for his kingdom, the Prince said, “Why do we accept sacrificing nature for development?” citing the rising sea levels and carbon emissions, globally.
- NEOM means “New Future“. The first three letters of NEOM (“NEO”) come from the Latin word for “New”; the final letter (“M”) is an abbreviation of the Arabic word “Mostaqbal” which means “Future”.
- Lusail, the city set to host the FIFA World Cup final in 2022, doesn’t exist yet. It is planned to have marinas, residential areas, island resorts, commercial districts, luxury shopping and leisure facilities, and a golf course community, man-made islands, and several entertainment districts. Construction is still ongoing.
- The House of Saud is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia. It is composed of the descendants of Muhammad bin Saud, founder of the Emirate of Diriyah, known as the First Saudi state, and his brothers, though the ruling faction of the family is primarily led by the descendants of Ibn Saud, the modern founder of Saudi Arabia.