Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a futuristic new city called ‘The Line’, within his hugely ambitious US$500 billion NEOM project, a proposed urban development in northwestern Saudi Arabia.
NEOM, which will extend 460 km along the coast of the Red Sea and be powered entirely by renewable energy, is planned to be home and workplace to more than one million residents from around the world and also function as a tourist destination. It will operate independently of the Saudi governmental framework, with its own tax and labour laws and an autonomous judicial system.
NEOM will include towns and cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centres and sports and entertainment venues. As a hub for innovation, entrepreneurs, business leaders and companies will come to research, incubate and commercialise new technologies and enterprises in ground-breaking ways.
‘The Line’ will be a 170km belt of hyper-connected future communities that will be built around nature, without cars and roads. Ultra-high-speed transit and autonomous mobility solutions will ensure that no journey exceeds 20 minutes within the city. It is to serve as a model for what urban communities will look like in the future and ensure a sustainable balance to live with nature.
One of the most complex and challenging infrastructure projects in the world, it will form part of extensive development work already underway at NEOM. Construction of ‘The Line’ is scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2021.
A cornerstone of Saudi Vision 2030 and an economic engine for the Kingdom, it will drive diversification and aims to contribute 380,000 jobs of the future and SAR180 billion (USD48 billion) to domestic GDP by 2030.