Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman announces a zero-carbon city called "The Line" to be built at NEOM in northwestern Saudi Arabia, January 10, 2021. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS/Files
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman first unveiled plans for "The Line" in January 2021, the first major construction project for the $500 billon NEOM business zone aimed at diversifying the economy of the world's top oil exporter.
The city, 200 metres wide and running on "100% renewable energy," will also include a high-speed rail with an end-to-end transit of 20 minutes. It will eventually accommodate 9 million residents, state news agency SPA cited him as saying.
"The city's vertically layered communities will challenge the traditional flat, horizontal cities," the prince said. "The designs of The Line embody how urban communities will be in the future in an environment free from roads, cars and emissions."
General view of NEOM in northwestern Saudi Arabia, January 11, 2021. Picture taken January 11, 2021. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/Files
The prince had said last year that the project's infrastructure would cost $100 billion to $200 billion. SPA did not provide any updated figures.
The kingdom's sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund, is the cornerstone investor in NEOM, a 26,500-square-km (10,230-square-mile) high-tech development on the Red Sea with several zones, including an industrial and logistics areas, planned for completion in 2025.