Connect with us

Saudi Arabia’s Plan to Spend Over $500B on a Futuristic Megacity in the Desert Isn’t Going as Planned

An artist's depiction of how Saudi Arabia’s The Line may look when complete/Saudi Prince Mohammad pictured during an event

Prince Mohammad, son of Saudi Arabia’s King, Salman, has been at the forefront of an extensive project known as NEOM, an urban development aimed at revolutionizing the nation of Saudi Arabia and removing its dependency on oil. At the center of this project is The Line, defined by the NEOM website as “A cognitive city stretching across 170 kilometers, from the epic mountains of NEOM across inspirational desert valleys to the beautiful Red Sea.”

The eco-friendly futuristic city was initially given a budget of over $500 billion and was set to be completed by 2030. However, the reality of such an extensive financial project has begun to cause concern among investors as work slows down, and the Saudi Government has yet to announce NEOM’s 2024 budget. Now, the plans for the city have been severely shrunk, with rumors suggesting The Line will only stretch for around a mile and a half by the initial finish date. By 2030, those involved in the project had hoped that around 1.5 million people would already be living in the city. However, due to recent financial problems, officials have projected that the city could house as few as 300,00 people.

Work on the futuristic city began over seven years ago. However, progress has been much slower than initially projected, and now reports suggest that excessive spending of the nation’s money on The Line has been deemed controversial by high-ranking members of the Saudi government, per Bloomberg. This may be one reason why the Saudi Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund has yet to approve NEOM’s budget for 2024. According to Bloomberg, things are worse than originally thought, and at least one company has pulled their workers from the site after officials revealed that many of NEOM’s other projects, including several large ports and an industrial city, may be pushed back well beyond 2030. In December, Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan said more time is needed to “build factories, build even sufficient human resources.” He continued, “The delay or rather the extension of some projects will serve the economy.”

While Prince Mohammad’s vision of a futuristic city has experienced several problems, including a lack of confidence from the Saudi Kingdom and pushbacks in construction, several ethical issues have also dampened the idea of the megacity. From Prince Mohammed’s alleged involvement in the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi to rumors that Saudi officials killed several members of an indigenous tribe who were being forced to leave their ancestral lands, the Megacity has certainly brought forth several controversial ethical issues. In 2021, US journalist Robert Worth shared his thoughts on a video released by Neom, which described the future of the area and the project. “To watch the crown prince’s promotional video is to be immersed in a distinctively Saudi form of arrogance, blending religious triumphalism and royal grandiosity.”


You May Also Like

Critics of a New Scottish Law Claim the Nation Will No Longer Be a Free Country

Baby Boomers Don’t Care About Woke Politics Like Millennials and Gen Zers

New Survey Finds Disturbing Trend Among US Residents Without College Degrees

California’s Long-Term Commitment to a High-Speed Train Route Continues to Cause Doubts

Will Electric Semi-Trucks Become the Future of the Transportation Industry?

Supreme Court Set to Side With Biden on Free Speech Censorship Case

In-N-Out’s Billionaire Owner Takes a Stance Against Rising Food Prices in California

Californian Schools Are Facing a Crisis After Gavin Newsom’s New 20$ Minimum Wage Law Went Into Effect