Saudi Vision 2030

Saudi Arabia will prove doubters wrong about NEOM’s ‘THE LINE’: Crown Prince

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Saudi Arabia will continue to prove wrong doubters who do not think the Kingdom’s megaprojects, including THE LINE in NEOM, can be built, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a Discovery Channel interview aired on Monday.

“They say about a lot of projects happening in Saudi Arabia ‘It can’t be done [and] this is very ambitious.’ They can keep saying that and we can keep proving them wrong,” the Crown Prince said.

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The revolutionary THE LINE project is a 170-kilometer-long city that is expected to house as many as 10 million people and will be the beating heart of the Kingdom’s NEOM’s $500 billion megaproject.

The project is a vertical interconnected city, which will be free of cars, have zero carbon emissions, be powered entirely on clean energy, and be run by artificial intelligence.

Bringing ambitious goals to life

In the documentary, the Crown Prince revealed how the design of THE LINE came to be, the ideas behind the project, and what the futuristic city will mean for Saudi Arabia and the world.

According to the leader, the Kingdom’s population in 2030 is expected to be between 50 to 55 million – a big jump from the current 33 million.

A depiction of the Mirror Line in NEOM, Saudi Arabia. (Twitter)
A depiction of the Mirror Line in NEOM, Saudi Arabia. (Twitter)

“In 2030, we are going to reach the full capacity of the existing infrastructure of Saudi Arabia. That raised a very important question that we need to create a new city,” the Crown Prince said.

“Since we have an empty place, and we want to have a place for 10 million people, then let’s think from scratch,” he added.

Saudi Arabia began brainstorming ideas and launched a competition with some of the world’s best designers to help bring its ambitious goal to life.

“We talked about a lot of ideas, ‘why can’t we build a circle?’, and we can connect it with mobility… and build it slowly until it was completed for 10 million people,” the Crown Prince recalls in the documentary.

A rendering of NEOM's THE LINE (supplied)
A rendering of NEOM's THE LINE (supplied)

“They provided us with cities based on the existing methods but with better solutions,” he said.

One designer then adopted that idea but said: “Let’s turn it from a circle to a line.”

While the Crown Prince loved the idea, he suggested a small change that would transform THE LINE’s design into what we know it to be today.

“I told the team, how about if we take those 2 kilometers and flip it [so that it is] two towers [across] the whole line, is that going to work, or will it be too massive?”

A new civilization for a better tomorrow

Construction on the vast site began in April 2022, and the first city district, the Hidden Marina, is set to welcome residents and visitors by or before 2030.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman presented on July 25, 2022, the designs of THE LINE, a city located in NEOM. (Supplied)
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman presented on July 25, 2022, the designs of THE LINE, a city located in NEOM. (Supplied)

But THE LINE will not only be technically possible, it will also be beautiful too, the Crown Prince said.

“Engineering and design is not enough without art. We don’t want to create a city without having the whole city as a piece of art.”

Every city in the world is structured on a constant problem-solution model, but a top-down solution allows for the building of something as expansive as THE LINE, according to the Crown Prince.

“Any new city is going to have to be top-down,” he said.

THE LINE will be the centerpiece of NEOM, one of the world’s most ambitious sustainable urban developments. When completed, NEOM will be home to smart towns, ports, research hubs, sports and entertainment venues, and tourism centers.

“We have the cash. We have the land. We have the stability. We have a good infrastructure. We are a G20 country. We want to create new civilization for tomorrow and we need to encourage other nations to keep doing the same things for a better planet.”

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