Saudi Arabia Begins Work On “The Line” – A Futuristic 105-Mile-Long Perfectly Linear City

Saudi Arabia has taken on a new futuristic project that it hopes will host its first residents in 2024, officials say. 

Regional master plans are currently being developed for a mega-project called Neom, chief executive Nadhmi Al-Nasr said in a recent interview.

However, work has already started on its main feature – a 170-kilometer (105-mile) long carless city named “The Line” that could be housing its first tourists and residents as early as the start of 2024, he said.

“It’s a huge undertaking,” Al-Nasr told Bloomberg TV, adding that “not even 1 percent” of the work has been finished.

“Today if you go to Neom you will see construction all over, you will see earthworks going on all over, you will see regions that are being developed,” he said.

Neom CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr

The project was announced in 2017 and it is the pride of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who hopes to give a significant boost to the country’s economy through it. 

His mission to transform the remote region on Saudia Arabia’s northwest Red Sea coast into a revolutionary tech spot entails the main elements of the “Vision 2030” project, to move away from crude, loosen social restrictions and bring in new investment.

Image courtesy of Neom

Neom faced big challenges at first, as workers were designing a city based on yet non-existent technologies.

Recently, officials revealed that they were spinning off a number of subsidiaries of Neom: a company dedicated to its technology branch to be led by American chief executive Joseph Bradley, who is known for his work at Uptake and Cisco Corp.

Image courtesy of Neom

According to Bradley, Neom finds itself at the forefront of artificial intelligence and “cognitive solutions”, and is seeking fresh ways to handle the “data privacy paradox” as the project handles a big chunk of data on residents and visitors.

“Neom is in Saudi, but make no mistake, it’s for the world,” Bradley told the press. “Our goal is to export technology out.”

Image courtesy of Neom

Bradley’s Neom Tech and Digital Holding Co. revealed that Oracle Corp. will be the first occupant of a new hyperscale data center in the area.

Neom also is set to spin-off “hundreds of subsidiaries,” according to Al-Nasr.

Image courtesy of Neom

Over 1500 Neom staff are currently working and living on-site, he went on to say.

The work that has been done so far consists mainly of “moving sand” and “moving mountains”, as they make preparations for the infrastructure that will run underneath “The Line”, getting people and materials from one spot to another underground, Al-Nasr said, adding that instead of building the city in one direction they’re going to start “from two points”, and building out from each.

Image courtesy of Neom

Next in line is the approval of the special regulations that will operate Neom as a “free zone”, a separate set of laws than the rest of the country, Al-Nasr said. This part, he noted, could see its completion around the first quarter of 2022.

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