According to the latest disclosures on the project by the kingdom's de facto ruler, a futuristic Saudi megacity will feature two skyscrapers spanning a swath of desert and mountain terrain.
The Red Sea megacity NEOM, the centerpiece of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's strategy to diversify the oil-dependent economy of the Gulf state, is composed of parallel constructions of skyscrapers covered in mirrors that span 170 kilometers. These structures are collectively referred to as The Line.
Since it was first shown in 2017, NEOM has drawn criticism for its extravagant proposals, including flying taxis and robot maids, even as economists and architects have questioned its viability.
Prince Mohammed presented an even more grandiose vision Monday (July 25) night, outlining a car-free utopia that would become the world's most livable metropolis "by far."
Analysts pointed out that NEOM's ideas have evolved over time, raising questions about whether The Line will ever materialize. However, analysts highlighted that NEOM's ideas have evolved over time, which has increased skepticism about whether The Line will ever materialize.
It is now a tool for tackling what Prince Mohammed refers to as "liveability and environmental crises" and rethinking urban life on a 34 sq km territory.
"The concept has morphed so much from its early conception that it's sometimes hard to determine its direction: scaling down, scaling up, or making an aggressive turn sideways," said Robert Mogielnicki of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.
Prince Mohammed predicted that NEOM's population will reach 1.2 million by 2030 before increasing to 9 million by 2045, contrary to earlier predictions from officials that it would surpass one million.
The staggering amount is a component of the anticipated national population increase that Prince Mohammed predicted would be required to transform Saudi Arabia from the largest exporter of crude into an economic powerhouse.
Up from approximately 34 million people now, the target population for the monarchy in 2030 is 50 million, with half Saudis and half foreigners. According to him, the goal is 100 million people by 2040.
"That's the main purpose of building NEOM, to raise the capacity of Saudi Arabia, get more citizens and more people in Saudi Arabia. And since we are doing it from nothing, why should we copy normal cities?"
The site will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy and feature "a year-round temperate micro-climate with natural ventilation", a promotional clip unveiled last Monday.