Biggest oil exporter Saudi Arabia launches car-free city

Biggest oil exporter Saudi Arabia launches car-free city

A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launching 'The Line', a green city that can accomodate about one million people, at NEOM, an area in the north-west of the kingdom currently under development.
A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launching 'The Line', a green city that can accomodate about one million people, at NEOM, an area in the north-west of the kingdom currently under development.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude exporter on Sunday announced the launch of an eco-city "with zero cars, zero streets and zero carbon emissions" at its futuristic NEOM mega development.

The US$500 billion NEOM project, set to be built from scratch along the kingdom's picturesque Red Sea coast, is billed as a development evocative of a sci-fi blockbuster.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled plans for a city, dubbed "THE LINE", in a presentation broadcast on state TV.

It consists of "a city of a million residents with a length of 170 kilometres  that preserves 95% of nature within NEOM, with zero cars, zero streets and zero carbon emissions," he said.

"We need to transform the concept of a conventional city into that of a futuristic one," added the de facto leader of the Arab world's leading economy, regularly ranked among the world's most polluting countries.

Prince Mohammed showed computer-generated images of "THE LINE" as well as landscapes of pristine deserts and blue seas.

The pedestrian city will have services such as schools, health centres and green spaces, as well as high-speed public transportation, with no journey expected to take more than 20 minutes, according to a NEOM statement.

Artificial Intelligence will play a key role in the city, the statement said, adding that "it will be powered by 100% clean energy, providing pollution-free, healthier and more sustainable environments for residents".

Construction of the city will begin in the first quarter of this year, with funding from the Public Investment Fund, the main vehicle through which the kingdom is diversifying its economy beyond oil.

The project is slated to create 380,000 jobs and contribute 180 billion riyals ($48 billion) to the kingdom's GDP by 2030, the NEOM statement said.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (6)

Ratchanok crashes out of badminton World Tour Finals

Ratchanok Intanon suffered a shock defeat at the hands of her Thai compatriot Pornpawee Chochuwong at the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2020 which started on Wednesday.

20:56

Jabs for 19m

PM Prayut says 19 million targeted in first phase of Covid-19 inoculations starting on Feb 14, amid criticism government has been slow in rolling out vaccines.

20:36

End of the role

Democrat MP Thepthai Senpong disqualified by Constitutional Court for poll fraud, clearing way for new election in Nakhon Si Thammarat.

19:39