Saudi Arabia's $1 trillion plan for The Line has been drastically cut

Saudi Arabia's $1 trillion plan for The Line has been drastically cut

Saudi Arabia's $1 trillion plan for The Line has been drastically cut

NEOM / YouTube

Saudi Arabia's ambitious desert city project known as 'The Line' is drastically scaling back its original plans.

The Line was advertised as part of the new $1.5 trillion urban desert city Neom, which is situated in Tabuk. It was supposed to be a "mirrored architectural masterpiece", stretching across 170 kilometres (105 miles). And by 2030, the government hoped to have 1.5 million residents living in The Line.

But now, developers are backtracking on their previous plans.

According to Bloomberg, those involved in the project expect to have just 2.4 kilometres (1.5 miles) of the project completed by 2030, rather than the ambitious 170km. On top of this, they also expect less than 300,000 residents in The Line by 2030.

"THE LINE will eventually accommodate 9 million people and will be built on a footprint of just 34 square kilometers," the Neom website claims. It also states that the city would offer "never-before-seen efficiencies" with the "ideal climate all-year-round", and access to all daily essentials within a five-minute walk.

As a result of the back-peddling, at least one contractor has started to dismiss a portion of workers on site.

Neom is intended to transform Saudi Arabia's economy. Aside from The Line, it's also set to include an industrial city, ports, and tourism developments. In 2029, Neom will host the Asian Winter Games at a moutain resort called Trojena.

People familiar with the project said the rollback of development comes as the kingdom's sovereign wealth fun has yet to approve Neom's budget for 2024. The trillions of dollars of investment are starting to cause concern at the highest levels of the Saudi government.

Some delays past the 2030 goal have already been admitted, with Finance Minister Mohammed Al Japan saying in December that a long period is needed to "build even sufficient human resources."

Tthe CEO of Neom, Nadhmi Al-Nasr, has previously stated that the developers are up for the challenge of completing the project.

"If we are to solve the challenges of tomorrow, we must face up to them today, no matter how difficult they may seem," he said.

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