“The Line” is projected to become a global hub for generating clean energy, NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr confirmed at a time the zero-carbon city project is headed towards inking local and international contracts.
Setting a model for extraordinary living, The Line will paint a revolutionary picture for what future communities would look like and how they would come to live in harmony with nature, Nasr noted, adding that the pedestrian city will offer an attractive environment for innovators, entrepreneurs and investors.
Saudi Arabia has recently unveiled plans for The Line, a 170 kilometer belt of communities connected without the need for cars or roads.
The city will be completely free of cars and streets, with residents given access to nature and all of their daily needs within a walking distance of five minutes.
Furthermore, the team behind the project says that the linear development of hyper-connected AI-enabled communities will be powered by 100% clean energy.
An official statement said construction would start in Q1 2021 on the project, which is expected to contribute $48 billion to the Kingdom's GDP and provide 380,000 job opportunities by 2030.
Nasr, in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, predicted that The Line will rank as a promising investment destination and push several industries such as technology, transport, energy, water and food to the forefront of global change.
“NEOM is a project launched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2017. It is considered one of the mega projects that aim to diversify the Saudi economy and achieve the goals set by Kingdom Vision 2030,” he said, adding that The Line is one of the fruits of labors spent by NEOM.
“NEOM comes at a time when the world needs new thinking and integrated solutions for a range of challenges,” noted Nasr.
“With continued development, NEOM will include communities, ports, industrial zones, research centers, sports and entertainment facilities, and tourist destinations, which are totally operated by renewable energy and the latest cognitive technologies and artificial intelligence,” he explained.
NEOM will be home to over a million people from around the world and a touristic hotspot visited by millions of others, the chief executive asserted, adding that The Line will bring about a revolution in urban living and provide a blueprint for how people can co-exist in harmony with the planet.
When asked about how long it will take before The Line becomes habitable, Nasr said: “We are building strong local and global partnerships that will contribute to our efforts in realizing this project.”
“The Line will be an attractive environment for innovators, entrepreneurs and investors, and the city’s development will start during the first quarter of 2021.”
This linear development of smart cities will not only contribute to Saudi Arabia’s GDP growth and create thousands of jobs, but it will also grow the Kingdom’s non-oil revenues over the coming century.
“The Line will enhance the diversification of the Saudi economy by adding 180 billion riyals ($48 billion) to domestic GDP by 2030, and it will create an estimated 380,000 jobs by 2030,” Nasr told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“The Line will also boost Saudi non-oil revenues over the next 100 years, contributing to achieving the ambitions of the Public Investment Fund (PIF) for diversifying the Kingdom’s economy,” he added.
The backbone of investment in ‘The Line’ will come from the $500 billion support to NEOM by the Saudi government, PIF and local and global investors over 10 years,” he added.
The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, PIF, is the cornerstone investor in NEOM, a 26,500-square-km high-tech development on the Red Sea with several zones, including an industrial and logistics areas, planned for completion in 2025.