The Line: the largest Saudi Arabian tech project scaled down

According Bloomberg, the project was scaled back due to funding restrictions from the PIF

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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The Line: the largest Saudi Arabian tech project scaled down
© NEOM

The Line is a linear smart city under construction in Saudi Arabia in Neom, Tabuk Province, designed to have no cars, roads or carbon emissions.
The city, initially planned to be 110 miles is part of the Saudi Vision 2030 project, which Saudi Arabia says will create around 460,000.

The Line is expected to be the first development of a $500 billion project in Neom. The city's plans call for a population of 9 million, or 25% of Saudi Arabia's current population of 35.5 million.

Excavation work had begun over the entire duration of the project by October 2022.

The plan calls for the city to be powered entirely by renewable energy and will be made up of three layers, one above ground for pedestrians, one underground for infrastructure and another underground for transport. The AI will monitor the city and use predictive and data models to find ways to improve the daily lives of its citizens.

The Line
The Line© NEOM
 

The Line scaled down

The estimated construction cost is 100-200 billion dollars.

On April 5, 2024, Bloomberg News reported that the project was scaled back due to funding restrictions from the PIF. Bloomberg cited Saudi officials as expecting completion by 2030 of a 1.5-mile section of the city that will house fewer than 300,000 residents.

On April 10, 2024, the Daily Telegraph reported that the project had been scaled back after foreign direct investment investors did not buy into the crown prince's vision, according to Torbjorn Soltvedt, principal analyst at risk consultancy Maplecroft. Fluctuating global oil prices contributed to the decision.

The total structure will consist of 135 modules, each 2,600 feet long and 1,600 feet tall.

The project calls for a marina twice the size of existing marinas, on the north side of the buildings, away from the sea. The plan involves building a tunnel and canal across the Line, large enough to allow the passage of large cruise ships. Construction began in April 2022, with the aim of opening to visitors and residents by 2030. As of February 2024, over 90 million cubic meters of material had been moved.