Saudi crown prince launches zero-carbon city in Neom business zone

Published January 11, 2021
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman announces a zero-carbon city called "The Line" to be built at Neom in northwestern Saudi Arabia on Jan 10. — Reuters
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman announces a zero-carbon city called "The Line" to be built at Neom in northwestern Saudi Arabia on Jan 10. — Reuters

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince unveiled plans on Sunday to build a zero-carbon city at Neom, the first major construction project for the $500 billion flagship business zone aimed at diversifying the economy of the world’s largest oil exporter.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a rare televised appearance, said the city, known as “The Line”, would extend over 170 kilometres and be able to house a million residents in “carbon-positive urban developments powered by 100 per cent clean energy”.

“Why should we sacrifice nature for the sake of development?” Prince Mohammed said. “We need to transform the concept of a conventional city into that of a futuristic one.”

The prince later told reporters in the northwestern city of Al Ula that the project was the conclusion of three years of preparation, adding that its infrastructure would cost around $100b to $200b.

“The backbone of investment in ‘The Line’ will come from the $500b support to Neom by the Saudi government, PIF and local and global investors over 10 years,” he added.

The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is the cornerstone investor in Neom, a 26,500-square-km high-tech development on the Red Sea with several zones, including industrial and logistics areas, planned for completion in 2025.

There have been few announcements regarding Neom since it was announced by de facto ruler Prince Mohammed to much fanfare in 2017 as a pillar of his Vision 2030 plan to rid Saudi Arabia of its reliance on crude oil revenues.

A Saudi statement said construction would start in the first quarter of 2021 and that the city was expected to contribute $48b to the kingdom’s gross domestic product and create 380,000 jobs.

Opinion

Farewell Roosevelt Hotel
21 Jan 2021

Farewell Roosevelt Hotel

It is worth noting that massive plans have been upended and assets are now on the verge of being seized.
A horned dilemma
21 Jan 2021

A horned dilemma

Trump would rather ‘reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n’.
Violence & Afghan peace talks
Updated 20 Jan 2021

Violence & Afghan peace talks

Many of those killed in recent weeks have actively been campaigning against rampant violence and rising human rights violations

Editorial

Updated 21 Jan 2021

Agosta kickbacks trial

A POLITICALLY significant trial opened in Paris yesterday. Former French prime minister Edouard Balladur is in the...
Updated 21 Jan 2021

Indian media scandal

Common sense, factual reporting and ethics are all chucked out the window in the maddening race for ratings, influence and power.
21 Jan 2021

Rising food prices

FOOD inflation continues to challenge the resolve of the government to control the prices of essential kitchen items...
Updated 20 Jan 2021

Broadsheet judgement

There are plenty of skeletons in the Broadsheet cupboard and they must be brought out into the open.
20 Jan 2021

Unequal justice

IT seems no one wants to testify against former SSP Malir, Rao Anwar. At least five prosecution witnesses, all ...
20 Jan 2021

Schools reopening

THE disruptive impact of Covid-19 on education will be felt for years to come. For countries like Pakistan, where...