Saudi Arabia to scale down 170km Neom linear city to a dot

Saudi Arabia's $500bn historic Neom 'The Line' project faces major downsizing

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Saudi Arabia’s Neom linear city to be scaled down to 2.4km. — X/@NEOM
Saudi Arabia’s Neom linear city to be scaled down to 2.4km. — X/@NEOM

Saudi Arabia's ambitious $500 billion Neom linear city project "The Line", which was originally planned to be stretched for 170 kilometres, is set to be scaled down by 98.6%, according to The Cradle.

Bloomberg reported that instead of the original plan to cover an area of 170 kilometres and accomodate 1.5 million people, the project will now only span 2.4 kilometres with a population of only 30,000 residents,

The Line was part of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's (MBS) 2030 vision to tackle the challenges of urban living and promote alternative ways of life.

However, reports suggest that he has now decided to downsize the mega-project due to financial constraints.

"The pullback on The Line comes as the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund has yet to approve Neom's budget for 2024," Bloomberg wrote, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

"It shows that the financial realities of the trillions of dollars of investment are starting to cause concern at the highest levels of the Saudi government as it tries to fulfil its ambitious Vision 2030 programme, the overarching initiative tasked with diversifying the kingdom’s economy."

The project has also been met with human rights concerns, as the construction would require the Howeitat tribe to be expelled from their lands in the Tabuk region.