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'Dystopian Nightmare': Planners Give Update at WEF on Construction of Megacity

neom/twitter

This week, during the World Economic Forum's meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the world got to hear updates from a megacity already in the works in Saudi Arabia. While the global elite—fans of a world where people eat bugs instead of meat and own nothing and are happy about it—are thrilled about the futuristic city, critics think it's more like a "dystopian nightmare." 

The project, NEOM, which means New Future, was announced in 2017 by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of his plan to revolutionize the country and diversify its economy away from oil. The country's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, called it a "transformational project... the world has not seen." 

He added, "It will radicalize and revolutionize the way people look at cities and urban planning." 

The NEOM development will include TREOJENA skiing destination, luxury island Sindalah, thousands of hectares for agricultural land, and linear city the LINE within the area. OXAGON, a futuristic industrial city will also be part of the plans and could be the largest floating industrial complex in the world.

Sindalah is set to rival top global tourist destinations such as the likes of Monaco and Athens with its year-long luxury offerings. A main gateway to the Red Sea, Sindalah Island is home to approximately 2,000 different marine species, many of which are exclusive to the Red Sea and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

TROJENA which will be the first major outdoor skiing destination in the GCC and will host the 2029 Asian Winter Games, making it the first nation in western Asia to do so.

“It is a very ambitious project, and it is a project that is transformational, not only for Saudi Arabia, but I believe for urban living in general,” al-Jubeir said.

The minister said that the project, expected to be completed by 2025, is on schedule and will be completed on time.

“With all due respect to the naysayers, they can say anything they want to say. We are determined to proceed with it, and we are proceeding with it,” he added.

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday unveiled a video showing rapid progress being made on the futuristic $500 billion mega business and tourism project.

With NEOM having moved to the building phase of the project and the first destination – Sindalah – due to open its doors in 2024, the progress film shows real-world footage of the large-scale construction across NEOM regions including THE LINE, TROJENA, OXAGON and Sindalah Island. (Alarabiya News)

The megacity will be about the size of Massachusetts, according to the Wall Street Journal. Inside it is a sustainable living area called The Line, a row of smart cities that will span more than 105 miles. There will be no cars or roads, but high-speed rail (THE SPINE) will connect the enclaves, with no journey taking more than 20 minutes. It's also sold as being a "five-minute walk from all of your needs." It will boast 9 million people living on 34 square kilometers. The first module will be completed by 2027, but it's a generational project expected to continue through the 2040s. 

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