Middle East

Saudi Arabia to build world’s tallest buildings in the megacity NEOM

Saudi Arabia is aiming to build the world’s tallest buildings in its futuristic megacity NEOM, overshadowing others in the kingdom and in neighbouring Dubai.

According to Bloomberg, sources currently and formerly employed by the NEOM project informed it that skyscrapers would stretch from the Red Sea coast far into the desert, containing a variety of residential, office and retail space.

The buildings will reportedly extend horizontally along the ground for tens of miles and be part of ‘the Line’ – a 170 kilometre-long (100 mile) city designed in a perfectly straight line primarily suited for pedestrians – which is part of the larger megacity of NEOM in Saudi Arabia’s north-western Tabuk region.

The NEOM project – funded primarily through $500 billion allocated by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – is set to be a technologically-advanced and eco-friendly megacity which would attract investment and companies from around the world.

At 33 times the size of New York, it is aimed to be a futuristic project employing innovations such as flying taxis, an artificial moon and classes taught by holographic teachers. Currently, the city is still in development and only officials, workers, and planners live there, but the authorities aim to welcome residents in 2024 and make the city home to millions of “Neomians” by 2030.

READ: Saudi denies NEOM will be ‘country within a country’

The revelation of it holding the world’s tallest skyscrapers make it an even grander endeavour, and would outsize the current tallest man-made structure in the world – the 828-metre-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The Kingdom itself is currently home to the world’s fourth-tallest building, the 601-metre-tall Abraj Al-Bait clock tower hotel in the holy city of Makkah.

NEOM’s CEO, Nadhmi Al-Nasr told Bloomberg that “The Line is an out of the box idea,” and added without specifying that “What we will present when we are ready to, will be very well received, and will be viewed as revolutionary.” Al-Nasr revealed that the tall buildings will be “different heights as you go,” adapting to the landscape and terrain.

The paper was also told by Ali Shihabi, a member of NEOM’s advisory board, that “When people talk about The Line, they see a futuristic Hyperloop, Star Wars type of entity … But when The Line was presented to the Board, I saw a highly intelligent, well thought-out sustainable modern city that will accommodate from laborers to billionaires and that will be built in stages, so it will follow demand.”

READ: The Middle East looks likely to be a focal point for the post-pandemic ‘Great Reset’

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