Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman announces ‘The Line’ - a zero carbon city of 1 million

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announces “The Line” project at NEOM. (SPA)
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Updated 12 January 2021

Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman announces ‘The Line’ - a zero carbon city of 1 million

  • 170km long development will be built at NEOM and have no cars or conventional roads
  • Construction of ‘revolutionary’ city will preserve 95% of natural environment in which it is built

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has announced a huge new zero-carbon city to be built at NEOM in northwestern Saudi Arabia.

The project named “The Line” will be home to a million people and have no cars and no streets, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a video released on Sunday.

The city will be a 170 kilometer belt of “hyper-connected future communities,” and will be built around the natural environment, he said.

“We need to transform the concept of a conventional city into that of a futuristic one,” Prince Mohammed said at an event to launch the city.

“By 2050, one billion people will have to relocate due to rising CO2 emissions and sea levels. 90 per cent of people breathe polluted air,” the crown prince said.

“Why should we sacrifice nature for the sake of development? Why should seven million people die every year because of pollution? Why should we lose one million people every year due to traffic accidents? And why should we accept wasting years of our lives commuting?” he asked.




Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announces “The Line” project at NEOM. (SPA)

Later, Al Arabiya quoted the crown prince saying that the infrastructure of the project is set to cost between $100 to 200 billion, and that the project was announced after three years of planning.
The crown prince also said the backbone of investment would come from Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom's sovereign wealth fund – the Public Investment Fund (PIF) – as well as local and international investors for the NEOM project.

Meanwhile, Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman congratulated King Salman and the crown prince on launching The Line, saying it is “one of the major projects that put people first and employs technology to serve the communities.
“The project drawn up and launched by the crown prince confirms that we are in the heart of the future with a move that precedes words and work that confirms hopes and dreams,” he said in a tweet.

The project is a direct response to some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity, such as infrastructure, pollution, traffic and human congestion, NEOM said.

Construction of the revolutionary city will preserve 95 per cent of nature within NEOM and will commence in the first quarter of this year.

The project forms part of extensive development work already underway at NEOM.

The Line’s communities will be cognitive and powered by Artificial Intelligence and the city will comprise carbon-positive urban developments powered by completely clean energy.

The project will be an economic engine for the Kingdom and will drive diversification in line with the  Vision 2030 reform program.

The city will create 380,000 jobs and will contribute SR180 billion ($48 billon) to domestic GDP by 2030, the crown prince said. 

Walkability will define life in The Line and essential services such as schools, medical clinics, leisure facilities, as well as green spaces, will be within a five-minute walk. 

In addition to this, high-speed transit and autonomous mobility solutions will ensure that no journey will be longer than 20 minutes.


Crown prince announces new 5-year strategy for kingdom’s economy

Updated 25 January 2021

Crown prince announces new 5-year strategy for kingdom’s economy

  • Crown prince pledges 1.8m new jobs
  • PIF to invest $40bn a year until 2025

JEDDAH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Sunday launched a new five-year strategy for the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund as Saudi Arabia drives toward achieving its Vision 2030 goal to diversify the economy away from dependence on oil.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) will pump at least $40 billion a year into the local economy, double its assets to $1.07 trillion, contribute U$320 billion to non-oil GDP and create 1.8 million jobs by 2025, said the crown prince, the fund’s chairman.

“We’ve launched many vital sectors and investment projects in Saudi Arabia and the private sector is a strategic partner for the PIF,” he said.

“The new strategy comes to represent a major pillar in achieving the aspirations of our country and aims to achieve the concept of comprehensive development.”

The 2021-2025 strategy will focus on launching new sectors, empowering the private sector, developing the PIF’s portfolio, achieving effective long-term investments, supporting the localization of sectors and building strategic economic partnerships.

“Our goal is to make our country a pioneer for the new human civilization,” the crown prince said. The PIF would “contribute to supporting development and economic diversification efforts in the Kingdom, in addition to consolidating its position as the preferred global investment partner.”

PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan said: “Over the past four years, PIF has demonstrated its important role in contributing to the Kingdom’s economy, in line with the ambitions of Vision 2030. Up to the end of 2020, we tripled assets under management to nearly $400 billion, created 10 new sectors and generated 331,000 direct and indirect jobs.

“And as part of our strategy, we will continue to drive the economic transformation of Saudi Arabia and enable the private sector. We also partner with innovative, transformative and disruptive companies around the world to consistently serve as an important catalyst for the development of the industries and opportunities of the future.

“Core to our strategy is our focus on funding new human futures by improving quality of life, driving environmental and economic sustainability, and developing new sectors and jobs.”

Meanwhile Fahad Al-Mubarak was appointed governor of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) on Sunday, replacing  Ahmed Al-Kholifey, who becomes an adviser at the royal court.