Saudi Arabia wants to build a 170 km futuristic megacity covered in mirrors and costing 319 billion dollars

Have you ever heard of the Crown Prince’s mad scheme Mohammad bin Salman ? This Saudi prince wants to build an ecological city called NEOM on the Red Sea. The resources of Saudi Arabia depend almost exclusively on the extraction and export of oil, but, with this project, the prince intends to diversify the Saudi economy. In this NEOM project: flying taxis, domestic robots and 170 kilometers of “mirror” buildings, for an ecological city which would extend over the desert and the mountain. A crazy project? Probably, because even the architects question the feasibility of this project, but it doesn’t matter, the prince firmly believes in it. Discovery!

A megalopolis worthy of a science fiction film…

According to the latest information communicated on the project by the ruler of the kingdom, the NEOM megalopolis ultra futuristic will therefore be equipped with two “mirror” buildings which will extend over a strip of desert and mountain. The parallel structures of these buildings should be 170 kilometers long… Called The Line, they will form the heart of the NEOM city. This project, announced for the first time in 2017, has been the subject of doubts and reservations since its announcement by architects and economists, both this idea seems impossible. Prince Mohammed imagines a city without cars, completely ecological, which would become the most livable city on the planet… Analysts note that since 2017, the plans have constantly changed over time, further fueling doubts as to the realism of this project!

A futuristic megacity in Saudi Arabia featuring two huge buildings covered in mirrors. Photo credit: NEOM

What is the NEOM project at the start?

The prince Mohammad bin Salman has always presented its project as a “Silicon Valley” of Saudi Arabia… A huge biotechnology and digital center which would cover 26,500 square kilometres. The mirror buildings would extend over 34 square kilometers and would be a way to reinvent urban life according to the prince. This city of the future could accommodate more than a million inhabitants from 2030, then 9 million in 2045. A means therefore of accommodating future Saudis, since the authorities of the country are counting on a population explosion unprecedented and the arrival of foreigners in this immensely rich country. 50 million is the number of inhabitants expected in 2030, against 34 million today.

And in 2040, the authorities count on 100 million inhabitants. Triple the population of the entire country in 15 years, that’s why NEOM is planned! The goal is clear:This is the main objective of building NEOM: to increase the capacity of Saudi Arabia, to obtain more citizens and more people in Saudi Arabia. And since we’re doing it from scratch, why should we copy normal cities?“.

170 kilometers of “mirror” skyscrapers
170 kilometers of “mirror” buildings. Photo credit: NEOM

How will the NEOM “city” be supplied?

The idea is not to create a classic city, but an ecological city! To do this, the site will be powered by 100% renewable energy and will presenta temperate microclimate all year round with natural ventilation“. The kingdom also wishes reach carbon neutrality in 2060, and NEOM could be one of the pillars of this desire for neutrality. The geographical location of NEOM makes it very well placed to exploit wind energy and solar energy… On the representations, we can see that the bar of dwellings is facing the sea, forming like a dam for what will be behind, exposed to the wind and the sun. NEOM is also expected to host the largest company in production of green hydrogen in the world !

The mirror buildings, a few details…

Just 200 meters wide, The Line is Saudi Arabia’s answer to uncontrolled and wasteful urban sprawl, layering homes, schools and parks in what city planners call “zero-gravity urbanism”. . Residents will have access to all amenities within 5 minutes walk from their home. The prince also plans many activities, such as outdoor skiing and a high-speed train that can cross the city in just 20 minutes. An airport is already operational at NEOM, and authorities announced in May that it would start receiving regular flights from Dubai, but information about the start of major construction in the megacity remains unclear. Finally, NEOM would create jobs since 380,000 positions will be vacant. A project of which the cost is estimated at $319 billion. More information :

A megacity that spans 170 kilometers of desert and mountainous terrain.
A megacity that spans 170 kilometers of desert and mountainous terrain. Photo credit: NEOM

Saudi Arabia wants to build a 170 km futuristic megacity covered in mirrors and costing 319 billion dollars