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Three miles of the 100-mile Line city to be built by 2030

Neom The Line 2045 exhibition 2022 Balkis Press/
Visitors study images and models of The Line project in Riyadh in 2022. The project will not be completed until 2045
  • Full project will take 21 years to complete
  • First section to be midway along path
  • New marina part of the plans

Only the first phase of Saudi Arabia’s futuristic 100-mile-long city The Line, covering three miles around a lagoon in the Gulf of Aqaba, will be completed by 2030, a senior official has revealed.

The entire project, a horizontal city inside the Neom giga-project in the shape of a straight line 220 yards (200 metres) wide and 106 miles (170km) long, now has a target completion date of 2045, 21 years from today. 

It was conceived by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman along with some of the world’s most prestigious architects and design houses. 

But speculation has swirled about the project since the government said in December that some parts of it could be delayed to after 2030. That came after it became clear that oil output cuts were failing to prop up oil prices. The Saudi government now faces three years of budget deficits.

The crown prince also said in September that a new economic development plan would be launched in 2027 called Vision 2040, effectively extending the current plan. 

Publicity materials made available at a construction industry conference in Cannes last week showed that phase one would consist of modules 44 to 47 of The Line. 

This would make the first phase about 5km (three miles) long. 

“The first phase of The Line will be completed by 2030,” Denis Hickey, chief development officer at The Line, said in a video shown in Cannes. A separate video showed modules 44 to 47 under construction. 

An official who declined to be named confirmed that those modules would form phase one, and that they would surround a man-made marina that would allow boats to dock inside the city. This will form a small section of The Line midway along its intended full pathway. 

Neom’s executive director, Giles Penderton, said in a statement on Neom’s website: about The Line: “We’re not building this all at once, but it will be rolled out between now and 2045.”

Critics say the climate costs of the 500-metre-tall city will offset the benefit of creating a new form of urban living that will reduce environmental impact. 

Three local tribesmen were sentenced to death in 2022 for protesting at their eviction to make way for The Line. 

Neom has announced 11 futuristic luxury resorts over recent months, the latest of which, Treyam, was unveiled this week

So far only Trojena, a winter resort due to host the Asian Winter Games in 2029, has declared its completion date of 2027, which would make it Neom’s inaugural major project. Hotels and a golf course on Sindalah island are due to open this year. 

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