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)
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

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


Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking
Education Minister Hamad Al-Sheikh. (SPA)
Updated 25 January 2021

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking

Saudi Arabia advances in global COVID-19 research ranking
  • Saudi Arabia continues to be ranked first in the Arab World and 12th among the G20 member states

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has been ranked 14th internationally for its COVID-19 university research, rising from its previous 17th ranking, according to the database of the Web of Science.

The Kingdom continues to be ranked first in the Arab World and 12th among the G20 member states.

Education Minister Hamad Al-Sheikh thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support for education, for attaching great importance to research and innovation, and for supporting scientists and researchers in Saudi universities to become globally competitive.

He said that this achievement was a continuation of the efforts of the Kingdom in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. This reflected the Kingdom’s capabilities when it came to managing crises.

Al-Sheikh said that Saudi universities had published 84 percent of the Kingdom’s COVID-19 research, and that the Kingdom had published 915 scientific papers by local scientists since the outbreak of the pandemic.

He thanked Saudi universities that contributed to publishing the research papers as well as the faculty members and researchers who were serving their community.

Al-Sheikh said that this achievement reflected the Ministry of Education’s keenness to organize events that enhanced the participation of Saudi universities, research centers, researchers and academics in supporting scientific research during the pandemic.

This was in addition to coordinating the efforts of universities through specialized workshops to improve the efficiency of research and its contribution to fighting COVID-19, discussing ways to prevent and treat the disease, and investing in the research capabilities of the staff of universities and research centers by finding scientific solutions that contributed to addressing the pandemic.