A line in the sand: new satellite images show rise of Saudi Arabia's Neom

Footage highlights construction of offices as remarkable development takes shape

Progress on The Line in Saudi Arabia from January 2022 to 2023 as seen from space. Photo: EO Sentinel Hub, Copernicus
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New satellite images have revealed a birds-eye view of the rise of Saudi Arabia's $500 billion Neom mega project.

The striking aerial views captured progress on The Line, including the set up of offices and campsite for the engineering team and workers.

Saudi Arabia also published a video showing how a vision of the future is taking shape.

Footage reveals more than two dozen bulldozers dredging a long line across the desert, to start the construction process of The Line — a behemoth mirrored city.

The Line will comprise two parallel, 200-metre-wide skyscrapers, each 170 kilometres long and 500 metres high, stretching across the north-west part of Saudi Arabia near the Red Sea.

It will be home to nine million people, authorities have said, who will live in interconnected communities run by artificial intelligence designed to co-exist with nature.

The project is the first time in 150 years that a major urban development has been designed around people, not roads.

All essential daily services — such as schools, clinics, leisure centres and green spaces — will be within a five-minute walk.

The Line's executive director, Giles Pendleton, said construction was progressing rapidly on one of the most important new urban developments in Neom and the rest of the world.

“Work is already quite advanced on the infrastructure to support The Line, with world-renowned architects designing the initial sections, vertical spaces, and layers for the first residents,” he told The National.

“It is a very complex project that is being developed in multiple phases, yet, through continued close collaboration with engineers and contractors, we move closer towards realising the Neom vision every day.”

The video also highlights other projects under Neom, such as Sindalah island, Trojena and Oxagan.

Construction of The Line began in the first quarter of 2022. Agreements have been signed with construction companies Aecom and Bechtel to develop an advanced transport infrastructure, making The Line one of the largest and most complex infrastructure projects in the world.

The structure will be the largest building in the world by a wide margin. The Pentagon, home to the US Department of Defence and the world's largest office building with nearly 30 kilometres of corridors, is tiny by comparison.

Neom mega project - in pictures

Updated: January 19, 2023, 10:11 AM