Saudi Arabia aims to diversify its oil-dependent economy (Getty)</p><div><p>Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman revealed, on Sunday, plans to build a carbon-free city in NEOM, in the first major construction project in the pioneering business area costing $ 500 billion to create and aims to diversify the kingdom's oil-dependent economy.<br/>Bin Salman said that the city, known as "The Line", would be built along 170 kilometers, and would be able to accommodate one million residents, and "would be completely dependent on 100 percent clean energy, while ensuring a positive carbon future."<br/>The Crown Prince added, "Why do we accept that we sacrifice nature for the sake of development? ... We need to renew the concept of cities into future cities."<br/>A Saudi statement said that construction on "The Line" will start in the first quarter of 2021, in the project, which is expected to contribute about 48 billion dollars to the Kingdom's GDP and provide 380,000 job opportunities. No announcement has yet been made about the value of the project.<br/>The Crown Prince confirmed that the details of the project will be announced later, displaying virtual pictures of "The Line" and scenes of deserts and seas.
The city will include medical centers, schools and recreational facilities, in addition to green spaces and high-speed transportation, and it is expected that the most distant journey on “The Line” will not take more than 20 minutes, according to a statement issued by “NEOM”.
The crown prince identified the most prominent features of the city, which are “zero cars, zero streets, and zero carbon emissions,” as well as artificial intelligence. It is planned that NEOM will be completed in 2025, a development project of 26,500 square kilometers that relies on advanced technology and includes several industrial and logistical areas.
A sharp drop in oil prices last year and the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic affected the Saudi economy.