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Saudi Arabia has announced plans for a $1 trillion skyscraper that stretches 75 miles across the desert.
Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud has made plans to construct the skyscrapers, which will be made of mirrored glass and will span across the new desert city, and has dubbed the structure Neom.
The Wall Street Journal leaked planning paperwork that outlined details for the ‘Mirror Line’, which would stand at a height taller than the Empire State Building and be the world’s tallest building if construction goes to plan.
The upcoming zero-carbon city would be constructed across a 170km line distance, with the building becoming the focus of the desert city, which will roughly be the size of the state of Massachusetts.
The two buildings will be connected via walkways, while transport such as a high-speed train system will run in layers underneath the pedestrian zones so as to not disrupt nature or citizens.
The eight-sided skyscrapers will run across the Gulf of Aqaba to a mountain area and includes a sports complex, a marina for yachts and a complex that will accommodate the Saudi government, according to the leaked documents.
The construction plans will also be home to five million people, who can travel from one end to the other in just 20 minutes, with most amenities being available to residents within a five-minute walk.
Being powered entirely by renewable energy sources, the Prince claimed to want the project to be completed by 2030. However, engineers have warned the ‘Mirror Line’ could take up to 50 years for construction to be completed.
Salman is hopeful that the project will boost careers for residents, creating 380,000 new jobs and allowing the country to stop its dependency on oil.
The walkable neighbourhood – which is integrated with public parks and the natural landscape, will feature vertical farming and allow residents to pay for meals with a subscription – is being built in the Tabuk province of northwestern Saudi Arabia, the area the Al-Howeitat tribe have inhabited for centuries.
There are concerns about the plans ‘displacing’ inhabitants from the area, according to activists.
Alya al-Huwaiti, a UK-based activist and member of the Al-Howeitat tribe told Middle East Eye about the construction plans: "He [Salman] will do anything to pretend he’s turning Saudi Arabia into a civilised country.
"But it’s not true, because [a civilised country] wouldn’t have all these prisoners, and kill people or force them to be displaced,” Alya said.
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