Top global oil exporter Saudi Arabia launches car-free city
Published: Jan 11, 2021 05:43 PM
Saudi Arabia, the world's top crude exporter, announced on Sunday the launch of an eco-city "with zero cars, zero streets and zero carbon emissions" at its futuristic NEOM mega development.

A visitor shows his documents to Saudi customs officials as he travels by car into Saudi Arabia from Qatar through the Salwa crossing between the two Gulf countries on Sunday. Photo: VCG

The $500 billion NEOM project, set to be built from scratch along the kingdom's picturesque Red Sea coast, is billed as a development evocative of a sci-fi blockbuster.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled plans for a city, dubbed "THE LINE," in a presentation broadcast on state TV. It consists of "a city of a million residents with a length of 170 kilometers that preserves 95 percent of nature within NEOM, with zero cars, zero streets and zero carbon emissions," he said.

"We need to transform the concept of a conventional city into that of a futuristic one," he added. 

The pedestrian city will have services as well as high-speed public transportation, with no journey expected to take more than 20 minutes, according to a NEOM statement. Artificial Intelligence will play a key role in the city, the statement said, adding that "it will be powered by 100 percent clean energy."

The project is slated to create 380,000 jobs and contribute 180 billion riyals ($48 billion) to the kingdom's GDP by 2030, the NEOM statement said.
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