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Robotic hotel workers, swimming lanes for commuters

The project has been touted as one of the most ambitious in the world and is expected to cost the Kingdom at least $500 billion, with some estimates as high as $1.5 trillion.

The city is part of the territory of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Vision 2030 Project, which plans to revolutionize the country’s oil-dependent economy for a post-fossil future. However, some critics have expressed doubts that the project will be completed as planned.

Recent reports indicate that Saudi Arabia may face difficult questions regarding the financial, environmental and humanitarian impacts of the megaproject.

From a year-round ski resort in the desert to a network of futuristic robots, here are some of the most ambitious aspects of Neom.

1. A city surrounded by two mirrored skyscrapers


The Line, NEOM

The planned design for The Line.

NEOM



The Line is perhaps the most well-known element of Neom so far.

Plans for the city include twin, 1,640-foot-tall mirrored skyscrapers spaced 656 feet apart.

According to Neom’s website, the city will have no roads, no cars, no emissions and will run solely on renewable energy.

The first stage of the project was expected to be completed by 2030, but recent reports suggest the developers could face financial difficulties.

Planners also raised environmental and design concerns, including the risk mirrored skyscrapers pose to migratory birds.

2. Swimming lanes for commuters

The megacity is also considering including swimming lanes for commuters, according to a Neom “style catalog” viewed by Bloomberg.

Neom planners would consider including canals with swimmable water, which would allow residents to swim to work or school.

Jan Paterson, Neom’s managing director of sport, described the idea to Bloomberg in 2022, saying a sixth-grader living in Neom could wear a waterproof backpack and swim to school.

3. A ski resort open all year round


Neom

An image showing a nighttime view of the mountains in the northwestern region of Saudi Arabia where planners say Neom will be built.

GettyImages/Unsplash/Neom



The desert city is also set to have a year-round ski and adventure resort called Trojena. Located in the mountains of the Tabuk region, it will accommodate more than 100,000 feet of ski slopes, according to Neom’s website.

Planners say they will use “a combination of real and artificial snow to create a truly magical venue for alpine sports all year round.”

4. A network of robots and AI

Neom has big plans to become the most high-tech city in the world.

CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr claimed in 2017 that the project would host more robots than people.

High-tech projects for the megacity range from “digital twins” that will reflect residents’ biometric and health data, to humanoids at hotel check-in counters.

Neom will also feature an “immersive mixed reality metaverse,” according to its website.

5. A suspended infinity pool


Néom infinity pool

Plans for Neom’s infinity pool.

Neom



Neom plans to host the world’s longest infinity pool.

Spanning approximately 1,500 feet, the pool would be suspended 220 feet above the sea at the southern end of the Gulf of Aqaba in Treyam, one of Neom’s recently announced regions.

Planners described it as a “first-rate resort” designed for “adventure and exertion.” The area will also offer other activities like sailing, diving and other water sports.

6. Mixed Reality Theme Park

Neom also plans to build theme parks integrating virtual and physical experiences.

The planned attractions aim to provide a personalized and immersive gaming experience that blends with real-world interactions.

Wayne Borg, Neom’s general manager of media, entertainment, culture and fashion, told Wired in April 2021: “For gamers, it’s about transforming their online experience into a park experience. mixed reality theme. transformative experiences that don’t exist today.

7. Rewilding Projects


New construction.

Construction of Néom.

Neom



Neom officials plan to protect 95% of the sites’ land and sea as nature reserves.

This means embarking on a massive rewilding program, including restoring natural water flows to the area.

Paul Marshall, Neom’s environmental manager, told Wired that the land in question had a long history of use – and overexploitation.

“Large parts of the landscape are overgrazed by camels and goats, and the marine waters are overexploited, so we don’t want to preserve, we want to actively restore,” he said.

Saudi Arabia is facing increased scrutiny after a BBC News investigation found forces were allowed to kill residents to clear the way for the megacity.

businessinsider

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