Saudi Arabia has announced its latest investment project – the country will be funding $500 billion into the construction of the world’s largest buildings.
According to NDTV, the project is being referred to as NEOM and is being spearheaded by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He plans to build two twin skyscrapers standing at 500 metres (1,640 feet), which will span horizontally for miles.
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The NOEM project isn’t new. In fact, the prince first announced the plans in 2017 in an attempt to attract more foreign investment as well as help move the Saudi economy away from oil.
Initial estimates suggested the project could cost $200 billion, but now the budget has more than doubled.
The original plan was to build a series of developments that would be linked by an underground hyper-speed rail, referred to as The Line. However, with the current plans to construct dual skyscrapers, the buildings will extend from the Red Sea coast to the desert, and will feature a mixture of residential, retail, and office space.
Saudi officials are working with Morphosis, a California-based architecture firm, to bring NOEM to life.
“The Line is an out of the box idea,” Nadhmi Al-Nasr, the CEO of NEOM, told the press. “What we will present when we are ready to will be very well received, and will be viewed as revolutionary.”
The details of the project are still under wraps, but it’s been confirmed NEOM will be built in stages based on demand.
“When people talk about The Line, they see a futuristic Hyperloop, Star Wars type of entity,” Ali Shihabi, a member of NEOM’s advisory board, explained. “But when The Line was presented to the board, I saw a highly intelligent, well thought-out sustainable modern city that will accommodate from laborers to billionaires and that will be built in stages, so it will follow demand.”
At 500 metres, Saudi’s new towers may not be the tallest in existence. But if all goes to plan, it could make them the largest buildings.
As per World Atlas, the world’s largest building is currently the New Century Global Complex in Chengdu, China, which has 18.9 million square feet. Followed closely behind is Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 in the United Arab Emirates, which spans 18.4 million square feet.
Saudi is also home to some of the world’s tallest and largest buildings, including the Abraj Al Bait Endowment, a 7-skyscraper complex with over 16.9 million square feet of living space.
Sources: NDTV, BNN Bloomberg, World Atlas,
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