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Neom update says Saudi Arabia megaproject The Line is 'progressing fast'

Neom update says Saudi Arabia megaproject The Line is 'progressing fast'

The glossy video seeks to change the narrative about The Line.

After a rocky few months on the PR front for its megaproject The Line, Neom has published a new video update attempting to change the narrative.

Its May 'In Progress' video is a couple of minutes long, and shows a few interesting sweeping shots of construction sites and building work in Saudi Arabia, along with assurances that the project is "progressing fast".

It includes the staggering detail that there are already some 140,000 construction workers on-site, along with what Neom calls "significant infrastructure" to enable the project having been built. However, it's unclear whether these workers are all for The Line, or spaced out across Neom's various projects.

Another interesting new detail is that the video calls The Line a "cognitive city", which is just about as buzzword-y as you could possibly ask for.

Neom also says that its own workforce has grown by 50% over the last year, as it seeks new partners and investors.

Listing some other projects that it's helping to fund, from electric seaplanes to autonomous cars, it also amusingly includes "self-service e-gates" at airports, something that few people are likely to be overly impressed by in 2024.

In truth, the video doesn't touch on The Line as much as you might expect - Neom has long drawn attention to the fact that it has a host of other projects at play, but The Line has been given easily the most public attention.

It comes hot on the heels of claims that the project is way behind schedule, with some saying Neom has revised its expectations for The Line's first phase, which is due to be completed in 2030.

The Line will stretch 75 miles.

Instead of 1.5 million people, the city is rumored to only host 300,000 residents by that point, and will be just a fraction of its eventual 170km length.

This has fuelled speculation that Neom doesn't have enough money to actually complete the staggeringly expensive project - although needless to say, Neom has denied these claims.

So, while the glossy video certainly paints an optimistic picture of how everything's going, whether people are won over is another question.

The top comment on the YouTube video, after all, reads: "When it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is."

That's a rare bit of wisdom for an online comment thread, and it's given balance by other, more enthusiastic comments, including one that reads: "Saudis dreams have no end."

Featured Image Credit: NEOM / YouTube