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Saudi Arabia breaks silence about $1,000,000,000,000 project 'The Line' being 'scaled back'

Saudi Arabia breaks silence about $1,000,000,000,000 project 'The Line' being 'scaled back'

A Saudi Arabian minister has something to say about all the rumors around The Line.

It started life as one of the most impressive building projects in the world: a 170km-long building in the Saudi Arabian desert, estimated to cost around $1-1.5 trillion.

Dubbed 'The Line', ground has already been broken on the gigaproject, with the initial expectation that it would be ready to house 300,000 residents by 2030. But then last month, rumors started swirling.

According to Bloomberg, Saudi Arabia had scaled back the development - cutting it back to a much, much shorter 2.4km, to be completed by 2030.

It was all linked to reported finance concerns for NEOM, the company building this new urban area in Saudi, which The Line is a part of.

However, Saudi Arabia's economy minister has now entered the chat - and he's got no time for the rumors.

“All projects are moving full steam ahead,” Faisal Al Ibrahim told CNBC in Riyadh.

“We set out to do something unprecedented and we’re doing something unprecedented, and we will deliver something that’s unprecedented.”

Al Ibrahim reportedly said the projects would be delivered according to plan, but did add that decisions were being made for "optimal economic impact".

“We see feedback from the market, we see more interest from the investors and we’ll always prioritize to where we can optimize for optimal economic impact,” he said.

If that all sounds a touch vague, he stressed in no uncertain terms: "For NEOM, the projects, the intended scale is continuing as planned. There is no change in scale.”

So there you have it, maybe we could be set to get all 170km of The Line by 2030. If that does happen, it'll be unlike anything else in the world - not only will it be absolutely massive, but it will be entirely mirrored on the outside, reflecting the desert landscape around it.

According to NEOM, it's set to run on 100% renewable energy - there will be no cars inside the building, but rather residents will be able to use the high-speed rail line, getting them from end-to-end in 20 minutes.

Saudi Arabia has a notoriously hot and dry climate, but it will be far more pleasant inside The Line - NEOM says it will establish a microclimate inside the building, with the perfect balance of light, shade and natural ventilation.

It's all part of Saudi Arabia's plans to diversify its economy away from oil.

And The Line isn't the only project NEOM is working on - it has also revealed plans for an octagonal floating port city, called Oxagon, among other futuristic developments.

Featured Image Credit: NEOM