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Inside Saudi Arabia’s £800billion sideways skyscraper 75 miles long that desert kingdom claims will house 5m people

SAUDI Arabia is planning to build a £800billion sideways skyscraper 75 miles long that the desert kingdom claims will house five million people.

The mammoth project – dubbed the Mirror Line because it will be made out of mirrored glass – will be about the size of Massachusetts and taller than the Empire State Building – if the build goes ahead.

Saudi Arabia plans a massive desert 'sidescraper' set to house five million people

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Saudi Arabia plans a massive desert ‘sidescraper’ set to house five million peopleCredit: AFP

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman revealed plans for the gigantic structure in January 2021 with the aim of creating the Kingdom’s very own version the Pyramids of Egypt.

But planners are questioning the project’s price tag and whether people would be drawn to living in a confined space after the pandemic.

Prince bin Salman is pushing ahead with the boondoggle idea he’s branded a “civilizational revolution that puts humans first”.

The Line will be part of a desert city called the Neom and will consist of two 1,600 feet tall buildings that run parallel to each other in the desert and will take 50 years to construct.

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It will be so long that engineers will need struts to take the Earth’s curvature into account and and it will have its own high-speed rail line and marina.

The gargantuan complex is expected to run from the Gulf of Aqaba in the country’s west, through a mountain range and into a desert “aerotropolis,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

The slick building – which will be coated in a silver shine – boasts an end-to-end travel time of about 20 minutes and is to be powered off renewable energy.

It will also have miles of greenery and homes and its own farms to feed the more than five million residents expected to fill it out.

Resident will need to have a subscription to access three meals a day.

Prince MBS insists the building will be carbon neutral and have its own stadium 1,000 feet above the ground.

The prince is hoping The Neom will create thousands of new jobs and wean the country off its dependence on the oil and gas sector to fill state coffers.

International funding for the pie-in-the-sky project has so far struggled to take off as countries boycott Saudi Arabia over its alleged human rights violations.

Human rights activists have called on western firms to boycott the development because of the kingdom’s human rights record, particularly since the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

Khashoggi was killed in the Turkish city’s Saudi embassy before his body was chopped up in a crime which was condemned by world leaders

The prince has denied any involvement.

The development of Neom has also resulted in local tribes being forcibly removed from the area, reports say.

“It’s absolutely a disaster and I’m disappointed,” said Alya Alhwaiti, a member of the Huwaitat tribe that is being displaced by the project.

Her cousin, Abdulrahim al- Huwaiti, was killed while battling attempts to demolish his home last year. She now lives in the UK and accused western firms that have joined the project of “not caring about human rights”.

The fantasy city is expected to be based part on land and part in the Red Sea and is backed by Saudi’s $500 billion Private Investment Fund.

The city will be located on the border with Jordan and Egypt and will start welcoming residents and businesses by 2030 but builders and urban planners say it could take some 50 years to finish.

They’re also unsure if residents would be drawn into living in the metal complex after the pandemic and are concerned the behemoth structure could impact the migration of animals and birds and the flow of groundwater.

Environmental planners say the mirrored glazing of the building could further confuse birds on their yearly migration across the region.

Documents have revealed plans to build robot maids that will clean the homes of these highly paid foreign workers meaning they won’t have to worry about household chores.

Cloud seeding will also be used to make rain clouds in the incredibly dry country which is the size of Western Europe.

The process involves dumping substances such as dry ice, using planes or drones, into clouds to create rainfall.

Some of the other bizarre proposals for the city include “dinosaur robots” in a Jurassic Park-style attraction and “robot martial arts” where machines will fight each other for entertainment.

The kingdom also wants to create a giant artificial moon which will light up each night and serve as a major landmark.

MBS recently declared that he wanted the sand on the city’s proposed Silver Beach to “glow” in the dark.

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However, two sources close to the project told the Wall Street Journal that engineers have not figured out a way to do that safely yet.

Saudi announced the construction of Neom at the 2017 Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh.

An artist's impression of Neom - a futuristic city being built in Saudi

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An artist’s impression of Neom – a futuristic city being built in Saudi
The project is being funded by the Crown Prince's $500bn investment fund and it seeking foreign investors

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The project is being funded by the Crown Prince’s $500bn investment fund and it seeking foreign investorsCredit: Reuters




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