Saudi plans to build world's largest building at NEOM
The building will feature as part of the kingdom's new $500 billion NEOM megacity in the country's northwest.
Saudi Arabia's idea for a linear city called "The Line" has transformed into a plan to build two skyscrapers that stretch horizontally for dozens of miles. The parallel structures would form the backbone of Neom, a $500 billion megaproject.https://t.co/Srjikptnjl— Vivian Nereim (@viviannereim) May 31, 2022
The plans inlcude two 500-metre-tall towers that stretch horizontally for miles, according to reports. They would include residential, retail and office space from the Red Sea coast into the desert.
Architects and designers were asked to work on a half-mile-long prototype, according to Bloomberg. If successful, each structure would be bigger than the current largest structures in the world.
Saudi Arabia has embarked on a similar project before. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal had announced plans to build the world’s tallest building near Jeddah, which was slated for completion in 2019. The skyscraper remains incomplete.
NEOM is part of Crown Prince and de-facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman's ambitious plans to attract foreign investment and eventually wean the country off its dependence on oil.
The NEOM project drew criticism from rights groups after it was revealed that residents of the area of the new megacity were offered compensation "under threats". In April 2020, Saudi activist Abdul-Rahman al-Huweiti of the Huweitat tribe was killed by authorities while "resisting eviction".
Others have accused Crown Prince Mohammed of greenwashing, saying that the environmental promises about NEOM are a smokescreen for Riyadh’s constant watering down of language around climate agreements.