Saudi Arabia plans to build the world's largest buildings as part of its $500 billion development plan called NEOM, as the country looks to steer away from its heavy dependence on oil, Bloomberg reported.
At 10.8 million barrels a day, Saudi Arabia contributes 11 percent of the global oil production and is the largest exporter of crude oil. As the world looks towards a future that is powered by cleaner sources of energy, Saudi Arabia wants to diversify its income sources and has been looking at building destinations where it can attract industries and businesses in the future.
In November last year, the country announced the world's largest industrial site at sea. This eight-sided floating city is being designed to include technological advances such as the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (A.I.), robotics, human-machine fusion, and most importantly, be powered by clean energy. Called Oxagon, the floating industrial site is part of Saudi Arabia's larger plan NEOM, which aims to revolutionize work and living.
What is the NEOM Project?
The brainchild of Saudi Crown Prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, NEOM aims to place itself as the industrial and business center of the world, making long-haul business trips a thing of the past. According to its website, the project focuses on all sectors of human civilization ranging from construction to culture, software to sport, energy to education, and much more.
Part of the NEOM Project is another clean energy destination called The Line, a city that spans a straight line. Estimated to cost about $200 billion to construct, the Line is expected to be a belt of hyperconnected communities extending over a line that's 105 miles (170 km) long.
To do away with the problems of traffic congestion, the city will have no roads whatsoever and will rely on an ultra-high-speed transit system that will be based underground. A journey across the length of this city that stretches for miles is expected to take no more than 20 minutes.
The world's largest buildings
Taking the concept up a notch, the project will now feature twin skyscrapers that will extend for miles, people with the know-how about the project told Bloomberg. Each skyscraper will be about 1,640 feet (500 m) tall, but instead of competing in height with other buildings, it will outrun them in width.
Designers of the project have been asked to work on a half-mile prototype for such structures, which, when complete, will leave behind even large-scale factories. These buildings will have to accommodate everything from shops to residential units, as well as office spaces, entertainment centers, and much more. So, it will be interesting to see how they are accommodated in a linear design.
The buildings will have to be built at different heights considering the variations in the terrain across the city's expanse, the CEO of the NEOM Project, Nadhmi Al-Nasr, told Bloomberg in an interview.
Considering that Saudi Arabia currently has multiple projects that are either delayed or stalled, the buildings in the Line will be built following demand, a member of the project advisory board told Bloomberg. Money, however, is not a concern as the country can afford to put its windfall profits from oil sales into these revolutionary ideas.
We can hardly wait to see what they come up with.