The Line

The Line in Saudi Arabia is a massive five hundred billion dollar project that has recently begun construction by the Saudi Arabian government and company NEOM. It is a one-hundred-ten mile long city included in the Vision 2030 plan and projected to add tens of billions of dollars to the country’s GDP (Growth Domestic Product) while creating thousands of jobs. Given the country’s dismal human rights record and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, an American journalist killed for publicizing his beliefs of the country, the progressive project is a departure from the country’s infamous image.

Woodgrove Social Science teacher Mr. Talboo states, “Obviously this is reputation building, MBS [Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud] is attempting to draw attention away from his human rights record by creating something that is cool. It’s innovative, but any clear headed individual will look at this and say that this is exactly what he’s doing. He’s trying to sanitize his reputation by undertaking a vanity project in the desert.” 

An Arab reporter, who has asked to remain anonymous, explains that when countries try to add grandiose progression, it tends to be flawed. “When progression is detached from society, the country will never move forward. You can’t just transplant projects like this. The country hasn’t had time to grow from within. Society won’t be able to cope with that now.” 

With construction starting, there is doubt as to whether or not the city will actually make it through construction. He states, “I don’t imagine that mad city is going to see the light of day.” Even with the skepticism surrounding the project, construction has begun on this city. With the first phase set to be complete in the next 10 years, the world will be watching its progression, both in terms of construction and moral constitution.