The Line: New images show futuristic dystopian city moving forward

Work is still underway on The Line, a futuristic city project in Saudi Arabia. A city that must be around a hundred kilometers long, managed by artificial intelligence, covered in mirrors and that must hold 9 million inhabitants, begins to rise from the ground.

Construction continues on The Line, Saudi Arabia’s futuristic and dystopian urban project. Almost a year after the first images, a video released on October 11, 2023 shows that the site is still a work in progress and construction is in full swing. Between slick computer-generated images and footage of numerous cranes in action, the message is clear: The Line is about to become a reality.

The video shows that the work has progressed well. Where last year only holes were dug in the ground and excavations were underway, the first walls are now being built. We see an army of cranes in action, loads of excavators and trucks and thousands of workers employed on a huge construction site. It can also be seen that the foundations of the city are being laid.

We can see the future location of The Line in Saudi Arabia // Source: Neom / YouTube
Images of The Line construction in Saudi Arabia // Source: Neom / YouTube
Installing part of the foundations of The Line // Source: Neom / YouTube
Images of The Line construction in Saudi Arabia // Source: Neom / YouTube
Dozens of cranes at The Line construction site in Saudi Arabia // Source: Neom / YouTube
Images of The Line construction in Saudi Arabia // Source: Neom / YouTube
Huge construction site // Source: Neom / YouTube
Images of The Line construction in Saudi Arabia // Source: Neom / YouTube
Images of The Line construction in Saudi Arabia // Source: Neom / YouTube

You can watch the full video below.

An unrealistic design, terrible for the environment and human rights

The video doesn’t just show The Line’s work: it shows all the progress made in the construction of Neom, the gigantic Saudi-backed special economic zone project with which The Line stands. Neom is part of the “Vision 2030” initiative, which must give the country a new image and, above all, prepare for the post-oil era.

Neom is the standard bearer. Located in the northwest of the country, in the Red Sea province opposite Sinai, the area is the size of Belgium and is expected to become an important business and tourist destination.

In addition to The Line, other cities are also part of the project. Thus we find Oxagon, a sort of industrial port and floating city; Sindalah, a luxury tourism island located in the Red Sea; Trojena, a ski resort in the mountains with an artificial lake; and Leyja, the most recently announced project that will combine 3 hotels in the middle of the desert. The Neom area is currently almost uninhabited, but will eventually hold millions of residents – including 9 million in The Line alone.

The video assures us that all the work is done correctly: “ progress is rapid “,” construction is accelerating exponentially “, and ” The Line, our city of the future, is making great strides “. More than 3,000 Neom employees would already be working on site and 60,000 workers would be employed on the construction sites.

Despite the progress of the works, there remain major doubts about the feasibility of The Line project. Some of the technologies necessary for its operation, such as high-speed trains allowing travel from one end of the city to the other in 20 minutes, are not yet operational. The promises of renewable energy would also be unrealizable and the city would turn out to be an ecological disaster. The Line is ultimately closer to the dystopia than the utopia presented by Saudi Arabia, as geographer Alain Musset explained to us in 2022.


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