Saudi Arabia has depicted the planned futuristic city of Neom as a holiday paradise surrounded by beautiful landscapes. But activists are leery of the claims because of the country’s approach to human rights.
Futuristic mega city Neom for a trillion dollars, it is the brainchild of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and de facto ruler, Muhammad bin Salman. It will be located in the desert in the northwest of the state.
Saudi Arabia is known more as a country with oil wealth and a conservative interpretation of Islam than as a popular tourist destination. However, the crown prince wants to change that. It hopes to attract 100 million tourists to the kingdom each year.
The biggest attraction is to be Neom, a tourist attraction and global center for robotics and technological innovation, which will diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, the server wrote Business Insider.
Saudi Arabia has released images of the site where the city is to be built, presenting it as a holiday paradise and the world’s most ambitious tourism project. In addition, about a million people are supposed to live in this “city of dreams”.
The city of the future
Neom will consist of several parts. It includes luxury residences and eco-resorts on the Red Sea islands off the coast. The kingdom’s goal is to attract divers and yachtsmen to the islands.
The first to be completed in 2024 are luxury hotels and yacht marinas on Sindalah Island. The project’s website describes its final form as a destination ideal for superyacht owners.
However, Neom mainly revolves around a 170 meter long linear city, essentially a horizontal skyscraper “The Line”. This designer trick promises breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, which will also be protected.
The project is also to include a seven-kilometer-wide floating city “Oxagon” with the first fully automated port and an integrated logistics center. According to the website, it has Globe trender live a large part of the city’s population.
And the megalomaniacal winter resort “Trojena” in the mountains, including a large water reservoir, places for cultural events, apartments and a ski center, is also to be built here.
The Neom project is to be completed in 2025. It is to operate exclusively on renewable energy sources. In addition, Saudi Arabia claims to preserve vast areas of desert and even aims to bring back lost wildlife to the city’s environs.
Like a shiny trap
But according to critics, the project is too large in scope and ambition and may not be completed because of this. Human rights activists point out that this utopian paradise can turn into a dystopian nightmare.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia sentenced to death three men from the Huwaitat tribe living in the area where the construction of a linear city is already underway. They refused to move out. The authorities have evicted three villages of these natives, the UN has warned.
One male resister was killed by Saudi special forces. Activists are also concerned about recent deals between Saudi Arabia and Chinese tech giants. These could allow the Saudi secret services to monitor the city’s residents.
Critics claim that Neom is only meant to mask the crown prince’s brutal authoritarian policy. They refer, for example, to the war he led in Yemen and the murder of his critic Jamal Khashoggi, from which he distanced himself.
Source: Zprávy – Tiscali.cz by zpravy.tiscali.cz.
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