Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans for a $1 trillion, 75 mile long skyscraper made of mirrored glass that will stretch across its desert and stand taller than the Empire State Building.
The Mirror Line will be a part of the desert city called the Neom – that will be around the size of Massachusetts – which Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced in January 2021.
He did so after saying he wanted his country to house a construction project as iconic and timeless as the Pyramids of Egypt.
‘The Line is a project that is a civilizational revolution that puts humans first,’ he said at the time.
The Mirror Line will consist of two 1,600 feet tall buildings that run parallel to each other across 75 miles of desert, coastal, and mountain landscapes.
Prince MBS has claimed he wants the Mirror Line to be ready by 2030, although engineers have said it could take 50 years to construct.
The building is so long that it will sit on struts to take the curvature of the Earth into account, and will also have a high speed train line running underneath its length.
If fully completed, the skyscraper will run from the Gulf of Aqaba, through a mountain range, and then extend along the coast into a desert ‘aerotropolis,’ the Wall Street Journal reported.
Salman also said that the project aimed to allow a million residents to meet within a five-minute walk and to travel end-to-end within a 20-minute stretch. It will also reportedly be powered by renewable energy.
The Mirror Line (pictured) will be a part of the desert city called the Noem – which will be around the size of Massachusetts. The 75-mile skyscraper will house two 1,600 feet tall buildings that run parallel to each other
The Mirror Line will have vegetation, including vertical farming, a high-speed train, and create thousands of jobs
The futuristic buildings feature a silver shine and an intricate inside, with stairwells and greenery and homes to create a linear community.
The trillions-of-dollars project is expected to house five million people after its completion and a high-speed train will run underneath the buildings, according to the Wall Street Journal. It will also feature a marina for boats underneath the arch of the buildings.
The community of millions will also be fed through vertical farming that will be integrated into the walls of the shiny buildings and residents will reportedly pay a subscription for three meals a day.
Prince MBS insists the buildings will be totally carbon neutral and good for the local environment.
The reflective buildings will house around five million people and residents will be able to get end-to-end in 20 minutes through renewable energy trains
The Line is located near the coastal area of the country
Desert living won’t just be hot, sticky, and sandy, but the Mirror Line will also feature a sports stadium that is set to be 1,000 feet above the ground.
Salman is also hoping the Neom, as a whole, will create thousands of new jobs and let the oil-rich country stop being so dependent on the resource for wealth, according to the Wall Street Journal.
However, foreign investments in the Neom have not been so forthcoming as many Western countries continue to boycott the country over alleged human rights violations. Salman has been accused of ordering the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, but the Crown Prince has denied any involvement.
Others who have fewer political scruples have questioned whether the projects devised are just too ambitious. Saudi Arabia previously abandoned plans to build a mile-high skyscraper that would have been the world’s tallest after getting into funding difficulties.
US President Joe Biden, 79, met with the Crown Prince last week to talk over the broken relationships between the countries. Bitterness between the two subsided a little as Biden is hoping a relationship with the Crown Prince will help lower inflation rates in the US, according to the Wall Street Journal.
High oil prices are actually helping Salman continue forth with the Mirror Line and Neom, as it is providing funding for the expensive project, the Wall Street Journal said.
Salman is hoping to great a desert community known as Neom (pictured)
The futuristic community is supposed to rival the Egyptian Pyramids
However, Neom also faced human rights criticism when it was announced after tribes were forcibly removed from the area and security allegedly shot a resident dead.
The project’s completion date is set for 2030, but builders and urban planners are struggling to resolve many questions. The project was originally set to be completed in 50 years.
Planners are struggling to answer if residents would consider living in a high-rise building after the pandemic, the migration of animals and birds, and how to deal with the structure impacting the flow of groundwater.
Environmental planners say the sheer size and length of the Mirror Line will disrupt migratory bird patterns – and the mirrored glazing of the building could further confuse them, pouring water on the project’s desire to be planet-friendly.