Neom: Is Saudi Arabia Constructing Future Babylon?

  • December 29, 2023
When I first wrote about Neom in October 2017, it was a crazy, whacked-out idea for a pop-up city in the desert of Saudi Arabia: 170 kilometers long (105.6 miles), 200 meters wide, and 500 meters high. When completed, it will be 33 times the size of New York City. Today, Saudi officials say it is 20% completed, and this video proves it. It will exist as a Techate, being the “smartest” city on earth. No cars allowed!

The speed of Dubai’s construction in the UAE pales in comparison to Neom. The Saudis are pouring all of their oil wealth into Neom, plus additional finance from global corporations, making it a global project.

The age-old discussion among students of Bible prophecy centers around the identity of Babylon (Revelation 14:18, 16:19, 17:5, 18:1-2). Some say it is symbolic of the new global order. Others point to existing global cities like New York, London, or Rome. However, watching the speed of construction in Neom, Babylon may emerge as a physical city in the near future.

The transcript of the video is below. ⁃ TN Editor

Neom is taking shape. This isn’t just me saying it. The footage speaks for itself. In the footage, we can see that it is progressing faster than expected. In the latest interview with Navmi Al Nasser, the CEO of Neom, he stated that 20 percent of the work has been completed. Let’s find out how much truth is there in this statement.

Let’s start with the Line Project. As we all already know, the Line is a futuristic city that spans 170 kilometers from Neom Mountains to the Red Sea. It’s just 200 meters wide and 500 meters tall. The Line completely changes how we think about city development and offers a glimpse into what cities in the future might look like.

So let’s move on with its construction updates. When they first announced plans for the line, it seemed like achieving their big goals was a long shot. But here’s some good news for you all. They’ve already started working on it. So it’s not just a dream anymore, it’s becoming a reality. As for the current status of the line project, things have certainly progressed.

On October 19th, 2022, Saudi Arabia released official drone footage of the ongoing construction at the line. With construction almost reaching distant mountains. And let’s take a look at the latest footage. We can observe various developments taking shape, including offices and camps near the mountains.

There is even a vibrant community area complete with a football field and a Neum Experience Center. When you’re working on a massive project in the desert, you need a huge workforce, right? But the question is, where do all these workers stay? Well, that’s where NEOM’s plan comes in. They’ve already constructed three NEOM communities, which are NEOM Community 1, 2, 3 respectively.

These communities are fully equipped with everything you can imagine. Roads, schools, hospitals, shopping centers, and they’ve even built an airport on June 6, 2023. MIUM also finalized contracts for the first phase of expanding residential communities, adding space for an additional 95, 000 residents.

Additionally, these communities will offer various lifestyle facilities, such as sports fields, swimming pools, and entertainment venues. On the opposite side of the line, there is a hidden marina where impressive progress is underway. The line comprises 135 modules. Modules 45, 46, and 47 are situated at the marina, which is anticipated to be twice the size of any other marina globally and capable of accommodating the largest cruise ships.

When the digging and water removal for the marina are ready, they’ll begin with the piling work. Up to now, the piling work for the line has mainly focused on Module 43, with over 4, 500 piles already in place. At its peak, the project has seen more than 60 piles being installed every day, making it the largest piling project globally.

As they move on to do piling work in Modules 46 and 47, we can anticipate an even higher level of activity. Here’s something worth noting. According to the NEOM CEO, 20 percent of the line’s important infrastructure is already built. But there are reports suggesting that the 20 percent completion claim could be misleading, with satellite images indicating that the actual progress may be less than stated.

If we look at the drone and satellite footage, the claim of 20 percent construction seems accurate. But what’s your opinion on this matter? As the line is a really long and narrow city, it’s so stretched out, if you randomly pick two people in the line, they’d be, on average, about 57 kilometers apart.

That’s quite a distance. And here’s a question that might pop into many minds. With no roads and no cars, how on earth will people get around the line city? And here comes the underground rail system called the spine. Construction work for this railway network at NEOM has already begun. They’re planning to tunnel a total of 26.

5 kilometers, splitting it into two parts, one for the north and one for the south. They’ll do this in five sections, each about five kilometers long, digging through tough rock using special techniques. The exciting part is that this high speed train will be able to travel from one end of the line to the 20 minutes.

So, even though the line is long and narrow This rail system will make it much easier for people to get around and meet up quickly. There are a lot of queries about clean water. Like in a desert, where water is scarce, how can NEUM ensure that people have access to clean and safe drinking water? NEUM shared some news.

They announced that they’re using solar domes to make clean and affordable water. They’ve already set up a giant facility that can turn salty seawater into fresh water through desalination. By this, they can supply water for the whole Neum region and save more than 60 percent of the water in the process.

In about 10 years, this place will be making a whopping 1 million cubic meters fresh water every single day. What’s your opinion on this matter? The line is not just one of the largest projects globally, it’s also one of the most talked about and debated ones. Progress is happening in the line, but it’s also facing criticism from many people.

As Peter Cook, who is involved in this controversial project, has raised doubts about its feasibility and construction challenges. Speaking at an event in Venice, he described the line as an amazing absurdity and criticized its proposed 500 meter height. Cook suggested that aiming for a 200 meter height might be more reasonable, and he questioned whether the project would ever reach its intended scale.

And despite the line’s claims of being eco friendly and having no carbon emissions, some experts doubt its actual impact on the environment. Professor Philip Oldfield argues that constructing a 500 meter tall building with low carbon materials is practically impossible. He estimates that the line’s construction could generate over 1.

8 billion tons of embodied carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to more than four years of the entire UK’s emissions. This strong criticism questions the project’s environmental reputation. Also, the line has received criticism regarding human rights issues, specifically forced displacement, thousands of people, including the Hawaitat tribe, who have peacefully inhabited the area for generations, face the risk of being forcibly displaced.

This issue became even more alarming when a Saudi court sentenced three members of the Hawaitat tribe to death for their opposition to the eviction. In response to these troubling developments, the Hawaita tribe has urgently requested a United Nations investigation to probe allegations of forced displacement and abuse by Saudi authorities.

Furthermore, the design of the lion also raises concerns about its impact on biodiversity, particularly for migrating birds. The large mirrored structures could pose significant dangers to these birds and disrupt their natural crossings. And next is another major project. Trojina, known as the Mountains of Neom, is home to some of the highest peaks in Saudi Arabia, reaching altitudes of up to 2, 600 meters.

Trojina’s main attraction is its ski slopes. It will also include a man made freshwater lake, chalets, villas, and luxury hotels with exceptional amenities such as spa and bathhouse, a ski slope roof, and microclimates. Trojina is set to be completed by 2026, but why is Trojina set to be completed so fast?

And the reason is that Saudi Arabia won the bid to host the 10th edition of 2029 Asian Winter Games. To meet the deadline, substantial progress is being made in advancing the development of Trojina, according to Philip Gullet, Executive Director of Trojina. Since 2022, a significant amount of material, equivalent to 1.

6 million cubic meters, has been excavated from the Trojina Lakesite. The Ski Village, part of the Fun Cluster and Slope Residences in the Relax Cluster are making great progress, with ongoing basement work and detailed design work. Work on snow production and ski testing is ongoing at the site. The vault, Trojina’s distinctive verbical village, has already seen nearly 1 million cubic tons of rock excavated, contributing to the creation of the new lakebed.

Teams of workers are diligently transforming the rocky mountainous terrain into the extensive year round mountain destination envisioned for Trojina. The decision to award the Winter Games to Saudi Arabia has faced criticism. One is about the artificial snowfall, as Greenpeace criticizes the new Trojena.

They are concerned about the resort’s impact on the environment, stating that altering natural ecosystems can have far reaching and unpredictable consequences on neighboring ecosystems, making it a risky idea. And now, the next major project is Sindala. A futuristic Megacity is set to open its first destination in 2024.

This destination will feature a world class yachting area designed by an Italian designer, three mega luxury hotels, a golf course, numerous restaurants, and an upscale retail area called the Village Housing 51 Luxury Retail Outlets. When observing its development status, one can observe that certain structures are approaching the final stages of construction, and the foundational layout for most buildings has already been determined.

Furthermore, in the area designated for the golf club, it becomes apparent that the grass has already been laid out. Even for the workforce of Sindala, a dedicated community has already been established, equipped with amenities such as offices, logistics hubs, and housing units. The success of Sindala is crucial not only for the island itself, but for the entire NEOM project.

Because it will serve as the first public opportunity to experience NEOM, functioning as a gateway to the Red Sea and a world class super yachting destination. After Sindala, let’s discuss about the industrial city of the Neom, Oxygen, a futuristic industrial city, world’s biggest and fully automated port with an integrated logistics hub.

Oxygen will partially float on the Red Sea, which boasts an average depth of 500 meters. Oxygen’s main goal is to be an industrial and logistics hub in Neom. This supports Saudi Arabia’s economic growth and maritime trade. Oxygen will be powered by renewable energy and will boost job opportunities in the NEOM region.

NEOM plans to have its first container terminal up and running with integrated logistics solutions by early 2025. When finished, the port will operate entirely on renewable energy, achieving net zero carbon emissions and becoming the world’s most eco friendly port. Neom also has granted a 2 billion contract to build a railway called Connector South.

It will connect the industrial city, Oxygen, to the line development. This railway will run from the line to Neom City Station, passing through Neom Bay Mansions and Neom Bay Airport on its way to Oxygen. The Red Sea will also feature the largest cruise terminal. With strategic access to 40 percent of the world’s population within 6 hours, it aims to become a global trade hub.

Apart from its industrial hub, Oxagon will also have its own residential area, entertainment, leisure, and tourist districts that are supposed to be open between 2025 to 2026. Work has already started on the eight sided industrial city that is centered around the Duba Seaport, but this is the only NEOM project where construction has progressed the least, and its completion date is still unknown.

So is Neom’s dream really gonna stay a dream, or will it come to life? Only time will tell. Who knows, it might turn out fantastic or face some challenges. And speaking of challenges, was hosting the 2029 Winter Games all about the money, or was there more to it? Also, when it comes to Neom’s development, is investment the top priority?

Or do human rights play a role too? Only time will reveal the answers to these questions.

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