Saudi Arabia unveils plans for 75-MILE long desert skyscraper called the Mirror Line
Saudi Arabia has unveiled plans for a $1 trillion, 75-mile skyscraper made of plate glass that will stretch across the desert and stand taller than the Empire State Building.
The Mirror Line will be part of the desert city of Neom – which will be about 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 people first,” he said at the time.
The Mirror Line will consist of two 1,600-meter-tall buildings running parallel to each other over 120 kilometers of desert, coastal and mountain landscapes.
Prince MBS has claimed it wants the Mirror Line to be completed by 2030, although engineers have said it could take 50 years to build.
The building is so tall that it will stand on struts to account for the curvature of the Earth, and there will also be a high-speed railway running below its length.
When fully completed, the skyscraper will run through a mountain range from the Gulf of Aqaba and then stretch along the coast into a desert “aerotropolis,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
Salman also said the project aimed to meet a million residents within a five-minute walk and travel end-to-end in 20 minutes. It will also reportedly be powered by renewable energy.
The Mirror Line (pictured) will be part of the desert city called the Noem – which will be about the size of Massachusetts. The 75-mile skyscraper will house two 1,600-foot-tall buildings running 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 have a silver sheen and an intricate interior, with stairwells and greenery and houses to create a linear community.
The trillion-dollar project is expected to house five million people upon completion, and a high-speed train will run underneath the buildings, according to the Wall Street Journal. It will also have a marina for boats under the arch of the buildings.
The community of millions will also be fed by 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 maintains that the buildings will be completely carbon neutral and good for the local environment.
The reflective buildings will house approximately five million people and residents will be able to be end-to-end in 20 minutes via renewable energy trains
The Line is located near the coastal area of the country
Not only will life in the desert be hot, sticky and sandy, but the Mirror Line will also include a sports stadium located 300 meters above the ground.
Salman also hopes that the Neom as a whole will create thousands of new jobs and ensure that the oil-rich country is no longer so dependent on the resource for wealth, according to the Wall Street Journal.
However, foreign investment in the Neom has not been as popular as many Western countries continue to boycott the country over alleged human rights violations. Salman has been accused of ordering the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, but the crown prince denies any involvement.
Others, less politically scrupulous, wonder whether the projects conceived are not too ambitious. Saudi Arabia previously dropped plans to build a one-kilometer-tall skyscraper that would have been the tallest in the world after it ran into funding difficulties.
US President Joe Biden, 79, met with the Crown Prince last week to discuss the broken relations between the countries. The bitterness between the two abated a bit as Biden hopes a relationship with the crown prince will help lower US inflation, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The high oil prices are actually helping Salman to continue with the Mirror Line and Neom as it provides funding for the expensive project, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Salman hopes to grow a desert community known as Neom (pictured)
The futuristic community is believed to rival the Egyptian pyramids
However, Neom also faced criticism for human rights when it was announced after tribes were forcibly removed from the area and security reportedly shot and killed a resident.
The project completion date has been set for 2030, but builders and urban planners are struggling to solve many questions. Originally, the project was supposed to be completed in 50 years.
Planners are struggling to answer whether residents would consider living in high-rise buildings after the pandemic, animal and bird migration, and how to deal with the structure affecting groundwater flow.
Environmental planners say the Mirror Line’s sheer size and length will disrupt the patterns of migratory birds – and the building’s mirrored glazing could confuse them even more, causing water to spill over the project’s desire to be planet-friendly.