That was the setting I looked t when I saw the article in the New Arab (at https://english.alaraby.co.uk/analysis/saudi-arabias-line-neom-project-too-ambitious) where we see ‘Is Saudi Arabia’s ‘The Line’ NEOM project too ambitious?’ The title gives us a handle and my first question is should that not be the case? Now we take the Empire State Building for granted, but in 1930, people thought the same regarding the Empire State Building. Things need to be too ambitious. The entire setting of Neom and the Line is too ambitious, because this has NEVER been done before. And even if people write it into the ground calling it a ‘gazillion dollar project’ the truth is that they are writing fear, because I personally guarantee you that they would not write that if it was a US project. Two architectural projects and both as in Saudi Arabia. But back to the article. We then get ““In the aftermath of the pandemic, economic rehabilitation is at the forefront of all countries’ political agendas. This is why Saudi Arabia will have no issues in filling any labour gaps with regards to construction and investments in the project itself,” Siddiqa explained.” This is a fair point and every nations has this hurdle, as such I do not see a real problem, a hurdle, not an obstacle. Again a fair point is seen with “NEOM is not without its challenges, some of which Riyadh has addressed and others which remain an obstacle. Financial challenges are the biggest obstacle for mega projects like NEOM and The Line. Research shows that Saudi Arabia has not been able to achieve much success in attracting financial resources and investment from foreign governments and companies.”, what I would like to add is that these companies were eager to invest when oil was their fortune, but investing in something that they at present do not understand is somewhat understandable, greed needs assurances and they have an image (of greed) to uphold. Then the article throws a reality our way. With “While the initial plan was to complete NEOM by 2030 with an allotted $500 billion, some reports claim that the city may not be completed until 2050, which will likely increase costs significantly. For this reason, it is predicted that the entire project, including The Line, will cost the Kingdom $1 trillion.” And here we see the first larger hurdle. With ‘the city may not be completed until 2050’ which is true, but now we also see the essential need to hold onto the larger need for perfection and precision. Any party that cuts corners will become the foundation of failure for the entire project and even if only one phase is ready in 2030, the KSA will show to be a global game changer. And lets fave it, on this day and age that delay is not the biggest one. The line is a city for 9 million people. Rome was not build in a day and that is a fair notion to take. If it helps, I reckon that my IP for Augmented Reality could optionally make an optional larger difference there. But the larger truth is that the Empire State Building took a year to make, the Line is over 200 times larger and as such getting it all ready by 2050 is still an amazing feat, more important it is a building no one else has been able to build as well as a first building to allow nature to restore. That setting is a larger achievement. More important I reckon that the side development in material waste and sewage will have larger repercussions for the internal development of any city and such part have never been this centralised before. A place where pollution stops. Consider London where we would suddenly halt ALL car traffic for a week. The impact of cleaner air would be seeable and sense by all, a city 50% smaller and it has that impact, so what spin will the KSA receive when others offer their version of complexities? Then we are given a part that I found debatable. It is “The financial viability of PIF is highly dependent on the Kingdom’s oil exports, a market that has proven volatile in recent years. In 2020, Riyadh faced a significant fiscal deficit of more than $79 billion. In a country where around 60% of its financial resources came from oil and just 9% from non-oil exports in 2021, the financing of the NEOM project is likely to face financial ups and downs.” So, yes we get ‘In 2020, Riyadh faced a significant fiscal deficit of more than $79 billion’ this is true, but what about 2022? The guardian gave us (months ago) ‘Largest oil and gas producers made close to $100bn in first quarter of 2022’ and two weeks ago we got “Aramco had a 90% year-on-year increase and marks the biggest earnings for the world’s largest energy exporter since its public listing three years ago.” As such the 2020 point of view for a 2022 article makes a lot less sense. And the reference of “around 60% of its financial resources came from oil” might sound fair (or at least correct) but both Neom and the Line show us that this could change, a city with no cars means 4,000,000 less cars creating pollution, needing no gasoline are clear markers in that change. And when the achievement is established other nations will want the same event (especially in Texas where they now start to have energy problems). A stage that could export Saudi skills in other ways too. One significant hurdle is shown with “the biggest technical problem that Saudi Arabia will face in NEOM is the reliance on foreign skilled workers, an issue that is unlikely to be resolved in the short term.” This was true and yes it was a problem, but I illuminated that with “there is now a decent chance that the small hidden engineering texts will be Arabic/Chinese and not Arabic/English. A station that was always likely to happen, but now it seems it is becoming the passing of a fact” a side I saw solved on August 11th 2022, a week before this article was written. I set that in ‘Stirring the soup’, a stage I saw coming a mile away and that too is the larger defeat for the west, especially as China has both the upper echelon and lower echelon of workers, workers Saudi Arabia will need and a job market that is now closing for Europe and America. A longer set of issues that hd been out and open for all to see, now the Silk Road gets the chance to build whilst fuelling itself with oil and revenue, both at the same time. I reckon that Strasbourg never considered that. How interesting that I had done that.
In the end my point of view is that there is no ‘too ambitious’, it comes with the terrain of creating something never done before, as long as the decision makers realise that 2030 is not a static point of completion, they will end up being in a good place. Even completing Phase one by 2030 is an achievement not found anywhere else in the world at present and that completion takes the project crown away from America, not a bad first result. And in all this the redesign of world powers might also be a first, with the chance that China becomes the worlds first power and America? Well they will have to content with the number 6 slot, that is also a consequence of catering to Wall Street, the larger view is lost when the spreadsheet users were all set on next quarter, not next decade. In this I will shown to have been correct yet again. I wonder what else I could see in the near future.