The implementation of an ambitious project may take up to 50 years.
Saudi Arabia plans to build a skyscraper 120 km long (75 miles) worth a trillion dollars called the Mirror Line, which will stretch across the desert, rise above the Empire State Building and accommodate up to five million people, according to the Daily Mail.
The Mirror Line will become part of a desert town roughly the size of Massachusetts called Neom, which Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced in January 2021. He did this after he said he wanted his country to build an iconic and timeless building project like the pyramids of Egypt.
“Line is a project that represents a civilizational revolution that puts man first,” the prince said at the time.
The Mirror Line will consist of two buildings 488 meters high, running parallel to each other through 75 miles of desert, coastline and mountain landscapes. Completely completed, the skyscraper would run from the Gulf of Aqaba through a mountain range and then stretch along the coast to a deserted “aeropolis” according to the Wall Street Journal.
The building is so long that it will be put on supports, taking into account the curvature Earth. It will also have a high-speed train line running underneath.
It is also reported that electricity for the skyscraper will be obtained from renewable energy sources.
A pier will be provided near the building, and a sports stadium will be placed at a height of 304 meters.
Vegetables and fruits for millions of residents will be grown through vertical farming integrated into the walls of shiny buildings, and people will pay a subscription for three meals a day.
Prince Salman hopes that the buildings will be completely carbon neutral and safe for the local environment. He also believes that the city of Neom as a whole will create thousands of new jobs and allow an oil-rich country to stop being so dependent on resources for wealth. However, no foreign investment is expected in Neom as many Western countries continue to boycott the country due to alleged human rights violations. Salman is accused of ordering the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, but the crown prince has denied involvement.
Despite Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants the building to be ready by 2030, engineers say his construction may take 50 years. In addition, planners find it difficult to answer whether people will want to live in a high-rise building after the pandemic, the migration of animals and birds, and how to deal with the structure that affects the flow of groundwater.
Environmental planners say that the sheer size and the length of the Mirror Line will disrupt migratory bird patterns, and the building's mirrored glazing could further confuse them, undermining the project's intention to make it planet-friendly.