Sam Kriss

Why I admire Saudi Arabia’s monstrous new city

The head-chopping theocracy’s $1 trillion eco-city The Line is a deeply stupid idea but it’s also commendably audacious

The vanity project of a nightmarish theocracy, the first phase of which is scheduled to be completed by 2030. Credit: NEOM

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wants me to know that it is building a new city. Its adverts follow me around the internet. ‘Imagine a traditional city and consolidating its footprint, designing to protect and enhance nature.’ I’m imagining. Their city ‘will be home to nine million residents, and will be built with a footprint of just 34 square kilometres.

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