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Emerging apparently from nowhere, the Neom development’s futuristic urban vision The Line has attracted a lot of international media attention. This is not surprising as this area of Neom alone is intended to create 380,000 jobs and contribute SR180bn ($48bn) to Saudi gross domestic product by 2030; a figure greater than neighbouring Jordan’s entire current GDP. The development will be powered entirely by hydrogen and other renewable energy, underlining the wider Neom project’s status as by far the Public Investment Fund (PIF)’s most ambitious scheme – a blend of state-of-the-art design and public relations gloss intended to ensure Saudi Arabia is associated with global innovation, rather than human rights abuses and intolerance.
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