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Construction Underway for the World's Longest Skyscraper in the Saudi Desert

Would you live in a city spanning 170 kilometers in length and 200 meters in width, housed within a building soaring 500 meters into the sky?
This is no longer a figment of the imagination but a reality taking shape in the Saudi desert with the ongoing construction of NEOM, touted as the world’s largest investment, and its urban centerpiece known as The Line, heralded as the city of the future. Earthworks are in full swing, igniting the imagination, though the project has its share of skeptics.

Imagine the City of Babylon from a futuristic sci-fi film. Based on promotional videos (shown below), The Line is envisioned with hanging gardens, terraces, elevated soccer fields, and stunning promenades, cutting straight through the desert like its namesake a Line. This futuristic city, located in the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia, resembles a line indeed or essentially a laid-down skyscraper, extending no less than 170 kilometers. Its height is equally impressive at 500 meters, towering over iconic structures like the Empire State Building in New York. The vast building is enclosed by two parallel walls, covered in glass on the outside, with a width of 200 meters.

Despite the grand plans, many remain skeptical about the completion of this linear city, shrouded as it is in secrecy. Perhaps to quell the doubts, a 45-minute video detailing The Line's concept was released last year, featuring contributions from half a dozen architectural studios, including the project’s conceptual winner, Morphosis Architects, co-founded by Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne. The latest updates reveal that groundbreaking earthworks of unprecedented scale are well underway. Around the clock, 2,000 trucks and 260 excavators move 2 million cubic meters of earth weekly as part of the foundation work. This monumental task is being undertaken by the London-based civil engineering firm Keller Group, which entered into a contract with the Saudis in 2022. Thousands are employed in the construction, with a dedicated camp set up for workers, reminiscent of the construction of the great Egyptian pyramids, albeit with modern tools and instead of a pyramid, an elongated rectangular prism is the marvel in creation.

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