From Vision to Reality: The Making of Neom’s Linear City, The Line

Neom has announced that it is undertaking the world’s most extensive earthworks operation, with contractors moving 2 million cubic meters of earth per week to construct the Line, a linear city in the Saudi Arabian desert.

The project’s promoter, Neom, provided a video update on construction activities, stating that foundation work on the 170-kilometer-long city is advancing rapidly.

Approximately 260 excavators and 2,000 trucks are operating around the clock to lay the city’s foundations, which is part of the £414 billion Neom project in Saudi Arabia’s Tabuk province.

Denis Hickey, the Line’s chief development officer, remarked in the update, “The energy within Saudi Arabia at the moment is incredible.” He added, “We have done a lot of the foundation work literally and figuratively.”

Neom also claims that the world’s largest piling operation is underway on the Line.

Last year, Middle East business magazine MEED reported that 4,500 piles had been driven as part of the foundation works on the Line, with work reaching a peak of more than 60 piles a day.

Keller has been carrying out foundation work on the Neom desert scheme following the signing of an umbrella framework agreement in the summer of 2022.

Other contractors involved in the piling works include Al-Osais, Bauer subsidiaries, NSCC, Power China, and Trevi Group. Bachy Soletanche, Huta, and Saudi Baytur are also part of the framework agreement, according to MEED.

Jacobs and Jasara, along with Atkins, are providing project and construction management consultancy.

Aecom is responsible for the transport and utilities backbone infrastructure, including environmental and geotechnical support, for the full Neom development, while Bechtel is providing design, construction, and project management services.

Recent progress continues despite Keller noting delays with piling at the Line in a trading update for the third quarter of 2023.

Keller stated that piling had been delayed and that it was “taking steps to redeploy resources in the short term.” It also mentioned an “evolution of the design, which in turn has delayed further work orders.”

The first phase of the Line is scheduled to be completed by 2030.

Image credit: NEOM/ unsplash