Flying taxis, robots and dinosaurs: Social media pokes fun at MBS’s desert dream


Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman plans to build a futuristic city complete with technology yet to be invented

By Zeinab Edah-Tally

Published date: 26 July 2019

If Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, gets his way, the future will involve dinosaurs.

Plans for a $500-billion new city – known as Neom – stretching across some 25,000 square kilometres of desertic landscape in northwestern Saudi Arabia were made public by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. The plans unveil some of the most outrageous and puzzling details of a 2,300-page document dated September 2018.

The most bizarre ideas of the plan – created in conjunction with a group of US-based consultancies – have generated a flurry of sarcastic and confused reactions on social media.

The plans for Neom dream up commutes by flying taxis and robots that would cook, clean and spar in “head-to-head” combat with other robots for entertainment. Other entertainment features, in addition to a park filled with animatronic dinosaurs, include a beach with “glow-in-the-dark” sand and an artificial moon.

To combat desert heat, the plan includes “cloud seeding” technology in order to bring forth the rain.
Social media users have turned the project’s most eccentric aspects into ridicule and accused bin Salman of using extravagant technology to cover up the kingdom’s human rights abuses.


Categories: Arab World, Asia, Royal Family, Saudi Arabia

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