The crown prince of Saudi Arabia is planning a futuristic £400 billion desert city where residents can visit glow-in-the-dark beaches, watch cage fighting robots, and drink alcohol – unlike in the rest of the conservative Muslim country.
Leaked documents reveal the vast, and some may say unrealistic, ambitions of Mohammed bin Salman for Neom, a city larger than Wales and spread across the northwest desert of Saudi Arabia.
US consultants drew up 2,300 pages of plans to try to satisfy Crown Prince Mohammed’s vision, sometimes filling in the gaps with technologies that have not yet been invented, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Alcohol may be allowed in Neom, a stark contrast to the rest of the conservative kingdom where alcohol is forbidden and women are unable to travel without permission from a male guardian.
The planning documents, which may not represent the final plan, imagines bringing rain to the desert through “cloud seeding”, the process of firing dust particles into the air to encourage precipitation.
It suggests that residents may pay pass the time by watching “robo-cage fights”, where humanoids would fight each other for the amusement of the crowd. Meanwhile, other robots would tidy houses.
Crown Prince Mohammed has reportedly taken a special interest in a proposal for “Silver Beach”, where the sand would glow like the face of a watch. Engineers are said to be uncertain how to carry out the prince’s wishes without endangering beachgoers’ safety.
Other features, or follies, reportedly include a Jurassic Park-style island of animatronic dinosaurs and an enormous artificial moon that would light up every night.
Security in the city will be maintained by a vast surveillance network of cameras, drones and facial recognition technology.
The plans acknowledge that local bedouin tribes would likely have to be forced off their land to make the project work.
A US law firm was reportedly tasked with creating a courts system that would be separate from the rest of Saudi Arabia but whose judges would still report directly to the king.
The Saudi government did not respond to requests for comment about the plans.