Mohammed Bin Salman’s fancy projects and propaganda have proven to put the crown prince amid mockery and ridicule worldwide.
This was caused by the widespread mockery of the bin Salman project by snowboarders on Twitter on a video of the NEOM City promotional project about the mountain ski resort of Trojena.
Commentators on the video asked, “How is it possible to ski on the mountains uphill?”
In the same context, the expert account of architecture, Paul Rudolph, mocked the designs of the NEOM city project in light of its high temperature.
It is widely seen that the escalation of the fictitious projects of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is limited only to improving the tainted personal reputation and attracting attention to him to cover up his record of crimes and human rights violations.
It appears that Mohammed bin Salman has an enormous surplus of ideas about how to spend the kingdom’s money. After his Saudi 2030 initiative, which includes the construction of the future city NEOM at the cost of $500 billion, he came up with a new initiative called Green Middle East, which requires an amount of $700 billion on investment.
Like the project to build the future city, Green Middle East also obtained a website where the objectives and the way to implement them were detailed.
Among other things, bin Salman plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions until the year 2060, to plant 10 billion trees, 10 million of which have been planted, to stop the expansion of the desert by expanding green areas with an area of 541 square kilometres, and to establish electricity stations working on alternative energy, Which will provide green electricity to about 600,000 families, build 9,900 km of railways to reduce congestion in the streets, expand nature reserves by thousands of square kilometres, and employ about 10,000 workers in the Special Authority for Environmental Conservation.
The enormity of the projects is impressive, and if there is no dramatic turn, the prince (36 years old) will be king at the age of 75 at the end of these projects. He is relatively young compared to his father and the kings who preceded him.
The most important question is: will the kingdom be able until then to pay the vast sums, 1.5 trillion dollars, to complete this dream? Because it is required in the meantime to face financial difficulties, including a national debt of 230 billion dollars and a budget deficit of 5 per cent of the gross domestic product. These are not dramatic debts or deficits, significantly after oil prices rose in the last quarter of this year, which helped the kingdom reduce its deficit by 38 per cent.
However, there is a difference between the establishment of the Future City, which aims to recruit investors and import foreign companies to the state, and between huge investments in natural reserves and the establishment of education and training centers to preserve the environment and the planting of billions of trees, which do not directly contribute to the economy.