Field notes

Desert cities of the future

New futuristic cities built in the desert by Arab rulers are being touted as ecological, ultra-modern and full of fun. Do they pave the way for a better future, or are they mere grandiose fantasies?

If Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is right, then a new way of living is set to emerge along a stretch of coastline between snow-capped mountains and beaches of the Red Sea.

For the Prince, this sparsely populated area is "the blank page that you need to write humanity's next chapter".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 23, 2018, with the headline 'Desert cities of the future '. Subscribe