S2, Ep. 11: Inside the Line: Saudi Arabia's NEOM and the Future of Cities


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By Eben Diskin and The Official Matador Network Travel Podcast. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

On today’s episode, Matador Network CEO Ross Borden joins the show to discuss his recent trip to NEOM, the expansive desert of northern Saudi Arabia being turned into the world’s first “sustainable city.” Along with The Line -- a futuristic city built in a long, thin, and extra-eco-friendly line -- the planners of NEOM will include purpose-driven tourism development along the coast of the Red Sea, a slew of national parks, and plenty of other futuristic stuff. We don’t understand it in the least, but Ross breaks down the basics in what might be the first-ever 101-level course on NEOM told by someone who’s actually been there.

Beyond NEOM, Ross and the guys discuss the current COVID situation and get into the cultural differences between Saudi and western societies. The result is an overview of the essence of Matador Network itself -- that at its best, travel has the potential to break through cultural differences and help us find our common humanity.

In Hot Takes, Eben and Tim reject the productivity of in-flight safety videos. The pair also discuss Tim’s irrational fear of thrift stores, and Eben’s fear of second-hand embarrassment.

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