VICE uses a picture of Gardens by the Bay in a story about a Saudi Arabia megacity, leaving people perplexed

Photo: Facebook screengrab
Photo: Facebook screengrab

For reasons that remain a mystery to us, edgy street-smart publication VICE used a photo of Gardens by the Bay in Singapore to depict an upcoming megacity on the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia.

Photo: VICE screengrab

Surprisingly, the photo used as the header image is credited to NEOM, the construction project referenced in the story. The topic of the article is this: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman plans to build a US$500 billion mega-city that’ll run on wind and solar power, aiming to be the “safest, most efficient, most future-oriented, and best place to live and work” in the kingdom.

The city’s name “NEOM” apparently means “new future”, because of the Latin word “neo” and the abbreviation of the Arabic word “Mostaqbal”, which means “future”.

But nowhere in VICE’s story refers to any connection to Gardens by the Bay, or Singapore for that matter, so there’s really no reason to use that header image. We haven’t even gotten into the typos riddled in the piece (“NOEM” and “doscovernoem.com”, for example).

Photo: VICE screengrab

Then we found out where the writer took the picture from — it’s a screen grab from NEOM’s own promo video, during a Stock Montage Of Inspiring Things. Fair enough. But still, using an actual shot of Singapore to depict an upcoming construction project in Saudi Arabia is an odd choice.

On top of the expected comments strongly condemning Saudi Arabia (because racism) on VICE’s post, a couple others were left confused about the usage of a photo depicting Gardens by the Bay.

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