Saudi Arabia’s New Murabba Development Company (NMDC) plans to build what it’s dubbing as the world’s largest modern downtown area in northwest Riyadh, announced the country’s government news agency on Thursday.
The New Murabba, or square in Arabic, project is expected to be a sustainable smart city.
A gateway to another world: #TheMukaab will be the world’s first immersive, experiential destination. Large enough to hold 20 Empire State Buildings, the global icon will feature innovative technologies to transport you to new worlds.#NewMurabbahttps://t.co/5R4DqQdPyS pic.twitter.com/vr9M8cTI1I— Public Investment Fund (@PIF_en) February 16, 2023
Homing in on sustainable neighborhoods, it anticipates offering residents in every part of the city access to living, work, and entertainment spaces within a 15-minute walking radius.
These accessible living spaces will have public transportation connecting 100,000 residential units, 9,000 hotel rooms, and also dedicated community facilities.
The plan aims to add about 334,000 jobs and $48 billion in non-oil income to Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product by 2030, valued at $833.54 billion in 2021 according to the World Bank.
Looking to make the project iconic, it’s adding The Mukaab (the cube in Arabic), an advanced technological structure planned to be 400 meters long, wide, and high.
It would be able to hold 20 of New York’s trademark Empire State buildings, Saudi's Public Investment Fund said.
The edifice will use modernized styles of traditional Al Najd architecture, it added, mimicking elements of historic Saudi riverside villages with compact clusters of dwellings separated by narrow roads, which protect people from the heat of the glaring sun, described real estate marketing platform Bayut Saudi Arabia.
One Twitter user identified the structure’s similarity to the kingdom’s Kaaba, Islam’s holiest mosque in Mecca, due to its cubic shape.
Saudi the land of Fitnah and Dajjal.. now constructing another replication of Kaba calling it Mukaab.#NewMurabba https://t.co/cdzFCtRr9X— 🇹🇷 (@essufiiii) February 16, 2023
According to its simulated animation video, The Mukaab will be anything but traditional, characterized as an immersive experiential destination with drones flying around a giant spire with futuristic elevator pods reminiscent of the 1960s American futuristic animated sitcom, The Jetsons.