Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman is known for extravagant assets. And on 16 February 2023, he unveiled a grand plan called the New Murabba Development Co., to redevelop the capital city of Riyadh. The highlight is — right in its middle stands a gigantic cubic structure called The Mukaab that can house 20 Empire State Buildings.
The New Murabba aims at creating “the world’s largest and modern downtown” in Riyadh at unprecedented levels, as per its website. The colossal structure is nothing short of a scene straight out of a sci-film and promises astounding futuristic amenities.
From its facilities and area to The Mukaab’s dimensions and infrastructure, here are all the details you should know about this architectural and technological marvel in Saudi Arabia.
Everything you need to know about The Mukaab
The grand stature of The Mukaab
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
With a mammoth dimension of 400m in length, breadth and height, The Mukaab shall be the largest built structure in the entire world. It is being built in the classic Najdi architectural style and will house the “world’s first immersive experiential destination” with outstanding technological and digital innovations and outstanding holographics that can transport you to “Mars one day”, as per the video.
The Mukaab is expected to accommodate a massive tower seated on a spiralled base, offering unparalleled vistas around. Atop this will be a structure offering a two million sqm area of lavish hospitality. The interiors of this unimaginable building will be walls with floor-to-ceiling video screens used for projections. Thus, you might just be looking at the world’s largest Xbox.
The Mukaab, considered the “gateway to another world”, aims to bring premium retail, residential, hospitality, dining and entertainment experiences to Riyadh. Here, “you and those around you step into a new reality,” says a video posted by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Although created in a cubic shape to ensure maximum utilisation of space and broaden the horizons of Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian government has come under criticism as the construction prototype is similar to that of the holy Kaaba in Mecca.
About the New Murabba project
The Mukaab glitters brightly as the crown jewel of the New Murabba project. Riyadh’s latest urban development project shall provide more than “25 million sq. km of floor area, 104,000 residential units, 9,000 hotel rooms, 980,000 sq. m of retail space, 1.4 million sq. m of office space, 620,000 sq. m of leisure assets, and 1.8 million sq. m of community facilities,” reports Arab News.
It is also slated to have a museum, a technology and design university, a multipurpose theatre and over 80 entertainment and cultural venues.
The news outlet also says the New Murabba shall offer a 15-minute walking radius with its own internal transport system. Additionally, the airport will be just a 20-minute drive.
If you are thinking as to when can visitors actually experience this upcoming Middle Eastern wonder, The Mukaab will be unveiled in 2030 under the leadership of the Crown Prince.
Fundings and Saudi Arabia’s vision for the New Murabba project
This ambitious and astounding project is part of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund’s strategy to tap into other potential aspects of the kingdom other than oil. The New Murabba township is expected to unlock a huge amount of jobs that shall help build the private sector and unearth the unfathomable potential of real estate and infrastructure that can decentralise the oil-based economy.
Being built as part of the country’s Vision 2030, the government also intends to get it ready in time to host the World Expo in 2030, for which it is a candidate, along with South Korea, Ukraine and Italy.
Hero and featured image: Courtesy The New Murabba
This story first appeared on Travel+Leisure Global.