New Murabba: Saudi Arabia launches company to develop central Riyadh by Expo 2030

The project will cover 19 square kilometres and centre on a huge cube structure known as the Mukaab

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Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday launched a company to carry out an ambitious development project in central Riyadh, as part of the kingdom's plans to make its capital a global metropolis and diversify the economy.

The kingdom aims to double the size and population of its capital with total investments of $800 billion under its Vision 2030 plan, as well as reducing its dependence on oil export revenue.

“The New Murabba Development Company's project will include a museum, a technology and design university, a multipurpose immersive theatre and more than 80 cultural and entertainment venues,” the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The project is expected to be completed by 2030, in time for the global expo that year, which Saudi Arabia has bid to host.

The project will be at the intersection of King Salman and King Khalid roads to the north-west of Riyadh, over an area of 19 square kilometres. The project will accommodate hundreds of thousands of residents.

It will offer more than 25 million square metres of floor area, feature more than 104,000 residential units and 9,000 hotel rooms, and more than 980,000 square metres of retail space, SPA reported.

It will also comprise 1.4 million square metres of office space, 620,000 square metres of leisure assets, and 1.8 million square metres of space for community facilities.

The new development will also host the Mukaab, built in a modern Najdi architectural style, which is set to be the world’s first immersive destination offering virtual technology experiences with holographics and innovative technologies.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will be the main source of funding for the project, as part of wider plans to empower the private sector, support real estate projects and infrastructure, and diversify the economy.

SPA said the project was expected to add 180 billion riyals ($48 billion) to non-oil gross domestic product and create 334,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2030.

“The New Murabba project will be built around the concept of sustainability, featuring green areas and walking and cycling paths that will enhance the quality of life by promoting healthy, active lifestyles and community activities,” SPA reported.

Updated: February 17, 2023, 12:12 PM