Immersive destination

The Mukaab will rise at the heart of New Murabba in Riyadh.

A NUMBER of key project management and design contracts have been awarded since plans for the ambitious New Murabba development were unveiled early last year.

New Murabba, the world’s largest modern downtown coming up in Riyadh, covers an extensive range of asset classes, comprising residential, hospitality, leisure, retail, commercial, and community facilities.

At the heart of the development is The Mukaab, a visionary structure that is unlike anything ever built before, standing at 400m x 400 m x 400 m, said its developer. It will create the world’s largest immersive experience building that will include several first-of-their-kind technologies to transport the building’s visitors and residents to a virtual reality world.

Among the latest contracts signed by the company spearheading the project, New Murabba Development Company (NMDC) – a fully-owned subsidiary of Saudi sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) – was the appointment of Aecom, a leading infrastructure consulting firm, to provide project management consultancy services for all buildings across the 19 million-sq-m masterplan. Aecom’s contract excludes The Mukaab.

NMDC had earlier signed up AtkinsRéalis, a fully integrated professional services and project management company, to design the New Murabba masterplan. As per the deal, AtkinsRéalis will also be involved in shaping The Mukaab.

AtkinsRéalis said its competition-winning masterplan was inspired by Najdi architecture, with a focus on creating a futuristic landmark with deep contextual roots that blends Riyadh’s cultural heritage with its future ambitions.

In September last year, NMDC appointed Turner Arabia, a leading construction management consultancy, to provide project management services for The Mukaab. 

Among other appointments, NMDC has selected Bechtel, a leading engineering and construction company, to provide project management services for the masterplan and site-wide infrastructure of the project.

HRH Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Prime Minister and Chairman of the New Murabba Development Company (NMDC), who unveilved the mega project in February last year, said 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.  He added that the project will offer a unique living, working and entertainment experience within a 15-minute walking radius and will have its own internal transport system. Scheduled for completion in 2030, it will be located a 20-minute drive from the airport. 

Situated at the intersection of King Salman and King Khalid roads to the northwest of Riyadh over an area of 19 sq km, the New Murabba project will offer more than 25 million sq m of floor area, featuring over 104,000 residential units, 9,000 hotel rooms, and more than 980,000 sq m of retail space, as well as 1.4 million sq m of office space, 620,000 sq m of leisure assets, and 1.8 million sq m of space dedicated to community facilities. It will also feature an iconic museum, a technology and design university, a multipurpose immersive theatre, and more than 80 entertainment and culture venues, he added.

Inspired by the modern Najdi architectural style, the Mukaab will be the world’s first immersive destination offering an experience created by digital and virtual technology with the latest holographics. 

The Najdi architecturally-inspired façade of Mukaab shrouds an internal skyscraper, which will be one of the largest built structures in the world with 2 million sq m of floor space.

Resting on a massive basement and podium structure, the Mukaab will include  first-of-their-kind hospitality, food and berage (F&B) and retail facilities.  including an iconic hotel, as well as the world’s largest usable roof space.