The Mukaab ... centrepiece of the New Murabba development.

Earthworks are under way on the New Murabba Development, Riyadh’s proposed new downtown following the appointment of China Harbour Engineering as the contractor for the first phase of excavation works required for the basement structures underneath the Mukaab, an iconic cubic-shaped structure, and surrounding podiums at the ambitious giga project.

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 amenities. The 19-million-sq-m mixed-use development has already made progress having excavated 5 million cu m of earth on the project.

The exterior envelope of Mukaab, which means cube in Arabic, shrouds an internal skyscraper. It will also include first-of-its-kind hospitality, F&B and retail facilities.  The Mukaab features the latest innovative technologies and will be one of the largest built structures in the world at 400 m high, 400 m wide, and 400 m long, taking a cubic shape to ensure ultimate utilisation of space.

Dynamic compaction work under way on site.

Dynamic compaction work under way on site.

New Murabba is located at the intersection of King Salman and King Khalid roads to the northwest of Riyadh and set to accommodate hundreds of thousands of residents. It will offer more than 25 million sq m 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.

The developing company, New Murabba Development Company (NMDC), a fully-owned subsidiary of Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF (Public Investment Fund), has over the past year made a number of significant appointments. Aecom, a leading infrastructure consulting firm, has been signed up to provide project management consultancy services for all buildings across the New Murabba masterplan, while AtkinsRéalis was earlier appointed to design the masterplan. As per the deal, AtkinsRéalis will also be involved in shaping The Mukaab. The contract with Aecom, however, excludes The Mukaab – with Turner Arabia, a leading construction management consultancy, selected to take on the responsibility for that landmark.

Meanwhile, Bechtel will provide PMC services for the masterplan and site-wide infrastructure of the project.