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Saudi Arabia reveals latest giga-project with 11km canal

Saudi canal Supplied
The Marafy giga-project is a waterfront development of homes for over 130,000 residents along a 100m-wide manmade canal
  • Development includes waterfront homes
  • Project by Roshn Group and PIF
  • Jeddah has $90bn worth of developments

Saudi Arabia has announced its latest giga-project with plans to develop an 11-kilometre-long canal north of Jeddah.

The mixed-use waterfront destination, which will be home to over 130,000 residents, will be developed by Roshn Group in partnership with the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund.

To be known as Marafy, the project includes the first manmade canal to be built in Saudi Arabia, which will be 100 metres wide and will connect to and extend Obhur Creek.

David Grover, group CEO of Roshn Group, said the canal would be comparable in size to those in Chicago, Stockholm, Hamburg and central London.

Waterside districts alongside the canal will be connected to each other and the rest of Jeddah by water taxis, bus lines, a metro station and a direct canal link to the King Abdulaziz International Airport.

The cost of the project, described as an “urban water corridor to link homes and communities with nature, commerce and life-enhancing amenities” was not revealed.

Real estate consultancy company Knight Frank last year described Saudi Arabia as the biggest construction site the world has ever seen as projects valued at over $1.1 trillion are under way in the kingdom.

It said the Red Sea city of Jeddah has $90 billion worth of development plans including 89,000 homes, more than 2,700 hotel rooms, 1.4 million sq m of retail space and 250,000 sq m of new offices.

Major infrastructure projects in the city include the expansion of Jeddah Islamic Port and the $7 billion Saudi Land Bridge Project, a rail link connecting the kingdom’s seaports on the Red Sea coast with those on the coast of the Arabian Gulf via Riyadh.