Real Estate Zero-carbon smart city in Riyadh to house 44,000 By Shane McGinley July 1, 2022 Supplied The smart city will be based in Riyadh and house 44,000 people A Dubai-based architecture firm is working on designs for a 10km2, zero-carbon smart city in Saudi Arabia which will provide homes for 44,000 people. URB, which is headquartered in Dubai Design District, said it has completed the concept stage for ALNAMA Smart City and will soon begin the detailed design stage. Set to be located in the capital Riyadh, its name derives from the Arabic word “thrive”. Saudi unemployment rate drops as over 1 million expats leaveSaudi property prices surge, but volumes slump The plans include 11,000 residential units for a population of 44,000 and is expected to create 10,000 jobs across various greentech sectors such as ecotourism. A URB spokesperson confirmed to AGBI that it was working with private investors in Saudi Arabia on the project and, while it had not yet gained formal approval from Saudi authorities, this “is expected to be granted following the completion of all submissions to relevant authorities”. CEO of URB, Baharash Bagherian, was previously Design Director at Diamond Developers, the company behind sustainable cities in Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and Oman. “ALNAMA aims to be the next generation of self-sufficient cities, producing all the city’s renewable energy needs, as well as the resident’s caloric food intake on site,” Bagherian said. “Biosaline agriculture, productive gardens, wadis and carbon-rich habitats are key features of the development’s innovative and resilient landscape design.” The concept plans for the project also include eco-friendly glamping lodges, eco resorts, a nature conservation centre, an autism village, wellness centre and clinics. A report by real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank found that Saudi Arabia’s residential market experienced a buoyant 2021, with apartment and villa values increasing by 10.7 and 4.2 percent year-on-year.