Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

New Riyadh downtown could add $48bn to Saudi’s non-oil GDP

The 'Mukaab', a 400 sq m cube, will be at the heart of the Riyadh development PIF
The 'Mukaab', a 400 sq m cube, will be at the heart of the Riyadh development
  • 19 sq km development is due for completion by 2030
  • Offer residential areas, hotels and retail and office space
  • Focus will be the ‘Mukaab’ interactive entertainment destination

Plans have been revealed to develop the world’s largest modern downtown in Riyadh. It is forecast to add SAR180 billion ($48 billion) to Saudia Arabia’s non-oil GDP and create 334,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Situated in the north west of Riyadh, and spread over 19 sq km, the development will offer more than 25 million sq m of floor area. It will feature over 104,000 residential units, 9,000 hotel rooms and in excess of 980,000 sq m of retail space.

It will also include 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.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman announced the project, which is due for completion in 2030. He will chair the New Murabba Development Company (NMDC), which will oversee the development.

NMDC is part of the Saudi sovereign Public Investment Fund’s strategy “to unlock the capabilities of promising sectors, enable the private sector and increase local content, contribute to the development of real estate projects and the local infrastructure, and diversify sources of income for the Saudi economy.”

At the heart of the Riyadh development will be “Mukaab”, a 400 sq m cube that will be an immersive entertainment destination.

Taking inspiration from Najdi architecture, Mukaab will use digital and virtual technology as well as holographics. It will be made up of a tower on top of a spiral base, and a structure featuring 2 million sq m of floor space.

It will offer retail, cultural and tourist attractions, along with residential and hotel units, commercial spaces and recreational facilities.

“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,” the statement added.

It will also house a museum, technology and design university, multipurpose immersive theatre, and more than 80 entertainment and culture venues.

The kingdom has ambitions to double the size and population of its capital city with total investments of some $800 billion under its Vision 2030 plan to modernise the Arab state and diversify the economy to wean it off oil export revenues.

Saudi Arabia has put in a bid to host the Expo 2030 world fair. The host country is expected to be selected in November, and Riyadh is competing with Italy’s Rome, South Korea’s Busan and Ukraine’s Odesa.

Latest articles

Adnoc sought advice from investment banks on buying a significant stake in BP, a media report said

UAE’s Adnoc explored acquiring BP

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) explored the possibility of acquiring British oil major BP but abandoned the plan as it did not fit into its strategic growth objectives, a media report said.  The talks did not advance beyond the initial stages, Reuters reported, citing informed sources.  The UAE state oil company also sought advice […]

Turkish crude steel output rose 25% year on year to 3.2 million tonnes in January

Turkish steel in the black but EU rules rankle

Turkey’s steel industry has rebounded strongly from a weak 2023, despite facing new emissions standards and competition for important markets.  Crude steel output rose 25 percent year on year to 3.2 million tonnes in January, with domestic consumption of finished steel reaching 3.5 million tonnes, a 20 percent increase.  Exports were also up, increasing 23 […]

Passengers at Beijing Capital International Airport. Air China will fly from the airport to Riyadh three times a week.

Third Chinese airline to launch flights to Saudi Arabia

Air China is set to begin flights to Riyadh in May, becoming the third Chinese airline to establish a route to Saudi Arabia. It joins China Southern and Eastern Airlines in connecting China with the kingdom.  Air China’s Airbus A330-300 will serve the Beijing-Riyadh route three times a week. The expansion in capacity between the […]

Highway traffic in California. Opec said the upcoming 'driving season' in the US will provide the usual additional demand for fuel

Opec stands by predictions for oil demand growth

Opec predicts robust fuel use this summer and has stuck to last month’s forecast of relatively strong growth in oil demand in 2024 and 2025. The oil producers’ organisation predicted in its monthly report that global demand will rise by 2.25 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2024 and by 1.85 million bpd in 2025. […]