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Jeddah Central signs contracts for major landmarks

A market in the historic district of Al Balad in Jeddah. Developer Jeddah Central is planning an opera house, an oceanarium and a sports stadium Shutterstock
A market in the historic district of Al Balad in Jeddah. Developer Jeddah Central is planning an opera house, an oceanarium and a sports stadium
  • Red Sea city giga-project
  • Opera house among plans
  • Site due to open in 2027

Jeddah Central, the developer of one of Saudi Arabia’s giga-projects, signed four construction contracts this week for a set of major landmarks.

According to the state-run Saudi Press Agency, Jeddah Central’s CEO Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al-Saleem signed the contracts to construct a sports stadium, an oceanarium, an opera house and infrastructure work in the Red Sea city.

It did not name the contractors but said that the site, which will also include a marina, promenade and pier, will start receiving visitors in late 2027.  

Jeddah Central, owned by the Public Investment Fund, is also planning to build two museums. 

The Red Sea Museum will house works of art in a renovation of the old Bab Al-Bunt Museum by Jeddah port. Jeddah Central Museum will transform an old desalination plant into an industrial heritage site. 

With a population of more than five million, Jeddah has a reputation as being Saudi Arabia’s most easy-going city and is a stopping point for pilgrims going to Mecca. 

The government is prioritising the capital, Riyadh, which will host the World Expo in 2030 and is home to a number of other giga-projects, such as the Diriyah, Murabba and Qiddiya districts. 

In December the Norwegian architects Snøhetta unveiled the design for an opera house to be built in Riyadh by 2028 at Diriyah, as part of Saudi Arabia’s drive to make a once forbidding capital city a global cultural destination. 

Jeddah Central said in 2022 that it had chosen Henning Larsen Architects and Buro Happold Consulting to design the Jeddah opera house. However, there had been little information about the project since then.

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