Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has announced that it is building a new downtown in the capital city of Riyadh.
The “New Murabba” project will expand the capital by 19 square kilometers to accommodate hundreds of thousands of residents. The project is spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and aims to transform the capital into one of “the most livable cities on Earth.” At the heart of the project is “Mukaab,” a 400-meter cube that is big enough to fit 20 Empire State buildings. The building will have recreational facilities, as well as hotels and residential units. Holographic technology will be used to offer “a new reality” to consumers as they shop and dine. However, analysts are skeptical that the kingdom will be able to gather enough funding to fulfil its ambitions. The cost and financing details have not been disclosed, and it is unclear how the PIF plans to finance the project.