Saudi Arabia like any other middle east country has invested heavily into the development of entertainment, shopping, and tourist destination as you’ll see in our pick of the “top mega projects in Saudi Arabia”. This move is highly favoured by the availability of suitable land for these particular projects in the country coupled with the worldwide demand for such destinations.
Below are the 11 top mega projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Neom City Project
- Qiddiyah City Development Project
- Riyadh Metro Project
- Jeddah Economic City
- Diriyah Gate, Worlds Largest Cultural & Heritage Development
- King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) project
- Aseer Region Development Project
- Amaala (Riviera of the Middle East)
- The Red Sea Project
- Jabal Omar Development
- Jubail 3B Independent Water Project
Now lets take a look at each project in detail below
Neom City Project
Located in the northern part of the Red Sea, south of Jordan and Israel, and east of Egypt across the Strait of Tiran, Neom City Project is a planned cross-border city in northwestern Saudi Arabia, Tabuk Province. The project emerged from the western Asian country’s Vision 2030, a plan that aims to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil, stretch its economy and grow public service sectors.
Covering an estimated area of 26,500 km2 extending 460 km on the coast of the Red Sea, the project will incorporate smart city technologies and function as a tourist destination. Saudi Arabia plans to complete the first phase of the Neom City Project by 2025. The scheme is estimated to cost $500 billion.
The vision for Neom City is to create a thriving, high-tech, and sustainable metropolis that serves as a hub for innovation, business, and tourism. It aims to be a model for future cities and a leading global destination for technology, energy, and various industries.
Qiddiyah City Development Project
Qiddiyah City is an entertainment megaproject that is currently under development in Al Qidiya, 45 km southwest of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. Occupying a total of 334 sq. km with a planned build-up area of 223 km2 (the rest of the land is set aside for nature conservation), the Qiddiyah City project has been divided into five development nodes, which are a Resort Core, a City Centre, an Eco Core, a Motion Core, and a Golf and Residential Neighborhood.
Phase one of the project which is expected to be completed by 2022, will have six Flags Qiddiya, a family-oriented park filled with rides and attractions distributed throughout six themed lands. Neighbouring this pedestrian-oriented district shall be a major outdoor entertainment venue, capable of accommodating events that can host between 5,000 to 40,000 people in a park-like setting, punctuated with active skating and skiing facilities.
According to the developer, upon completion, the entire Qiddiya City will be a disruptive destination recognized on the world stage as the home of the most innovative and immersive experiences.
“Our wide range of offerings will be based on five cornerstones: Sports & Wellness; Nature & Environment; Parks & Attractions; Motion & Mobility; and Arts & Culture, making Qiddiya the capital of Entertainment, Sports, and Arts, not just in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but in the entire world,” explains the developer.
Riyadh Metro Project
The Riyadh Metro Project is a rapid transit system that is currently under construction in the capital city of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. The transit system will include six metro lines that span a total length of 176 kilometres.
It will be served by 85 stations that will include several interchange stations. For 15 out of the total number of stations, the naming rights are being planned to be awarded to the Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA). These naming rights will be inclusive of advertising within the stations as well as space for shops.
The stations and vehicles along the Riyadh Metro will be constantly monitored by early warning systems, cameras, and communication systems, that are all directly connected to the main control centre. The main stations involved in the project are characterized by monorail sites that have been designed on several levels.
In addition to the facilities that will be available, the sites will have air-conditioning considered for the sake of the safety and comfort of the passengers.
Jeddah Economic City
Jeddah Economic City, previously known as Kingdom City, is a 5,202,570 m² project that is being developed in Jeddah a city in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia. Designed by the Kingdom Holding Company, a firm owned by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, as an indoor city with its own in-premise transportation service, the Jeddah Economic City will consist of 210 towers.
The towers will be over 30 floors high, the centrepiece being Jeddah Tower, which will be around 1 km tall overshadowing Dubai’s Burj Khalifa which is currently the world’s tallest building. The Jeddah Economic City will be divided into three sectors, which are a financial district, a residential district, and Al-Balad which will be a contemporary recreation of the old quarter of Jeddah.
Jeddah Economic City will include several residential districts designed to accommodate a diverse range of residents. These districts will feature modern housing units, luxury apartments, villas, and other amenities.
The project aims to create a vibrant business environment with dedicated commercial and business zones. These areas will attract local and international companies, providing opportunities for investment and economic growth.
The entire project is estimated to cost US$ 20bn.
Diriyah Gate, Worlds Largest Cultural & Heritage Development
Located only 20 minutes northwest of Riyadh’s city centre, Diriyah Gate Development Project aims to transform the historic city of Diriyah into one of the world’s foremost lifestyle destinations for culture and heritage, hospitality, retail, and education.
At the heart of the development, which will also become one of the world’s great gathering places, is the At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage Site, an iconic mud-brick city, and the home of the First House of the Al Saud family and capital of the First Saudi State, preserved and restored for future generations.
Upon completion, the Diriyah Gate development will feature an array of world-class cultural, entertainment, retail, hospitality, educational, office, and residential areas, including more than 20 hotels, a diverse collection of museums, a bustling retail heart, and over 100 places to dine. The project includes a series of outdoor plazas as well as a 3km escarpment walk offering views across the historic Wadi Hanifah.
It will also comprise the Kingdom’s most walkable collection of heritage and cultural offerings including more than 20 Saudi cultural attractions. The premier cultural and lifestyle destination will be home to a population of 100,000 and is set to attract 25 million visitors annually – a place to gather, explore, shop, dine, live and work.
King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) project
Developed by King Abdullah Financial District Development and Management Company (KAFD DMC) which is wholly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) is a new development under construction near King Fahad Road in the Al Aqeeq area of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The project, which consists of a total of 59 towers spread in an area of 1.6 million square meters, will provide more than 3 million square meters of space for various uses, 62,000 parking spaces, and accommodation for 12,000 residents. As Riyadh is known for its high temperature, a solar system will be fixed to cool the passenger bridges which are going to act as a network that links 30 of the 59 buildings together.
The district will be served by a 45,000 m2 King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) Metro Station that is one of the four major stations set to be constructed as part of the Riyadh Metro project. The station, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects from the UK, will connect to metro lines 1, 4, 6, and the KAFD monorail. Within the area, there will also be a 3.5 kilometres, six-station monorail system.
In addition, all buildings at the King Abdullah Financial District will be linked by an air-conditioned skywalk system enabling pedestrian access across the entire development.
Aseer Region Development Project
The Aseer Region Development Project aims to turn the region of Aseer which is surrounded by rich culture and beauty of its nature, into an all-year-round world destination and subsequently achieve unprecedented, comprehensive, and sustainable growth for the southern region of Saudi Arabia.
With an investment of over US$ 13bn, the project will help improve tourist attractions around and on the peaks of the Aseer mountains that cover approximately 100,000 square kilometres parallel to the Red Sea.
According to Mohammed bin, Salman Al Saud, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, the Aseer Region Development project aims to cater to well over 10 million visitors from both within and outside the country. The Crown Prince also explained that the project is motivated and underpinned by the natural assets that are present in the region and that the natural assets could be used to showcase the richness of cultural heritage.
Amaala (Riviera of the Middle East)
Managed by The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), Amaala is a land and property megaproject that is being developed along the northwest coast of Saudi Arabia.
The project which is part of the kingdom’s “Saudi Vision 2030” – an ambitious plan that was first revealed by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in 2016, consists of three main developments which are the Amaala Island, with its gallery, academy, working studios and artisanal shops; the Coastal Development for events; and Triple Bay, which will act as a wellness retreat complete with state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities.
Overall Amaala will have 2,500 hotel rooms and more than 800 residential villas, apartments, and homes, in addition to 200 shops, restaurants, and recreation offerings.
The Red Sea Project
The Red Sea Project is a property and land megaproject that is currently being developed, under the management of The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC), on an area of 28,000 square kilometres in Saudi Arabia, between the cities of Al-Wajh and Umluj, within Tabuk province’s shores of the Red Sea.
Announced by Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi Crown Prince, in the month of July 2017 the project’s focus is on ecotourism and luxury in an effort to attract both local and international visitors to the Red Sea coast. It will include deserts, islands, volcanic, beaches, and mountain areas in addition to which will be developed in phases.
The first phase of the project which began in 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2022, will include the construction of a Marina centre, 14 hyper-luxury and luxury hotels, the Red Sea International Airport, and recreation centres.
Upon completion, the development will transform Saudi Arabia into a top tourist destination, and increase the country’s GDP by about US$ 5.86M per year by attracting well over one million people every passing year.
Jabal Omar Development
Jabal Omar development is a new luxury hotel and serviced apartments complex that is set for construction in the heart of Makkah, within reasonable walking distance of the Grand Mosque of Makkah, a site of pilgrimage in the Hajj that every Muslim must do at least once in their lives if able, and the main phase for the ʿUmrah, the lesser pilgrimage that can be undertaken any time of the year.
The project includes the constriction of 40 towers located on top of 16 structural bases with a total built-in area of well over two million square meters. The towers will consist of an array of apartments, malls, hotels as well as residential units. The hotels are projected to be within the capacity to host up to well over 36,000 annually and express a sharp spike in excess during the Hajj season of well over 100,000 guests.
The main aim of the scheme is to address the shortage of accommodation in Makkah in response to the rapid growth in visitor numbers.
Jubail 3B Independent Water Project
Developed by the Saudi Water Partnership Company (SWPC), the Jubail 3B independent water plant project entails the construction of a 570,000 m3/day water treatment facility approximately 18 kilometres south of Jubail Industrial City on the Arabian Gulf coast, adjacent to the existing Jubail phase 1 and 2 plants, and Jubail Reverse Osmosis (RO) plant in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The project also entails the installation of a 61MWp capacity solar facility – the largest in-house solar capability for a desalination plant in the Kingdom, that will help optimize electricity consumption and reduce grid reliance. Jubail 3B’s use of solar energy aligns directly with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and net-zero objectives that seek to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels and drive the shift to clean energy.
The Jubail 3B independent water project, which is being carried out on a build, own, operate (BOO) model by a consortium led by France’s Engie along with its Saudi partners Nesma Company and Abdulaziz Al Ajlan Sons for Commercial and Real Estate Investment Company under a US$ 692M contract, will supply water to Riyadh and Qassim regions once commercially operational in 2024, under the terms of a 25-year Water Purchase Agreement.