Giga Projects in Saudi Arabia, born from Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s Vision 2030, redefine ambition with 14 colossal developments. Each project weaves a tapestry of innovation shaping the kingdom’s landscape and future. As the sun sets over the vast landscapes, a symphony of ambition and innovation resonates across the kingdom, transforming the arid terrain into a canvas of colossal dreams.
Let’s delve into the 14 major Giga projects in Saudi Arabia.
Neom, a name that echoes across the dunes, is the crown jewel of Saudi ambition. Sprawling over 10,200 square miles, this futuristic endeavour encompasses 10 regions, each a testament to architectural prowess. From the octagon-shaped port city of Oxagon to the 170-kilometre-long marvel called The Line, Neom stands as a beacon of audacity. Internationally acclaimed architects, including Zaha Hadid and Morphosis, contribute their genius to shape this controversial yet awe-inspiring landscape.
In the shadow of Neom, Roshn quietly emerges, driven by the vision to elevate homeownership to 70% by 2030. The Public Investment Fund’s brainchild, Roshn, is already a symphony in progress, harmonizing the construction of 400,000 homes, 850 mosques, and 2,400 schools. With 27,000 homes under construction, Roshn promises residences and a flourishing ecosystem.
The Red Sea Project
Along the coastline, The Red Sea Project is a tale of luxury. Foster Partners crafts an airport 15 kilometers inland, setting the stage for unrivalled resorts. Coral Bloom Island Resort and a ring-shaped hotel on stilts showcase architectural mastery, inviting tourists to indulge in the lap of luxury. Kengo Kuma designs 100 holiday villas, weaving a narrative of harmony between man and nature.
In the west of Riyadh, Diriyah unfurls its story, a $63.2 billion development transforming the At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage Site. Led by Jerry Inzerillo, this cultural haven aims to enchant 38 hotels, six museums, and 26 cultural attractions. The Bujairi Terrace, a premium dining district overlooking the mud city, marks the first chapter in this grand redevelopment.
King Salman Park
Central Riyadh witnesses the birth of the world’s largest urban park, King Salman Park. Masterminded by Henning Larsen and Omrania, this 16.7-square-kilometre oasis boasts 11 square kilometers of greenery watered by 100% recycled city water. Ricardo Bofill’s pyramid and Adjaye Associates’ pavilion stand tall at the heart of this green symphony.
The bustling Jeddah Central, funded by the Public Investment Fund, stretches over 5.7 million square meters. Heatherwick Studio transforms a desalination plant into an arts centre, GMP Architecten crafts a stadium, Henning Larsen designs an opera house, and SOM creates an oceanarium. Together, they compose a skyline that dances to the rhythm of modernity.
The Qiddiya Project unfolds west of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s emerging capital for entertainment, sports, and culture. This 367-square-kilometre extravaganza hosts sports arenas, concert halls, a Jack Nicklaus-branded golf course, and the exhilarating Six Flags, featuring the world’s longest, tallest, and fastest rollercoaster.
Riyadh’s skyline redefines itself with Murabba, a commercial and entertainment district built around the 400-meter-high Mukaab skyscraper. Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman’s vision materializes with 100,000 residential units, 9,000 hotel rooms, and a vibrant mix of shops, culture, and tourism spanning 19 square kilometers.
The Saudi Downtown Company, an arm of the Public Investment Fund, weaves “modern, mixed-used downtowns and destinations with diverse local cultures” across 12 cities. Stretching over 10 million square meters, this project breathes life into urban spaces, marrying tradition with modernity.
Umm Al Qura for Development & Construction leads Masar, a redevelopment project alongside the Grand Mosque in Makkah. This 3.6-kilometer-long stretch will host 205 towers, each a testament to Saudi’s commitment to progress. Omrania, HOK, and RMJM collaborate to shape the future skyline of Mecca.
Nestled in the northwest, Al’Ula beckons as the cornerstone of Saudi Arabia’s cultural and touristic aspirations. French architect Jean Nouvel’s subterranean hotel and AW2’s luxury tent resort unfold as architectural wonders amidst museums designed by luminaries like Lina Ghotmeh and Asif Khan.
King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD)
Although not a Giga project, the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh is a testament to Saudi Arabia’s commitment to economic prowess. Henning Larsen’s masterplan hosts 61 towers, connected by air-conditioned bridges and crowned by the Zaha Hadid Architects-designed KAFD Metro Station.
Named after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, MISK is a non-profit city that incubates businesses and supports future leaders. CallisonRTKL’s shaded spine, Studio Anne Holtrop’s transparent art institute, and Conrad Gargett’s triangular headquarters merge seamlessly in this 15-minute city powered by automated buses.
Owned entirely by the Public Investment Fund, Seven aims to “make tomorrow more entertaining.” From Riyadh to Yanbu, 10 entertainment districts promise a haven for the youthful population. Indoor arenas, arcades, and cinemas blend seamlessly in these districts, ensuring that Saudi Arabia’s tomorrow is captivating.
In the crucible of Giga projects, Saudi Arabia forges a future that intertwines tradition with innovation, creating a narrative that resonates in the Arabian sands and across the global landscape. The kingdom’s ambitious dreams, woven into each project, invite the world to witness the metamorphosis of a nation at the crossroads of progress and tradition.