Mukaab, Saudi Arabia’s Immense Cube For Riyadh’s New Murabba Quarter


Mukaab is a part of the New Murabba Project, set to recast downtown Riyadh. The Mukaab will have state-of-the-art entertainment, dining, and retail options. 

Saudi Arabia plans to build a cubic building with 400m height and a two sq km floor area.

On February 16, 2023, the Saudi government unveiled its latest grand plan to modernize its capital city. A super-city within a city. This Saudi behemoth of a building can fit 20 Empire State Buildings.

Why is the Mukaab cube-shaped?

Mukaab is ‘çube’ in Arabic. The New Murabba Development Company, headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, developed the idea.

The cube exterior of the building is a shell for a dome, which acts as the second shell for a unique, haphazardly shaped spiral tower.

Mukaab and the New Murabba Project

Riyadh’s Mukaab is the center of the New Murabba Project, the world’s largest and most modern downtown. Set to be completed by 2030,

Najdi architecture

The style is a modernized reimagination of Najdi architecture, found in traditional Arab buildings, only grander, much gander, multiple times greater in size and magnitude.

Many generations have perfected this architectural style, best suited for the region’s desert climate. The seeming haphazardness of the design serves to control the environment within the structure sustainably.

The cube shape is not Cosmetic. It helps the function of limiting the energy needs of the project.

Location and Features

The cube and the New Murabba quarter are located northwest of the city at the intersection of King Salman and King Khalid roads. The roof of the cube will have a garden area, and the tower will have:

  • over 100,000 residential units, 
  • 9,000 hotel rooms and 
  • 1.4 million square meters of office space, 
  • 1.8 million sq. meters for community facilities
  • dozens of entertainment and culture venues.

Cost and expected impact on the Saudi economy

The sustainably built 19 sq. km, Murabba project will add $ 47 billion, SAR 180 billion, to Saudi Arabia’s non-oil GDP.

According to the project developer, this will be the world’s largest modern downtown, offering 25 million sq m of floor space built over a 19 sq km site.

A University too

Along with all else going on, the project’s 80 entertainment venues, including “an immersive theatre,” are planned to support a technology and design university for local and international students. 

Mukaab vs. NEOM

For most parts, the NEOM project has dominated headlines for its ambitious zero-carbon goals and futuristic design.

In comparison, the Mukaab’s design is the world’s first immersive, experiential destination, where you will be transported to Mars one day and other magical worlds the next. 

The Mukaab is the latest plan developed under Vision 2030 focused on realigning the country’s economy and revolutionizing lifestyle. 

Once again, Why a cube?

According to a Saudi press release, the cubic shape of the Mukaab ensures the best use of space. The cube will use the latest digital technology and holographic to create an immersive experience inside the cube.

The roof of the cube will have a garden area, and the spiral tower will contain manifold retail, cultural, and tourist attractions, including hotels. The dome walls will display digital scenes to create an immersive experience for those inside.

Mukaab will be the centerpiece of a vast new quarter. At its center will be “a spiral tower, the base of which will be a premium hospitality destination” with retail, cultural, tourist, commercial, and luxury residential attractions.

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