First look at Saudi Arabia’s new mammoth cube shaped city


The sprawling mega project is the size of 20 Empire State Buildings and comes complete with racetracks for flying cars and immersive experiences that mimic visits to other planets.
The Mukaab. Image: Supplied

Autonomous cars are no longer a sign of the future.

In the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh plans are underway to build a massive city-within-a-city, complete with racetracks for flying cars and immersive experiences that mimic visits to other planets or worlds where people tower over regular-sized buildings.

Introducing The Mukaab (derived from the Arabic word for ‘cube’), this sprawling mega-project will act as the centerpiece to the surrounding New Murabba project which aims to expand the footprint of the capital to house an estimated 350,000 residents over 4,695 acres.

The Mukaab will reach 1,312 feet in height and provide a mixture of residences, hotels, office space and open air parks and walkways. Indoors holographic projections, such as giant-sized people pictured above, will create the immersive, futuristic experiences of the space.

The cost of the project has not been disclosed but is funded by Public Investment Fund, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, with the goal of generating a projected 180 billion riyals ($48 billion USD) of revenue and several hundred thousand jobs, according to a public statement.

Most crucially for Saudi Arabia, this revenue won’t be directly tied to the oil industry and can help attract both foreign investments as well as tourism income.

The project is part of the Vision 2030 which hopes to open up the country to the rest of world. It joins other ambitious projects, such as the Neom city (whose design concept calls for an artificial moon) and a ‘linear city’ called The Line which is planned to be just over 100 miles long.

Inside The Mukaab (above) is this central tower which acts as a focal point for the indoor city.

To provide a sense of scale, here’s an artist’s rendering of the dimensions of The Mukaab enveloping 20 Empire State Buildings.

Empire State Buildings within the Mukaab. Image: Supplied

A close-up of the central tower shows the space pod design of each level.

The very top of the tower is all glass to look down over the rest of the city.

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