Watch: Saudi Arabia Is Building A New Cubed Skyscraper Filled With Holographic Worlds


The Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced plans to build a 400-meter-high cube-shaped skyscraper named Mukaab as part of its Murabba downtown plan in Riyadh. Set to be built to the northwest of central Riyadh, the 19-square-kilometer development is being planned as a new downtown area for the Saudi capital city that’s set to comprise over 25 million square meters of floor area and create 104,000 homes.

Described as the “new face of Riyadh”, it will be built around the Mukaab structure, which will be “one of the largest built structures in the world”.

The structure will be 400 meters high, making it officially a supertall skyscraper, and 400 meters long on each side. It will become the tallest building in the city.

The cube-shaped building will be enclosed in a facade made of overlapping triangular forms that were informed by the modern Najdi architectural style. It will contain two million square meters of shops, and cultural and tourist attractions and have an almost full-height atrium space that will contain a spiraling tower.

The Mukaab skyscraper forms part of the wider Murabba district announced by Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, chairman of the newly formed New Murabba Development Company.

The wider development will contain over 100,000 residential units and 9,000 hotel rooms along with more than 980,000 square meters of shops and 1.4 million square meters of office space.

It will also include 80 entertainment and culture venues, a technology and design university, a multipurpose immersive theatre, and an “iconic” museum. Its designers also intend the Mukaab to be the “world’s first immersive destination” — and trust us, you can’t possibly guess what that entails.

By “immersive,” the designers mean an entirely digital and virtual world augmented by a sea of holographic, claiming to “let you live on Mars,” and other destinations.

Visitors can also be immersed in the deep sea, as well as what looks like the floating Hallelujah Mountains out of “Avatar,” according to a promotional video. In other words, it sounds like they’re intending to make this thing a giant, almost VR planetarium.

According to the Saudi Arabian government, the project is set to be completed by 2030 which is a surprisingly quick and short timeline considering something of this sort of scale.

Despite the country’s recent announcements of several headline-grabbing schemes, some have voiced concerns about the environmental impacts of such projects and the allegations of human rights abuses within the site labor forces engaged to build them.


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