We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Wed 29 Jan 2020 09:33 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Saudi Arabia planning confidential new 'utopia' project, says architect

Bjarke Ingels' firm was also the designers behind the masterplan for Saudi Arabia's Qiddiya project

Saudi Arabia planning confidential new 'utopia' project, says architect

Bjarke Ingels, the Danish architect and founder of the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

Saudi Arabia is working on a confidential new project, according to the architect who designed the masterplan for Qiddiya, the kingdom’s theme park and entertainment city due to open in 2022.

Bjarke Ingels, the Danish architect and founder of the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) told The Guardian newspaper in an interview he was working on a confidential project which he described as “a human-made ecosystem that is as close to a utopia as you dare imagine”.

Ingels did not give any further details in the interview and when his office was contacted by Arabian Business his spokesperson declined to comment further.

BIG is already active in the kingdom and wider GCC region and was the firm behind the design of the masterplan for the Qiddiya project. Construction work on the $8bn, 334 square kilometre giga-project, known as Qiddiya, started in January 2019, with the first phase scheduled to complete in 2022.

The new entertainment city is situated 45km from the Saudi capital of Riyadh and will include a Formula One-standard racing track, a 20,000-seat cliff-top stadium, an 18,000-seat indoor arena, an aquatic centre and a sports hub and a 2,000-seat performing arts theatre and a cinema.

The development will also be home to Six Flags Qiddiya, an extension of the American theme park, with six themed lands, which includes the world’s longest, tallest and fastest roller coaster and the world’s tallest drop-tower ride.

Qiddiya’s golf and residential neighbourhood will feature two 18-hole championship standard courses and offer club house facilities, in addition to residential components throughout.

By 2030, Qiddiya hopes to draw 17m visitors annually and build new sectors that will contribute up to 17bn riyals ($4.5bn) to Saudi Arabia’s gross domestic product, employing some 25,000 people.

BIG has also worked on designs for the planned hyperloop transport system set to connect Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which will reduce the travel time between the two UAE cities to around 10 minutes.

Digital magazine: Read the latest edition of Arabian Business online

For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.