Cities boast their skylines with the pride and power of the swaying, stiff-built beauties- Supertall Skyscraper. The expansive scales, soaring heights, and dainty views that they offer have often attracted visitors from over the world since time. The Empire State building, Petronas twin towers, Burj Khalifa, The Shanghai towers, and the list sure is never-ending. Buildings from Middle Eastern countries have always seemed to top the list of tallest buildings. News so far has revealed that they would continue to top it for another couple of decades until and after Saudi Arabia‘s vision for downtown comes to reality by 2030.  

New Murabba Riyadh’s Downtown | Supertall Skyscraper

Saudi Arabia unveils giant cube-shaped supertall skyscraper for downtown Riyadh - Sheet1
New Murabba_©Skyscrapercity

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, chairman of the newly formed New Murabba Development Company has announced a mega project for the city – The New Murabba, claiming to transport people into the future. Alternatively called the “New face of Riyadh”, The New Murabba is the world’s largest modern downtown covering an area of about 19 sq kilometers, with over 25 million square meters of floor area assigned to house hundreds of thousands of residents with sustainability at its core. The project is located between King Salman and King Khalid intersection roads. New Murabba was designed with people at its heart. The downtown promises working, living, and entertainment spaces, all within a walking radius of 15 minutes. It is also conveniently in closer proximity to the airport. At the heart of the New Murabba is its icon, The Mukaab – the star of this project.  

Saudi Arabia unveils giant cube-shaped supertall skyscraper for downtown Riyadh - Sheet2
The city_©Skyscrapercity

The Mukaab 

Saudi Arabia unveils giant cube-shaped supertall skyscraper for downtown Riyadh - Sheet3
The Mukaab_©Skyscrapercity

Saudi Arabia has promised to build one of the supertall skyscraper in the world to transform the country into a world leader in tourism, technology, and creative industries. The Mukaab which means ‘The cube’ in Arabic, will be a 400m tall and 400m wide cubical building at the center of the Murabba downtown. The Mukaab resembles the ‘Kaaba’ owing to its cubical shape, though this fact has been denied by the Saudi Arabian government. The volume of the giant cubic skyscraper is reportedly large enough to hold about 20 Empire State buildings. The Mukaab project focuses on creating sustainable neighborhoods with residences in each neighborhood. The cube will be built as a multifunctional structure with a floor area of 25 million square meters. 

Saudi Arabia unveils giant cube-shaped supertall skyscraper for downtown Riyadh - Sheet4
Inside the Mukaab_©Skyscrapercity

The proposed cube has a central tower on top of the spiral base and a hospitality destination with a floor area of 2 million square meters to house retail, tourist, and cultural attractions. It is also going to feature 104,000 residential units, 9000 hotel rooms, more than 980000 square meters of retail space, 1.4 million square meters of office space, 620000 square meters of leisure assets, and 1.8 million square meters of space dedicated to community facilities. Transportation facilities between the city and the amenities in the Mukaab will be exceptionally high. There are also proposals to build a museum and a theater along with entertainment and cultural avenues. 

Project Aim

Inside the Mukaab _©Skyscrapercity
Inside the Mukaab _©Skyscrapercity

“The New Murabba Development Company” is going to build a geographical region rather than a brand new city. Saudi Arabia envisions diversifying its economy by 2030 and this project gives it direction to develop public service sectors. The Mukaab is expected to add revenue to the country’s non-oil GD thereby creating 334000 direct and indirect job opportunities by its time of completion. It is so far seen as the only indoor supercity designed in the Najdi Architecture style to open its doors for people into the futuristic worlds. The destination is proposed to have ever-changing environments through the use of virtual and digital technology to create holographically. However, the project has been criticized for its environmental impact and alleged human rights abuses connected to the development.

The public investment fund says “The Mukaab will be the world’s first immersive experiential destination, where you enter a new reality transported to Mars one day and the magical worlds the next. A gateway to another world. “

Inside the Mukaab _©Skyscrapercity
Inside the Mukaab _©Skyscrapercity

Monuments and great buildings have been symbols of modernization and development in the history of architecture. The Mukaab is looked at as an opportunity for the modernization of Saudi Arabia that would define Riyadh’s skyline.

Najdi Architecture | Supertall Skyscraper

Najdii Architecture _©Skyscrapercity
Najdii Architecture _©Skyscrapercity

Najd is a central Arabian ancestral homeland of the ruling Al-Sayyid Dynasty. A typical residence in the Najd region was a two-storied structure built around an open geometrically shaped central courtyard. Houses were built on either side of the streets for shaded walkways. Climate-responsive and vernacular construction materials like sun-dried bricks and mud were chosen to create comfortable interiors. Many of these elements were considered during the design of The Mukaab. The mimicking elements of the Najdi architecture in the New Muraab city include compact clusters of dwellings separated by narrow roads for shading. The facade of the building has been designed keeping the homelands geometric shapes in mind. 


Indian Express. What is Mukaab, a cube-shaped super-city to be built in Saudi Arabia that can ‘fit 20 Empire State Buildings.[online]  Available at: Mukaab-saudi-arabia-kaaba-8461212 [Accessed on 26th Feb,2023]

Sharon Benjamin, Arabian business. New Saudi megaproject: What we know about New Murabba, the world’s largest downtown.[online] 


[Accessed on 26th Feb,2023]

New Murabba. Gateway to Another World.[online] 

Available at: /  [Accessed on 26th Feb,2023]

Skyscrapercity. New Murabba. [Photograph] 

Skyscrapercity. The city. [Photograph] 

Skyscrapercity. The Mukaab. [Photograph] 

Skyscrapercity. Inside the Mukaab. [Photograph]

Skyscrapercity. Najdi Architecture. [Photograph]

Skyscrapercity. Inside the Mukaab. [Photograph]

Skyscrapercity. Inside the Mukaab. [Photograph]


An architectural graduate with a vision to create artful and functional environments. She has a strong inclination towards exploring and interpreting the aesthetics of people, places, and buildings. With a writing niche, she believes in the power of words to emote.