Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced yet another plan for a massive structure in the Saudi capital Riyadh, The structure called the Mukaab, and which resembles the holy kaaba in Mecca, will be the center of The New Murabba, a neighborhood being built to entice tourism to a new kind of commercial center Mecca.
Big enough to fit 20 Empire State buildings inside, consider the Mukaab a shape-shifting fantasy block where inside you enter realms of the multiverse, without the goggles.
This oil-funded plan does include green spaces as the renderings suggest and Saudi Arabia has been undergoing plans to plant 1 million mangrove trees. But instead of a multiverse, why not make your city center one of nature and trees like in Paris or New York City.
According to press material released the Mukaab will serve as the focal point in the city’s news downtown, called the New Murabba and in total the land area will be about a third of the size of Manhattan at seven square miles. And the cube will “have it all” namely tourist attractions and hotels with residential units totaling about 100,000; 9,000 hotel rooms and 1.4 million square meters of office space.
Below are some simulated images of how he Mukaab will look to visitors on the inside:
Like The Line on the Red Sea, the Mukaab promises that everything you need will be a 15-minute walk and just a 20-minute drive to the airport. That part we like. But in experimental cities, even on a small scale and in a more open-minded society like around Abu Dhabi, their $22 billion zero-energy city experiment known as Masdar never became a thing.
Maybe the starchitects the Saudis have hired know something I don’t but the only way I can see humanity surviving the next 100 years is by getting out in nature, real nature, not a hologram of nature, and by getting away from building monoliths to smaller family-owned farms and land,
Maybe this is too much for the Saudis who in just a few decades have been so removed from their simpler ways of living and being thanks to the power and promises of oil money. But to each his or her own.
If the Saudis could help the world make a breakthrough on harnessing energy from nature (free energy for all!) then I’d have no problem with them speeding around in as many simulated cities as they like. Meanwhile, keep up with the problems Saudi Arabia is building for the Red Sea area: a climate killing ski resortand Neom, Gotham city on the Red Sea,
Meanwhile, the Middle East Monitor has collected some interested quotes from Saudis and what they think of all this. Some Muslims are against the similarity to the Kaaba, and others say that cubes are common building shapes in Saudi Arabia. As Saudi Arabia is fairly inaccessible to foreign journalists, we can gather that Saudis are just as opinionated about their home as New Yorkers are about New York.
DISCLAIMER: I hereby declare that I do not own the rights to this music/song. All rights belong to the owner. No Copyright Infringement Intended.
#kaaba #commercialism #Riyadh
You must log in to post a comment.