Saudi Arabia has announced a plan for another megacity that promises an iconic waterfront similar to the one in London. The city called Marafy will be built north of Jeddah and have a mixed-use land development, according to a report in Al-Arabiya. It will have the capacity to accommodate 130,000 people with a seven-mile-long (11 kilometres) man-made canal at its centre, the outlet further said in its report. Marafy is being constructed by ROSHN Group, which is backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).
According to developers, the idea behind the megacity is to bring marine environment into the heart of a historic city that has been welcoming traders, travellers and pilgrims for centuries.
The 11-kilometre and 100-metre-wide navigable canal connect to and extend Obhur Creek and will be surrounded by multiple unique districts, said Al-Arabiya.
“Marafy will be a gamechanger on the real estate development sector, raising the bar of development in the region, boosting the quality of life, and creating a huge impact in Jeddah,” David Grover, Group CEO of ROSHN Group, said in a release.
He added that Marafy is one of the iconic projects that will put Jeddah on the map of the world class destination.
The waterside districts of the canal will be connected to each other and the rest of Jeddah by an inter-modal transport system with water taxis, buses, and subway. It will also have a direct link to the King Abdulaziz International Airport.
This is yet another ambitious project of the Kingdom, which is also building Neom, a new city on the Red Sea coast. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is showcasing Neom as a city that would overhaul Saudi Arabia’s economy and serve as a testbed for technology that could revolutionise daily living, with a $500 billion budget.
There are many intriguing features, such as flying elevators, an urban spaceport, and structures styled like a double helix, a falcon’s spread wings, and a flower in blossom.
Earlier this year, Neom finalised a deal worth $5.6 billion with a group of local investors.