Over the next 12 months, a plethora of futuristic mega projects are coming online across the Middle East.
From billion-dollar entertainment complexes, stadiums, mega-hotels, dining destinations, a mega-museum and the region’s largest aquarium, here’s a look at some of the biggest projects expected to open their doors in 2021.
UAE: The National Aquarium
The region’s largest aquarium will feature 10 aquatic zones spread over 5,000sqm. Part of the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi’s (EAD) ground-breaking rehabilitation center, it will feature local marine life and more than 250 species of fish, birds, amphibians, arachnids and reptiles, live underwater shows and a huge walk-through tunnel.
Saudi Arabia: Diriya Gate
Heralded as the ‘pearl of Saudi Arabia’, Diriya Gate will help put Saudi Arabia’s tourism attractions on the map. Located on the outskirts of Riyadh, Diriya Gate is a $17 billion development built on the site of the UNESCO-listed site of At-Turaif; the sprawling mud-brick capital city founded in the 15th century. It will form several luxury resorts, managed by leading international hotel brands, and include more than 100 dining and entertainment attractions. The first hotel’s due to open in late 2021.
Egypt: Grand Egyptian Museum
UAE: Yas Bay
UAE: Expo 2020
Spanning 4.38 square kilometers and in the Dubai South district, close to Al Maktoum International Airport, and within easy reach of Dubai International Airport, the mega-construction project is near completion.
Featuring its own metro line, it’s capable of transporting 36,000 passengers per hour.
This week, Dubai unveiled the signature pavilion for the Expo: The Terra Pavilion, comprising a towering 130 meter-wide (426 feet) canopy blanketed with thousands of solar panels, is part of the sheikhdom’s push to rally enthusiasm for the high-stakes expo amid the pandemic that has pummeled its economy.
The global pandemic forced the Expo’s postponement, but expects to attract 25 million visitors and a flurry of business deals. The event represents a $7 billion gamble by the city to boost international tourism and investment.
Bahrain: Bahrain International Airport:
Set to open this month Bahrain International Airport’s new $1.1 billion terminal, it boosts capacity to 14 million passengers per year. According to the Bahrain News Agency, the Airport Expansion Project is one of the Kingdom’s largest national developments in the sector in the last 20 years.
Featuring 104 check-in counters, 36 passport control booths and 24 security screening points the terminal – includes a new passenger terminal building which is reportedly four times the size of the exisiting passenger terminal.
Oman: The Beachfront, Jebel Sifah:
Oman’s major real estate and tourism developer Muriya has said work is ahead of schedule on The Beachfront, the latest development at Jebel Sifah, due for completion by the end of 2021.
A 40-minute drive from Muscat, Jebel Sifah is located between the towering peaks of the Al Hajjar Mountains, and features a Harradine-designed golf course. With a modern marina that includes superyacht berthing, a boutique hotel, restaurants and a choice of freehold residential properties, around 90 per cent of the project’s 118 units have already been sold, said the Omani developer.
And for the next ten years?
GCC countries are planning $1 trillion of megaproject investments, to transform economically and socially, according to a 2020 report by Strategy& Middle East. These include many in Saudi Arabia, including the NEOM project, a city positioned to become a high-tech, next generation global center for innovation, trade and creativity in the Kingdom.
THE LINE is part of NEOM, and the latter describes it as a “never-before-seen approach to urbanization.” It is a 170-kilometer (kilometer) belt of re-imagined urban development with multiple, hyper-connected communities, with natural and walkable spaces. A central tenant of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan aims to transform the country’s economy for a post-hydrocarbon age.
Other Saudi mega developments include the Red Sea Development Project, and Qiddiya, with all aimed to boost the Kingdom’s tourism sector.