The cube-shaped Mukaab will be the cenerpiece of Riyadh's new downtown (Credit NMDC)

The seven monarchies of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are known for their mega projects. Dubai, the UAE's largest and most populous emirate, is home to the world's tallest building, biggest mall, and largest man-made island. Now, Saudi Arabia has announced plans to build the "World's Largest Inner City Building" in the capital city of Riyadh.

The Mukaab, or "Cube" in Arabic, was unveiled on February 16, 2023. When complete, the 1,312 feet (400 meters) tall structure will be Riyadh's highest building. With sides as long as it is tall, the Mukaab will have over 22 million square feet (2,043,866 sq. m) of floor space. This is enough to fit 20 Empire State Buildings!

The Mukaab will be large enough to fit 20 Empire State Buildings (Credit: NMDC)

The building's sparkling gold exterior will be patterned with overlapping triangles. A spiral tower will stand at the center of the cube structure. It will be surrounded by a mix of residences, hotels, retail shops, office space, and open-air parks.

The Mukaab will be the centerpiece of a new downtown area planned for Riyadh. The development also includes thousands of homes and over 80 entertainment venues. A technology and design university is also in the works. The entire project is expected to be completed in 2030.

A spiral tower will be built at the center of the Mukaab (Credit NMDC)

The Mukaab is just one of several ambitious projects announced by Saudi Arabia. In 2022, the government revealed plans to build "The Line." The $725 billion futuristic city is designed around nature, without cars and roads! Saudi officials hope the new developments will help diversify the country's oil-dependent economy. The futuristic projects will also attract tourists from around the world.