ECA were commissioned to develop masterplan proposals for the City of Knowledge project. The site is located 4.9 km south of central Mecca (from the Kaaba) in Saudi Arabia.
The site has an area of 5 square kilometres. It is a vast project that will be undertaken in 17 phases. The site consists largely of a flat, open, arid plain, as yet undeveloped, and is surrounded by hills.
The project revolves around the holy city of Mecca or Makkah. The holy city has accommodation demands that far outstrip supply. It is the site of a massive temporary swell in population, largely in the tented city. This project is in response to a need for a more permanent solution, with its own identity and complementing Mecca. The holy city of Makkah, the birthplace of Islam, has a population of 1.4 million and the annual Hajj pilgrimage sees a further 2.5 million people inhabit the city for a month-long period.
A primary aim of the project is to create an educational facility which will serve pilgrims seeking a deeper understanding of Islam and its contribution to society. The educational facility will be developed by UKCIG during Phase Two of the development.
• Approximately 10 million Muslims from 140 countries visit Makkah annually
• $400 billion being spent on public sector investment during the next 5 years, and King Abdullah has pledged that KSA will continue to spend heavily on infrastructure
• Largest economy in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia topped all Middle Eastern countries in attracting foreign investments with $24bn in 2007, up 33%***
• In 2008, 1.7 million Hajj pilgrims came from outside of Saudi, 750,000 from within Saudi Arabia
• 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide
Cick on the thumbnails below for a more detailed walkthrough of the project.