This week I had the privilege of presenting at the IESA conference at Coventry University on the...
From 3D printing to digital twins, technology is revolutionizing the way the construction industry operates throughout the Middle East.
This is not surprising given the region’s digital dominance as it has been a hub for some of the most exciting and innovative projects in the construction industry globally.
None more so than in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The construction market is set to grow by 4.69% CAGR and 5% CAGR by 2027, respectively, according to Mordor Intelligence.
This growth is spurred on by multiple significant initiatives, including the Expo 2020 Dubai, the Dubai Tourism Strategy in the UAE, and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.
With the construction industry in the Middle East on a phenomenal upward trajectory, let’s take a look at five of the mega projects set to make the most significant impact in the region:
1. Museum of the Future, Dubai
Opened in February 2022, the Museum of the Future in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), is one of the most complex structures ever built.
The dynamic and impressive landmark in Dubai's heart comprises three main parts: the green hill, the building, and the void. The striking 78-meter-high structure consists of seven floors within a torus-shaped shell sitting on a three-story podium.
The building façade is clad in stainless steel, achieving LEED Platinum status, and designed holistically through BIM at every design stage. The building also depicts flowing Arabic calligraphy forming poems that describe the vision for Dubai’s future
Designed by local architectural firm Killa Design with BuroHappold Engineering acting as lead consultant on the project.
The museum’s innovative look has set it apart as a showcase for future technology building design.
2. NEOM, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The flagship project of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, NEOM, is a planned $500 billion high-tech city on the country’s northwest coast.
Situated at the “crossroads of the world,” the city will span 26,500km² and is strategically placed east of Egypt, South of Jordan, and extends 460 km along the coast of the Red Sea.
Dedicated to future technologies across 16 sectors—including food, manufacturing, and technology—NEOM will introduce a new model for living. Focusing on nature and creating a sustainable, livable, and walkable city, NEOM will be powered by 100% renewable energy and become a tourist and innovation hub.
At the center of the city’s design is The Line—a 170km belt of hyper-connected future communities without cars and roads and built around nature. This revolution in urban living at NEOM is desired to become a blueprint for how people and the planet can co-exist in harmony.
3. Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
Designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim museum in Abu Dhabi will open in 2025.
Located in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District, the museum is a collaboration between the Department of Culture and Tourism—Abu Dhabi (DCT) and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.
The 42,000sqm building will become the largest of the four Guggenheim museums globally. The design of the building is “an experiment in inventive 21st-century museum design” and will comprise a cluster of galleries of varying heights, shapes, and characters. The final building will also contain a center for art and technology, a children's education facility, archives, a library, and a conservation laboratory.
4. Jeddah, Riyadh, and Makkah Metros
In Saudi’s first and second cities, alongside the country’s holy city, construction is underway for metro systems to serve the city's growing populations.
In Riyadh, the first lines of the city’s new metro system are set to open in 2022, with the remaining lines set to become fully operational in 2023. The system will include six main lines spanning 176km with 85 stations.
Jeddah’s new metro system will open in 2025, with three lines currently under development. The $60 billion project is being slated as an “integrated urban masterplan for the 23rd century” by project designers Foster + Partners.
While in Makkah, its new public transport program will include a new metro system and bus network. A four-line metro system will cover 180km and serve 88 stations. Due to complete in six phases over 20 years, the system will play an integral role in transporting the millions who visit the city each year to undertake Hajj and Umrah.
5. Etihad Rail
Etihad Rail is the UAE’s new national rail network. With the goal of connecting the UAE to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)—a political and economic union of six Arab states bordering the UAE, KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and Bahrain—the state-of-the-art network will form a vital part of the planned railway network across the GCC.
Built in several stages, the railway will eventually stretch for 1,000km across the UAE. Stage One connecting Shah and Habshan to Ruwais was completed in January 2016. Stage Two will connect Ruwais with Ghuweifat on the UAE border with Saudi Arabia is underway.
The railway will redefine logistics and transport in the region, providing a modern, safe, efficient, and sustainable network and will act as a catalyst for economic growth and sustained social development.
Digital solutions are at the heart of creating mega projects globally. With this trend showing no signs of slowing down, maybe it’s time to learn more about adopting a construction technology platform? Find out how the Asite CDE can help you transform your projects here.
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