New Saudi City Aims for Nearly 1m New Housing Units Near Mecca and Jeddah

Details have emerged on plans for a “giant extension” to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia that could add up to one million housing units by 2050, according to reports.

HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud.

HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud.

Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz is governor of the Mecca Region. In a press conference, the Prince told reporters that the Al-Faisaliah project development is a “giant extension of the Holy City of Makkah [rather] than a new city,” according to Arabian Business. The aim is to add 995,000 housing units and accommodate 6.5 million people by 2050.

Mecca, alternatively spelled Makkah, is on the west coast of Saudi Arabia near Jeddah, the Kingdom’s second largest city behind the capital, Riyadh.

The Kingdom plans to build a governmental complex, including the Governorate of the Mecca Region, as well as an airport and a seaport, residential areas, malls, and entertainment, educational, health, agricultural, and industrial facilities. The goal of the development is to reduce pressure on Mecca and Jeddah.

Two outlets report the development would be a “2,450 km² (946 mi²) project,” though that is likely ambitious. For comparison, all of New York City is 304.6 mi², and Riyadh, the Arab world’s largest city, is 694 mi².

The project will be supervised by the Mecca Region Development Authority, and seeks to model itself after other cities that employ renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, and will target production of 9.5 gigawatts (GW) of power from renewable energy sources, according to Trade Arabia.