Saudi Arabia plans 11km Jeddah canal megaproject

'Game-changer' Marafy will include homes for 130,000 plus commercial area, built around the body of water

A rendering of Marafy with its horseshoe-shaped waterway. Photo: Roshn
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Saudi Arabia has launched a mixed-use megaproject near Jeddah that includes an 11km canal.

Roshn Group – Saudi Arabia's biggest developer, owned by the kingdom's Public Investment Fund – announced plans to develop Marafy, located north of Jeddah, that will accommodate more than 130,000 residents once completed.

A 100m-wide navigable canal, the first to be built in Saudi Arabia, will be flanked by promenades and a number of residential and commercial districts, officials said.

The canal will create a waterfront comparable in size to the likes of Chicago, Hamburg and central London, Roshn Group said.

Featuring water taxis, it will provide a direct canal link to King Abdulaziz International Airport.

The horseshoe-shaped waterway will be connected to Obhur Creek, which flows to the Red Sea, and is located close to the under-construction Jeddah Tower.

The cost of the project and its expected completion date were not revealed.

David Grover, Roshn Group chief executive, described Marafy as “a game-changer on the real estate development sector”.

“It’s one of the iconic projects that will put Jeddah on the map of a world-class destination in all aspects,” he said.

Roshn was established to make long-term investments across Saudi Arabia by developing residential communities.

It is developing housing projects in Riyadh, Makkah, the Eastern Region, Asir and Al Kharj.

Home buyers in Roshn communities will have access to mortgage programmes offered by the Ministry of Housing, the developer said.

Updated: September 01, 2023, 1:45 PM