This Insane Luxury Hotel Will Transform Mecca into Disneyland

Mecca—the ancient holy city that’s been the site of Islamic pilgrimages for millennia—is being turned into Disneyland. Helping complete its transformation? This 2,000 foot-tall hotel, which will tower over the city like a desert fortress on steroids, projecting a dazzling green laser show at night. » 5/23/15 10:00am 5/23/15 10:00am

Saudi Arabia Is Building a 600-Mile Wall Along the Iraq Border

Saudi Arabia is building great wall — or rather, a great chainlink fence with razor wire — to "protect against ISIS" in Iraq. And it's not the only country investing in very expensive walls right now, even though they probably won't work. Why? Because walls aren't just about security. They're also powerful symbols. » 2/11/15 1:00pm 2/11/15 1:00pm

They're Finally Building the World's New Tallest Tower

For three years, the fate of Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Tower has hung in the balance. Originally conceived in the heady days of the 2000s, the project has gone through multiple delays and redesigns since 2008. Now, its final iteration—at one kilometer tall—finally been given a start-date for construction. » 3/24/14 3:40pm 3/24/14 3:40pm

How the Persian Gulf Is Quietly Building a Railroad Empire

Here in the U.S., the arrival of a new tunnel boring machine is huge news, warranting naming ceremonies and Twitter accounts. Meanwhile, in Doha, officials have quietly signed a contract to buy fifteen boring machines to build a sprawling new subway system. And that's nothing compared to the massive transit network… » 3/17/14 10:00am 3/17/14 10:00am

A Cruise Ship In The Desert? Zaha’s Next Project

Zaha Hadid Architects' proposal for a new intermodal transit station for the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, at first glance looks something like a cruise ship with a sharp prow cutting through the desert. This was part of the inspiration, as the sine waves that roll across the façade and organize the interior are… » 5/17/13 2:57pm 5/17/13 2:57pm

5250-Foot Tower Will Make Burj Dubai Look Like Pencil

Sure, the Burj Dubai tower looks amazingly tall, but it's final height— currently projected to be 2,300 feet— is less than half that of a new building planned for Saudi Arabia. It's going to be 5,250 feet high. Yup, that's just 30 feet short of a mile tall: taller than anything under construction anywhere, and making… » 3/31/08 6:52am 3/31/08 6:52am