$20 bn plan to transform Jeddah desalination plant into a museum

Project expected to create 25,000 jobs in the city
$20 bn plan to transform Jeddah desalination plant into a museum
Jeddah Central Project (Image Credit: SPAl)

Work is underway to transform the Jeddah desalination plant into a museum that will document the city’s industrial past from King Abdulaziz’s reign to the present.

The museum, which will be built by the Jeddah Central Development Co., will open in 2028 and will include, among other features, studios dedicated to creative visual production and exhibitions representing industry and culture.

Ahmed Abdulaziz Al-Saleem, CEO of Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Central Project, stated that the museum will provide a “rich experience” that will illustrate the desalination process “in both its historical and scientific aspects.”

Read more: $90bn project pipeline will give Jeddah real estate a new identity

Major international landmarks


Al-Saleem is overseeing the 75 billion riyals ($20 billion) plan to develop 5.7 million square meters of the port city, which will include major international landmarks, such as an opera house, a museum, a sports stadium and coral farms.

The initiative seeks to serve as a source of inspiration and creativity for both locals and tourists, supporting artistic endeavors throughout Saudi Arabia, with a variety of tourist, entertainment, sports, cultural, commercial, and residential facilities.

Jeddah museum

25,000 jobs


The Jeddah Central Project is expected to create 25,000 jobs in the city, according to the firm behind the development.

A spokesperson for Jeddah Central Development Co. stated that the opportunites will be in the form of direct and indirect jobs.

Updated plans


Studio Heatherwick has revealed updated ideas for the project, which would see the transformation of a desalination plant into a complex of galleries and ateliers spaces. The area will become a new zone based on craftsmanship and the arts, taking the shape of a marketplace for artists and designers, along the Red Sea’s waterfront.

The main turbine hall will be rebuilt into an exhibition space – lofty, industrial, and dramatic, the space will be imbued with human-scale comfort. The elongated building, which will face a semi-enclosed marketplace, will be coated in a soft, silver cladding designed to reflect sunlight as part of a low-carbon strategy.

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