The KAAR project is a mega-project inside the Haram and within close proximity of the Grand Mosque. This multi-billion Riyal investment is targeted at improving the way citizens and visitors move within Makkah. The project provides a much needed boost to the local areas, not just improving the logistical elements related to the city, and particular pilgrimage, but also an opportunity to improve some of the more impoverished residential areas of Makkah (e.g. Az Zahra, Al Hindawiyyah) which the development passes through.
Key to the project will be the connection the Holy Mosque will have with the soon to be completed high-speed rail terminal located to the city’s west. The high speed rail line will provide a direct link to Jeddah and importantly the King Abdul Aziz International Airport. As a consequence the development at KAAR will be a major international gateway to the Grand Mosque. The multimodal transit network together with the boulevard will increase the accessibility around the Haram area. In peak periods this has been estimated to be as many as 150,000 people per hour. At over 3.5km long and between 40-60m wide – the generous boulevard not only provides safe passage for people between the two landmarks but also a genuine contribution to the cities functional public open space. Landscaped public plazas will provide opportunities for respite, shopping, or dining at one of the many proposed restaurants or purpose built kiosks. With the public spaces built over structures, the design response must make provision for loading and technical challenges whilst still meeting the owner and cities expectations.