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Madinah Gate, a glass and light stone mixed use building with gold accents. In front, tables with white umbrellas and chairs
Madinah Gate

Vital Support to Pilgrims, Tourists, and Local Community


Knowledge Economic City KEC

Project Location

Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


971,000 SF


Planning, architecture, interiors

The goal for this mixed-use development is to design and deliver a new urban center – Madinah Gate – which will provide vital support services to pilgrims, tourists and the local community visiting the Prophet Mosque in the city of Madinah.  The project will also act as a catalyst for further development in this holy city.

The design goal is to create a dynamic transit, retail & hospitality experience while upholding the authenticity of the local area surrounding the site. The design for Madinah Gate is born through this lens, creating a well-connected hub in the city. The spirit of the journey is preserved in the project through meaningful and sustainable translations of vernacular architecture and clustering masses which in turn provide a shaded and intimate walkable experience.

The Retail Experience

Forecasted to connect 10 million visitors a year by 2030, DLR Group’s design is centered around creating a vibrant retail destination at Madinah Gate. The design introduces a new district of urban buildings to reflect the city and establishes an identity that is unique to Madinah by pulling design components from surrounding neighborhoods. The project is the city’s first transit-oriented development and creates a well-balanced mix of retail, and food and beverage options for local residents, travelers, and pilgrims. Warm stone and local materials are utilized to reflect an honest aesthetic for Madinah. The massing is juxtaposed by a dynamic triangular pattern that is inspired by traditional craft and local architecture, continuing the legacy of the region’s identity.

Madinah Gate is a culmination of the journey that has evolved through the centuries from its humble beginnings of caravans to buses and automobiles, and now to the technologically advanced highspeed rail system. The journey of passage between the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina unraveled not only for religious purposes but also trade and lodging. This has been the way of the Hajj for many centuries. As we reveal the story behind this development, we look back to understand the journey that bore this advancement and realize the importance of Madinah Gate as the new hub for the city of Medina and how it is poised both to usher in and send forth travelers who are not only pilgrims, but also those who live and thrive in the city. The Madina Gate hub as the first modern-day transit-oriented development in the city of Medina has undergone a process of design to link the history of the journey, the Holy City’s rich culture and heritage, and its people and communities.

The vision for the development is to achieve the key “success factor:” to integrate hospitality, retail, and transportation facilities and provide an iconic, attractive, welcoming “front door.” The project is a key, integral element of the KEC program, which is planned to be an exemplar in sustainable economic growth and diversification for other KSA Economic Cities and countries in the GCC. The aim specifically is to achieve integration of the Station Gate site (E17 1) and ease of access with the bus terminal and train stations, while generating activity through anchors and entertainment tenants.

Key sustainability decisions were also made.

  • Sun Radiation Simulation
    Based on a building heat map study, the hotel facade, street facing façade, and courtyard will not exceed sun light intensity of 1.550 kWh/m2. Surfaces exceeding sun light intensity of 1.550 kWh/m2 were utilized to install PV Panels with a total area of 2,250 SQM.
  • Microclimate
    Passive cooling strategies create a livable microclimate. Wind channeling across the open retail corridor will lower outdoor air temperature. Cross ventilation through courtyard entrances towards the station, and one-sided ventilation from the entrance toward inner courtyards will maintain comfortable outdoor climates.
  • Storm Water
    Grading of the hardscape enables passive irrigation during rainfall events. Overflow from the roofs and landscape areas is directed towards the city network. Storm water can also be harvested during the rain season in underground tanks.
  • Thermal Performance
    The project is divided into separate thermal zones. Indirect natural lighting minimizes heating impact combined with appropriate U-value glass. Thermal insulation of the roof and wall elements provide cooling.


In the Media

3 story building seen from across parking lot, Double Tree hotel rising above, right. Multiple entrances and large windows
Design concept for Madinah Gate Image by DLR Group

Designing the Future

Madinah Gate is featured in an interview with Design Middle East magazine and heralded as the first Saudi transit-oriented mixed-use development to connect with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's high-speed rail station and align with the master plan for the Islamic World District.

Read More


Best Mixed Use Architecture Saudi Arabia

Arabian Property Awards

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