International Geotechnical Innovation Conference
With two of the world’s three mega tall buildings, a slew of mega projects and super tall structures, the longest underground water pipeline under construction, and home to one of the world’s biggest metro projects, the value of GCC’s ambitious mega structures (in planning and under construction) now exceed USD 2 trillion.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia leads the region in mega construction projects closely followed by the United Arab Emirates. At the heart of the Kingdom’s ambitious USD 725 billion megacities project is the 170-km long the Line project, a mixed-use structure planned at 500m tall (1640 ft), poised to be a construction marvel. The Jeddah Tower, with construction now resumed, is set to become the world’s tallest skyscraper at 1000m height. The Cube, planned at 400m tall, and the two 500m tall hotel towers in the Gulf of Aqaba in Neom are just some of the other upcoming mega structures that will transform Saudi Arabia’s skyline. With 26 new developments planned by its neighbour, the UAE’s upcoming mega projects include the Burj Binghatti, expected to exceed 472m ht and become the tallest residential tower globally, Palm Jebel Ali, and Dubai Urban Tech District among others.‘The River’ project which Saudi Arabia is embarking on, with the aim of providing drinking water to all Saudi households, will see the world’s longest underground river network spanning 12,000km in length, 11m in width and 4m in depth. The pipes running beneath the Saudi cities will extend for 126,000km, long enough to wrap the world three times.
The massive developments in the region further span across rail construction projects which include the Riyad metro project, one of the world’s biggest metro projects, that is reaching completion; the Etihad Rail Project, that will connect the UAE with the rest of the Gulf Countries; and the Bahrain metro project, Phase 1 among others.
Considering the desert, arid and semi-arid soil conditions found in the GCC, the deep foundations, underground excavations and geotechnical aspects associated with construction of these megaprojects presents significant challenges. The launch edition of the International Geotechnical Innovation Conference – IGIC, taking place in Jeddah, KSA from 5-7 May 2024 aims to delve into the deep foundation design and construction requirements imperative for enabling the safe, cost-efficient, and timely completion of the region’s mega projects. The conference further focuses on soil-surface interactions for deep foundation designing, innovative soil and ground improvement techniques, remote sensing techniques for ground survey, use of digital twinning and real-time simulations for underground excavations and deep foundation imaging, and achieving sustainability in geotechnical engineering.