Rawabi is the first Palestinian planned city built in the West Bank, which seeks to be a prosperous centre for business and culture in the region, expecting to house up to 40,000 Palestinians. Despite still being unfinished, since January this year, the first residents have been slowly moving in.
The plan for Rawabi was first established in 2007 but work only started in 2012. Progress was delayed due to disagreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over the access road and water supply. Now the construction of Rawabi’s third and fourth neighbourhoods are nearly finished and construction will soon start on the fifth and sixth neighbourhoods. Once Rawabi’s 23 neighbourhoods are completed, its residents and visitors will have access to the workplace, stores, schools, houses of worship, restaurants, coffee shops, theatres and other means of entertainment.
The Rawabi neighbourhoods feature ten distinct building typologies with a range of apartment sizes, layouts and locations available for families to choose from, including modern amenities such as: underground parking areas, playgrounds, wide pavements, pocket parks and retail stores.
For the Palestinian-American developer, Bashar Masri, Rawabi has become “part of history- the first Palestinian city to be established in thousands of years” and he is sure that more cities will follow. The complex is the “epitome of an efficient, well-thought-out community,” where everything is organised and it is safe for children to go out.
There is a mosque and church under construction, which will serve the Palestinian Christian minority, as about 10 percent of Rawabi’s residents are expected to be Christian. Along with an amphitheatre that can hold around 12,000 people and the first Western-style open-air shopping centre in the West Bank, Rawabi offers a number of facilities that are unheard of in Palestinian areas.
Almost 200 Conservatives have visited the project as part of CFI’s delegations to the region.