Palestine’s first planned city Rawabi has secured approval from the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Higher Planning Council.

Arabic for ‘the hills’, Rawabi is estimated to cost $1bn and is being touted as the largest private sector project.

It was first proposed at the Palestinian Investment Conference in Bethlehem in 2008.

"The multi-phase project will feature…two mosques, a church, a hospital, a cinema and a 15,000-seat amphitheatre." 

The Palestinian Authority will provide off-site infrastructure, while the development company Bayti will design and develop the city.

Initially planned by Aecom, the multi-phase project will feature residential, retail and leisure facilities, two mosques, a church, a hospital, a cinema and a 15,000-seat amphitheatre.

Mutaz Khdeir from Bayti said the project will have 6,000 residential units.

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The amphitheatre would be modelled on the traditional Roman design, complete with cafes and restaurants.

Development is being funded by the Qatari company LDR and Palestinian multi-millionaire Bashar al-Masri.