The neoliberal real estate model and the fantasy of hyperreality: the case of Rawabi City, Palestine

Shaden Awad, Sahera Bleibleh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA) after the 1993 Oslo Accords opened doors for private local, and international, investments, mainly in real estate sector. This paper focuses on the case study of the city of Rawabi (hereafter, Rawabi), in the Ramallah and Al-Bireh governorate (R-AG). In such context, the urban boom has been influenced by the neoliberal market and new global realities, cultural fascinations, and technological advances. As argued by Jean Baudrillard, the engagement of the technology in the architecture industry not only enabled the emergence of new architectural typologies and meanings to market alternative models of “dream designs” but also has affected the boundaries between the real and the imagined. Following a qualitative ethnographic socio-spatial methodological approach, this study examines the city model of Rawabi, in reference to neoliberal policies, the investors’ vision, emerging architectural typology, promoted readymade lifestyle, and residents’ everyday lived reality. The study involves theories of selected literature on neoliberal policies and profit-driven urban development, hyperreality, and architectural industry to discuss the evolution of the commodified urban landscape in the Occupied Palestine and its impacts on the quality of living, accessibility and social inclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalCity, Territory and Architecture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Architectural industry
  • Hyperreality
  • Neoliberalism
  • Palestine
  • Profit-driven urban development
  • Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate
  • Rawabi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Architecture
  • Urban Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'The neoliberal real estate model and the fantasy of hyperreality: the case of Rawabi City, Palestine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this