The contract to design the 160ha King Abdullah International Gardens (KAIG) was won by a joint venture, which included the UK's Natural History Museum and engineer Buro Happold.
The eco-friendly scheme also includes an external 'Wadi Garden' - the central space enclosed by the crescent - and an enclosed 'Garden of Choice'.
Nick Sweet, project director, said: 'In this day and age, we are all, to one degree or another, fearful of the rapid climate change occurring in the world and many are uncertain about how to respond.
'We wanted to use the scheme to tell the story of a single piece of land through time. It might be a desert now, but there was a time when rivers flowed here and forests grew,' Sweet added.
The project is due for completion in spring 2010.