In 2016, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa will be displaced from its role as the world’s tallest tower.
The contender: the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah.
Earlier this month, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal selected the Saudi Binladin Group – a construction giant owned by the family of the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden – to erect the Kingdom Tower.
Chicago-based Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture has been chosen to design the 1,000-meter structure (3,281 feet) estimated to cost 4.6 billion riyals ($1.2 billion).
In a public announcement three years ago, Alwaleed revealed construction plans that include a hotel along with residential and office space.
Kingdom Tower – phase one of a 5.3 million-square-meter project titled Kingdom City with panoramic views of the Red Sea and Obhur Creek – will be the magnum opus of a 100 billion-riyal overhaul of Jeddah.
This property represents another feather in the cap for Emaar Properties PJSC, a United Arab Emirates-based real-estate behemoth, coincidentally also responsible for the construction of Burj Khalifa.
Alwaleed’s investment company, Kingdom Holding Co., geared up for action soon after the onslaught of 2008’s credit and real estate crises.
With a population that has nearly quadrupled over the past four decades, 900 homes need to be added per day for five years, officials said. So far, it appears unclear whether this building will make a dent in Saudi Arabia’s mounting housing deficit.
The Binladin Group is now a partial shareholder in Jeddah Economic Co., the project’s owner, along with Kingdom Holding and Abrar International Holding Co. and Abdurrahman Sharbatly.