Final licence awarded to start 1km Kingdom Tower

The Jeddah-based skyscraper will be the world's tallest building when complete
(© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)
By Shane McGinley
Tue 21 Feb 2012 04:07 PM

The final licence to build the Kingdom Tower, which will be the world’s tallest building when complete, was awarded on Tuesday.

HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), confirmed the paperwork required to start construction of the 1km tower, which will be located in Jeddah, had been received from authorities.

The SR4.6bn ($1.22bn) skyscraper, which will be taller than Dubai’s Burj Khalifa – the current holder of the world’s tallest building title – will be the centrepoint of Kingdom City, Jeddah’s new 5.3m square metre urban development.

Located on land in the north of Jeddah overlooking the Red Sea, initial construction work at the $20bn development began last month.

“This project will provide sustainable profits to shareholders,” said Prince Alwaleed. Five contractors were invited to offer proposals for the Kingdom Tower and a short list of three firms submitted final offers, with the Saudi Bin Laden Group (SBG) winning the contract.

The 500,000 square metre Kingdom Tower will be a mixed-use building featuring a Four Seasons hotel, office space, luxury condominiums and the world’s highest observation deck.

“We are confident that upon completion, Kingdom Tower will become one of the world’s great tourist destinations as well as one of the most attractive places to live and work in the region,” said Samaual Bakhsh and Abdulrahman Hassan Sharbatly, partners in the Jeddah Economic Company, which was formed in 2009 to develop Kingdom City.

“In the meantime, it will create thousands of jobs, spurring the local economy,” they added in a statement.

The architects behind the tower are Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. Founding partner Adrian Smith was also the architect behind the 828m-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

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