Kingdom Tower will be global tourism hit - officials

Prince Alwaleed's 1km tower plan in Jeddah will 'spur' Saudi economy, say project backers
An artist's impression of the Kingdom Tower project. (Credit: Jeddah Economic Company/Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)

An artist's impression of the Kingdom Tower project. (Credit: Jeddah Economic Company/Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)

Kingdom Tower will become one of the world's top tourism destinations once it is completed, senior project officials have said.

Abdulrahman Hassan Sharbatly and Samaual Bakhsh said in a statement that the project to build the 1km tower in Jeddah would create thousands of jobs and would "spur" the Saudi economy.

"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," Sharbatly and Bakhsh said in a joint statement.

Their comments came at a meeting with Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company and the driving force behind the ambitious project.

With a total construction area of over 500,000 sq m, Kingdom Tower will be a mixed-use building featuring a Four Seasons hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments, office space, luxury condominiums and an observatory.

Construction, which started earlier this year, is expected to take a total of 63 months.

The contract for construction of the tower was signed with Saudi Bin Laden Group for SR4.6bn ($1.2bn) with the overall estimated cost of the Kingdom City Jeddah project seen at SR75bn ($20bn).

Talal Al Maiman, chairman and CEO of Kingdom Real Estate Development Company who was also at the investors meeting, added: "We intend Kingdom Tower to become both an economic engine and a proud symbol of the kingdom's economic and cultural stature in the world community.

"Kingdom Tower will be a landmark structure that will greatly increase the value of other properties around it in Kingdom City and indeed throughout North Jeddah."

He added: "We envision Kingdom Tower as a new iconic marker of Jeddah's historic importance as the traditional gateway to the holy city of Mecca."

The partners of Jeddah Economic Company, the firm behind Kingdom Tower, are Kingdom Holding Company with a stake of 33.35 percent, Saudi Bin Laden Group (16.63 percent), Abraar International Holding Company (33.35 percent), and Sharbatly (16.67 percent).

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Posted by: Marcellus Kelley

In my opinion,I order for this to be an icon,you need a different version of this same building in another country!

Posted by: jay

all of the comments have substance from different angles but lets try to answer the question would i visit Riyadh to see a building and the simple answer is no however as Riyadh has global visitors who come for religeous visits may well visit the building so in fact were double counting the same people.
The challeng for Saudi Arabia is what does it have to offer the western non muslim tourist and simply its nothing
having been there the malls are the same as anywhere else there is no scenery to see so like kuwait and the rest of the conservative world its eating or shopping and i would go to dubai a 100 times before i go to Riyadh
its a Vanity project for the biggest most powerful country in the middle east and if thats what they want to do good luck to them
i would have thought it would be better to ensure your citizens and expats had better lives than vanity

Posted by: Hatem Jameel

Dear Jay,
Good day,
please let me introduce my self, My name Hatem Jameel Saudi Tour Guide,
1st of all you and any guest would like to visit Saudi Arabia are most than welcome, its not only Muslims Can come. none Muslims are welcome too.

Moreover, Muslims visit Markka and Medina the 2 holy city, Jeddah city too as its the nearest airport and seaport to the Holy cites.

Now, for your information, tourism in Saudi is way far from your question
look into above link and find out about Saudi tour.

Jay, lett me once you would like to visity countery, I will be glad to be your tour guide, please look into my personal site for some info and photo;

You will be surouprise what Saudi & Saudi Arabia can offer to you, our armes, our heart and our countery are wide open for guest.

Hatem Jameel

Posted by: Chef

This put a smile on my face! "global tourism hit" are we talking still Saudi Arabia?

Posted by: John

Tourism hit! Come on! They plan to build this building just due to the feeling that Dubai has belittled them by building Burj Khalifa and a tower taller than Burj Khalifa will be the answer to it.

Posted by: Enigma

Being a visitor of the existing Kingdom tower in Riyadh I would like to mention that taking a picture with your camera in the Kingdom tower, around it or on the most visited attraction "Skybridge" is prohibited. The guards will quickly approach you and advise not to perform such an action, justifications are not understood or welcomed at all.

Saudia has a long way to go when it comes to tourism. For now lets just change the title of this article to "Kingdom Tower will be a global hit".

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