Kingdom Tower will be global tourism hit - officials

Prince Alwaleed's 1km tower plan in Jeddah will 'spur' Saudi economy, say project backers
An artists impression of the Kingdom Tower project. (Credit: Jeddah Economic Company/Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 09 Jun 2012 01:07 PM

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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