A Pakistani real estate firm said it has secured US$20bn in funding from investors to build the world’s tallest building as part of a project backers claim will help eradicate terrorism in the country.
According to Pakistan’s The News, US real estate mogul Thomas Kramer will provide the first tranche of funding for Bahria Town’s Bundal & Buddo Islands, a large development that will also include housing for up to 1m people. Kramer is previously known for revitalising Miami’s South Beach area in the 1980s.
The report said that the time span for the project was five to ten years, with other amenities including the world’s largest shopping mall, a media city and expansive medical facilities. Handover of housing units set to start in 2016, the newspaper said, while the project will be connected with Pakistan’s mainland by a six-lane highway.
The developer claims it will create 2.5m jobs in a country ranked the 33rd most corrupt in the world by Transparency International.
“We know that the construction sector has played a key role in transforming the USA, Malaysia, Japan, Turkey and Germany into developed nations,” Bahria Town CEO Malik Riaz was quoted as saying. “In the same manner, Inshallah, Pakistan will also become a developed nation, which is our vision.”
“I have full confidence in the people and economy of Pakistan,” Kramer reportedly added. “Further I am confident that this project along with boosting the economy will also eradicate terrorism from Pakistan. This is a once in a lifetime chance to bring Pakistan back on the map to the leading nations in the world.”
Newspapers in Pakistan incorrectly reported last month that Bahria, headed up by tycoon Malik, had entered an US$45bn agreement with Abu Dhabi Group’s Dhabi Contracting, run by UAE minister Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al-Nahayan, to build the Karachi project.
Sheikh Nahayan told Arabian Business that while a memorandum of understanding to provide technical support on the project had existed, this had subsequently been scrapped, and no financial commitment had been entered.
"There was never a financial commitment," Sheikh Nahayan told Arabian Business. "Yes I did," he added when asked if he had cancelled the MOU.
The world’s current tallest tower is Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, which stands at more than 800m tall. Its record is set to be broken in 2016 though when the 1km Kingdom Tower in Jeddah is completed.