Work on Saudi’s 1km Kingdom Tower to start April

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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)

Construction of Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower, which at over 1km will become the world’s tallest building upon completion, is set to begin in Jeddah next month.

UK construction trade magazine Building reported that above ground work on the $1.2bn project, which is being overseen EC Harris and Mace, will start on 27 April.

It is estimated that construction will take 63 months, with the project set to be completed sometime in 2018. Piling works were finished by contractor Saudi Bauer in December last year.

The developer behind the project, Jeddah Economic Company, has not decided on the precise height of the tower, other than that it will eclipse Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest in the world.

At over 1,000m and a total construction area of 530,000 sqm, Kingdom Tower will be the centrepiece and first construction phase of the Kingdom City development on a 5.3m sqm site in north Jeddah.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is undertaking multi-billion dollar projects to improve its infrastructure and meet its massive housing needs, spending over $400bn in the five years to 2013 in addition to more than $130m in social spending.

Jeddah, the country's second largest city with around 4m residents, has long complained of neglect.

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