By James Exelby and Reuters
Gulf's second kilometre-high building inside a week announced for Jeddah.
A company owned by billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said on Sunday it has launched plans to build in Saudi Arabia the world's tallest tower which will be at least 1,000 metres high as part of a $26.7 billion project.
The news comes just days after Dubai developer Nakheel said it was going ahead with a $38 billion development including a "more than one kilometre high" tower in Dubai's Arabian Canal area. Architects privately told Arabian Business that the building would be 1,200 metres tall.
Kingdom Holding Co. said the Kingdom City and Kingdom Tower projects are worth total investments of more than 100 billion riyals.
The statement did not say what has become of Kingdom Holding's initial plans to have a mile-long tower.
The projects were unveiled and inaugurated in Jeddah in the presence of King Abdullah and Prince Alwaleed, the company said in a statement.
The two projects will "signify Kingdom Holding's contribution in placing Saudi Arabia at the forefront of the first world and reaffirming Kingdom Holding as one of the world leading real estate developers," the statement quoted Prince Alwaleed as saying.
The two projects' masterplans cover 7.1 square kilometres in the Red Sea city of Jeddah.
The built-up area covers 23 million square meters and includes multi-purpose facilities including residential, entertainment, retail and hotels.
Kingdom City is expected to house 80,000 residents and accommodate 250,000 visitors.
Each year millions of pilgrims visit Saudi Arabia. While the number of religious visitors is growing, the facilities are not. Despite the rising numbers, arrival and departure lounges do not offer much improvement year by year. The commute between Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah can possibly be made simpler and quicker by a rail link. This will bring a big change for Umra and Haj visitors making their trips shorter and easier. The train option will also generate revevnues and serve as a better option for the environment too. While a kilometer high tower will look good, why not invest in an initiative that can touch the lives and hearts of millions year after year?
"Oh, look at us, we got the biggest.... building." and "My building is bigger than yours!" I don't have a problem with creating wealth or building things, but to claim that pouring money to hire Western designers and consultants and Eastern labourers to build a really high building is equal to advancement in culture value or places anyone "at the forefront of the first World" is just a constant display of disregard to the World and basic common sense. Are we now like a bunch of trust fund brat students comparing who has the more exclusive cars and watches amongst us while failing every course in college?!
FYI, Mecca-Madina rialway is planned and might be a reality soon. I heard of new roads of km's in length, but this might be the new trend of constructing buildings in km's, may be by 2020 we will see a 2-km long bldg. God save ppl living at such heights, may be they can have meeting with ppl going in flights.
A suggestion for Prince Alwaleed - how about topping his new tower with a 4000-metre runway for his private A380 to land on? The structure would resemble the letter T (for Talal) and make sure that everyone knows who it belongs to.
How about building the worlds biggest of the biggest of the biggest...and emaar can built the bigger of your biggest....and then Aldar can built biggest of the bigger of the biggest! The emirates towers are still cool and a symbol of success in the gulf, the rest are all copy cats!
Instead of building the highest building in the "univers", Al Waleed could have thought of the most advanced university in the world, or the sharpest R&D Campus in the world... that would have much better impact on people out there