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Sat 28 Jun 2008 04:00 AM

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Bid to trump Burj for tallest tower title

Trump Organisation may join forces with Nakheel to build tallest tower in world, Eric Trump says.

The race to build the world's tallest skyscraper just became a little more interesting.

The Trump Organization, one of America's biggest real estate developers, may join forces with Nakheel to build the world's tallest building in Dubai, Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization, told Construction Week in an exclusive interview.

The Trump Organization launched its latest hotel on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah this week in New York City.

The firm expressed an interest in extending its partnership with Nakheel to build the world‘s tallest building, The Burj Dubai, overseen by Dubai master developer Emaar, currently holds the world record, at around 1600 metres and growing.

The Burj Dubai, the centerpiece of a 500-acre development downtown, had long surpassed the Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taiwan as the tallest structure in the world.

And just to keep the race heated, Saudi Prince Walid bin Talal is planning a mile-high tower in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah that is expected to be twice the height of the Burj Dubai. And in Bahrain, a similar project is underway to even top the Jeddah project.

Construction competition in the Middle East is likened to the skyscraper building frenzy in 1920s New York City. And industry insiders say it's only appropriate that Donald Trump, who embodies massive development in that city, be a participant.

If Trump wants a piece of the action, he will find it in the Middle East. Since 9/11, American developers have come to expect strong opposition from environmentalists and municipal officials to building taller strucutures.

But unlike American skyscrapers, which are largely office buildings, most high-rise towers in the UAE and across the region are residential units, which are filling up quickly with UAE citizens and expatriates.

Rumours have been rife that Nakheel plans to build beyond the Burj Dubai height. There has been industry speculation about a possible Nakheel tower in Palm Jumeirah reaching 1.4km (one mile), making it the world's tallest building.

Eric Trump, Donald Trump's son, told Construction Week:

"The tallest tower in the world? Well, that's what we do. We build very tall, sleek, elegant buildings. If questioned about building the world's tallest tower, we would obviously be interested."

Asked if the Trump Organization would be interested in building higher than the Burj Dubai, the younger Trump said: "I absolutely would."

Donald Trump, president and CEO of the Trump Organization confirmed that he may embark on further ventures with Nakheel.

"We have further expansion plans with Nakheel in the Middle East, but first we want to make the hotel the success that we know it's going to be," he said. "We are ideally going to be looking at other things, and ideally with Nakheel."

RELATED LINK:Ambitious project for Trump and Nakheel