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Wed 3 Aug 2011 07:44 AM

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Tallest tower 'needs guts to do' says Alwaleed

Kingdom Tower will be 'transformational', says Saudi Prince of planned world's tallest tower

Tallest tower 'needs guts to do' says Alwaleed
(© Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)
Tallest tower 'needs guts to do' says Alwaleed

Building the world’s tallest tower – with a height over 1km – needs “strength and guts to do”, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed said Tuesday.

Speaking to Arabian Business just hours after signing a $1.2bn deal to construct Kingdom Tower, the prince said: “These are the kind of projects l like to do – they are transformational and have an impact. These big projects need vision, strength and guts to do.”

[Click here for design images of Kingdom Tower]

He added: “It is about testing yourself, always pushing yourself to the limit, not sitting back and accepting the status quo.”

Once completed, Kingdom Tower will easily surpass Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, which is currently the world’s tallest building with a height of 828m.

Binladin Group, one of the kingdom’s biggest contractors, has won the contract for the tower. Foundation drawings for the structure are complete and piling work for the tower currently being tendered.

Asked whether he was concerned the project was being undertaken amid global economic uncertainty, Prince Alwaleed said:  “Why this project now?  And in the period when much of the world is still coming out of recession, people say ‘why now?’ Because we have confidence in our Saudi economy, and our market. I believe in the future strength of the region, particularly in Saudi Arabia and its leadership.”

With a total construction area of more than 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 expected to take the title of the world’s highest observation deck.

The complex will contain 59 elevators, including 54 single-deck and five double-deck elevators, along with 12 escalators. Elevators serving the observatory will travel at a rate of 10 meters per second in both directions.

Media reports earlier this year had suggested that the tower could be as large as 1,600m tall, making it twice as high as its nearest competitor.

The Tower will be the centerpiece and the first construction phase of Kingdom City. The urban development by Jeddah Economic Company’s (JEC) spans more than 5.3 million sq m in the north of Jeddah, overlooking the Red Sea and Obhur Creek.

The Binladin deal to build the tower was signed Tuesday by Jeddah Economic Company (JEC), one of Kingdom’s associate firms. The contractor also takes a 16.63 percent ownership of JEC.

Kingdom Holding holds 33.35 percent of JEC, alongside Abrar International Holding (33.35 percent) and Abdurrahman Sharbatly (16.67 percent).

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Al Sheikh 8 years ago

Without Sheikh Makhtoum's vision the whole gulf would be where they were in the 80's. He started it and they copied it which is a good thing. Like I said, at the beginning when they announced Burj Al-Khalifa, the tallest building will be in Saudi Arabia because every record in the Gulf belongs to the Saudis by default. No one else is allowed to have that.

Bishan 8 years ago

May be Dubai will come up with 1600m nakheel tower in near future again which was cancelled before because of global
financial crisis.
New record will be coming up all the time.

Ronnie Roback 8 years ago

Be Innovative, just building the tallest building is not the only thing to do.

Adrian 8 years ago

I agree with Al shekh. Guts is when you take a risk. Monopoly is not a gutsy move. what Dubai did in early nineties is clever and gutsy move. Building Burj Khalifa when the market is full of product is gutsy. But building a tower in deliberately starved market is not a gutsy it is matter of having the money. It is a sure thing.

shaddy 8 years ago

Dubai has been there, done that and surely will do it again!!

irfan khan 8 years ago

they will take another 20 years to build the tower till then Dubai holds the title....also they need to build the biggest mall ....fountain and hotel.....they should have a spot where you can watch all the wonders at one time