World’s tallest tower to be ready in mid-2017: Alwaleed
JEDDAH — Saudi Bin Laden Group (SBG) has bought a strategic 16.63 percent stake in Jeddah Economic Company (JEC), owner of the Kingdom Tower project, for SR1.5 billion ($399.9 million) as part of its growth strategy.
Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), made the announcement here Sunday.
With this investment, the total capital in JEC has risen from SR7.3 billion to SR8.8 billion, said Alwaleed, the driving force behind the tower.
The project to build world’s tallest tower here will be completed by the middle of 2017, Alwaleed said.
The 1,000-meter skyscraper worth SR4.6 billion is the centerpiece and the first construction phase of Kingdom City Jeddah, the new urban project of JEC to be developed on more than 5.3 million sq. meter of land overlooking the Red Sea and Obhur Creek.
“The final licence to construct the world’s tallest tower was received from the Jeddah Municipality in February and it will be completed in 63 months,” Alwaleed said.
A team led by Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) created the tower’s design. The team also comprised building services engineering consultants, environmental systems design and structural engineering consultants, Thornton Tomasetti, engineer of three of the world’s top 10 tallest buildings.
The partners of JEC are Kingdom Holding Company with a stake of 33.35%, SBG with a 16.63% stake, Abraar International Holding Company represented by Samaual Bakhsh, with a stake of 33.35%, and prominent Jeddah businessman Abdulrahman Hassan Sharbatly with a stake of 16.67%.
Talal Al Maiman, Executive Director, Development and Domestic Investments, a board member of KHC and a board member of JEC, said even though the Kingdom Tower’s height is remarkable, the building’s iconic status will not depend solely on that aspect. Its form is brilliantly sculpted, making it quite simply the most beautiful building in the world of any height.”
The Kingdom Tower will be a mixed-use building featuring a Four Seasons hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments, first class office space, luxury condominiums and an observatory that will be higher than the world’s current highest observation deck. The contract for construction of the tower was signed with SBG for SR4.6 billion ($1.2 billion) and the overall estimated cost of the entire Kingdom City Jeddah project is expected to be SR75 billion ($20 billion).
In addition to its status as an architectural landmark and economic symbol, Kingdom Tower will enjoy great cultural significance. “We envision Kingdom Tower as a new iconic marker of Jeddah’s historic importance as the traditional gateway to the holy city of Makkah,” Al Maiman said.
He noted that the southeast leg of Kingdom Tower’s tripedal base is on a direct line with the Holy Ka’ba in Makkah, Islam’s holiest site.
In a joint statement, Sharbatly and Bakhsh said they were confident that Kingdom Tower will become one of the world’s great tourist destinations as well as one of the most attractive places to live and work in the region. — SG __