A Dubai-based company, owned by a Saudi businessman Sheikh Tarek Binladen, is to build Africa’s tallest skyscraper in Morocco.
The 540-metre skyscraper, which will be built in Casablanca, is over twice the height of the current tallest tower in Africa, the 223-metre Carlton Centre in Johannesburg.
“It will be Africa’s highest tower,” project manager Amede Santalo told AFP.
Dubai-based Middle East Development LLC will construct the 114-storey building, estimated to cost $1 billion, according to Santalo.
AFP reports that the tower has a working title of ‘Al-Noor Tower’ – Tower of Light in Arabic – but that it will eventually to be named after King Mohamed VI.
“We chose Morocco because it is the gateway to Africa and Europe, a modern country and politically stable,” Santalo told AFP.
Work on the tower is due to begin in June, with an expected completion date of June 2018.
According to the project’s website, the design of Al Noor Tower is aimed at giving the feeling of a wedding dress.
“The height of 540m to remind us that Africa has 54 countries. Everyone in Africa will feel part of that tower,” says the website.
The 114 floors is also significant – same number of surahs or chapters in the Koran, while the façade of the building will be covered by patterns representing Africa’s 1,000 languages.
The building will include a seven-star hotel, a business centre and a shopping mall.