Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed, whose Kingdom Holding Company is behind the 1km-high Kingdom Tower project, has argued that the scheme is on “a solid strategic path” following a meeting of the project’s various partners.
The third meeting of the project’s board saw them discuss its latest development, including the formal award of a $40.8m (SR: 153m) contract for piling works to Saudi Bauer Foundation Contractors, which was announced last month.
Saudi Bauer also completed the piling on the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which is currently the tallest building in the world at 828m.
The award was made by main contractor Saudi BinLaden Group, which has also invested $400m in the project and holds a 16.6% stake in the entity which is developing the scheme, Jeddah Economic Company.
Eng. Talal Al Maiman, chairman and CEO of Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Real Estate Development Company, said: “The vision of constructing the tallest tower in the world in Jeddah belongs to Prince Alwaleed, who was closely involved in the selection of the scheme currently under design.”
He added: “The decision of the partners to build the world’s tallest building further demonstrates their belief in investing in this nation.”
A licence to build the tower was granted in February 2012 and the project is earmarked for completion by 2017. It is expected to cost $1.2bn, and form the first phase of a wider Kingdom City scheme that is projected to cost $2bn.
Kingdom City Jeddah will be built on a 5.3m m2 plot on the north of Jeddah overlooking the Red Sea.
Alongside Saudi Binladin Group’s investment, Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding Company has a 33.35% stake, Abraar IOnternational Holding Co has 33.35% and Jeddah-based businessman Abdulrahman Hassan Sharbatly has the remaining 16.67%.
Mr Sharbatly and Abraar International’s Samual Baksh said in a joint statement that on completion Kingdom Tower would be “one of the world’s great tourist destinations as well as one of the most attractive places to live and work in the region”.
“In the meantime, we believe this project will create thousands of jobs, spurring the local economy,” he said.
The tower has been designed by Chicago-based architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordn Gill Architecture (AS+GG). The design team also includes building services engineering consultants, Environmental Systems Design and structural engineer Thornton Tomasetti.
Kingdom Tower will be a mixed-use building containing a Four Seasons hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments, office space, luxury apartments and an observatory level that will be higher than the world’s current highest observation deck.