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.”
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).
from / Arabian Business News