Riyadh : Saudi Arabia-based Kingdom Holding Company, headed by Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal, is going ahead with its plan to build a 1.6-kilometre-high tower in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, an official source has said.
The tallest tower in the world when completed, already informally dubbed the mile-high tower, will be double the height of Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which is currently the world's tallest man-made structure.
"The Kingdom Tower in Jeddah is one of the many huge real estate projects Kingdom Holding plans to develop," a source told Gulf News yesterday on condition of anonymity.
"Jeddah Al Eqtisadiah, a subsidiary of Kingdom Holding, has signed an agreement with the Emaar Group of the UAE to develop a city and the huge tower in Jeddah.
"Emaar was selected from five multinational companies that competed for the contract.
The firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture has been appointed to design the tower. Architect Smith was also involved in the design of Burj Khalifa when he was a member of the firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill.
The mile-high tower overlooking the Red Sea will be built on an area of 3.5 million square metres in the Obhur Gulf, 20 kilometres north of the Jeddah city centre and not far away from Jeddah's King Abdulaziz International Airport.
According to official information issued by the company, a city to be constructed around the tower will sprawl over an area of 23 million square metres at a total investment of SR100 billion ($26.6 billion). The city will have the capacity to accommodate 80,000 people in addition to shopping and entertainment facilities. It will have hospitality facilities catering for up to a million visitors.
Kingdom Tower Jeddah will have retail facilities and conference halls at the top besides a five-star hotel, offices and deluxe residential units. It was first announced by Kingdom Holding in February 2008.
Last year, reports had suggested the project was either on hold or scaled back. Kingdom was quick to refute these reports.