Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, who initiated and has been the driving force behind the decision to build the world’s tallest tower in Jeddah, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is pleased to announce the investment of SAR 1.5 Billion from the Saudi Bin Laden Group (SBG) for a 16.63% stake in Jeddah Economic Company (JEC), owner of the Jeddah mega project that includes the world’s tallest tower (Kingdom Tower) with a height of over 1,000 meters with a total cost of SR4.6 billion. The Kingdom Tower will be the centerpiece and the first construction phase of Kingdom City Jeddah, JEC new urban development of more than 5.3 million sqm of land in the north of Jeddah overlooking the Red Sea and Obhur Creek. The partners of JEC are Kingdom Holding Company with a stake of 33.35%, Saudi Bin Laden Group with a 16.63% stake, Abraar International Holding Company represented by Mr. Samaual Bakhsh, with a stake of 33.35%, and prominent Jeddah businessman Mr. Abdulrahman Hassan Sharbatly with a stake of 16.67%. The final license to construct the tower was formally received from the Jeddah municipality on 19th February 2012.
Prince Alwaleed commented: “The world’s tallest tower in Jeddah will be completed in 63 months.”
“The vision of constructing the tallest tower in the world in Jeddah belongs to HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, who was closely involved in the selection of the scheme currently under design,” said Eng. Talal Al Maiman, Executive Director, Development and Domestic Investments, a board member of Kingdom Holding Company and a board member of Jeddah Economic Company, which was formed in 2009 to develop Kingdom City in Jeddah. “Prince Alwaleed, Mr. Bakhsh, Mr. Sharbatly and I were impressed by the boldness and simplicity of the AS+GG design. Kingdom Tower’s height is remarkable, obviously, but 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.” Eng. Al Maiman added: “The decision of the partners to build the world’s tallest building further demonstrates their belief in investing in this nation.”
With a total construction area of over 500,000 square meters, the soaring 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 anticipated to be SR75 billion ($20 billion).
“We intend Kingdom Tower to become both an economic engine and a proud symbol of the Kingdom’s economic and cultural stature in the world community,” said Eng. Al Maiman, “Kingdom Tower will be a landmark structure that will greatly increase the value of other properties around it in Kingdom City and indeed throughout North Jeddah.”
“We are confident that upon completion, 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,” Mr. Sharbatly and Mr. Bakhsh expressed in a joint statement. “In the meantime, we believe this project will create thousands of jobs, spurring the local economy.”
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 Mecca,” Eng. Al Maiman said. He noted that the southeast leg of Kingdom Tower’s tripedal base is on a direct line with the Ka’ba in Mecca, Islam’s holiest site.
An interdisciplinary team led by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG), based in Chicago, created the design of the Kingdom Tower. The team also included building services engineering consultants, Environmental Systems Design and structural engineering consultants, Thornton Tomasetti, engineer of three of the world’s top 10 tallest buildings. Jeddah Economic Company selected the AS+GG scheme after a lengthy competition process in which SOM, Pickard Chilton, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Pelli Clarke Pelli and Foster + Partners also participated.