Saturday, 13 June 2009

Emaar to develop Saudi kilometre high skyscraper

The Jeddah tower
From a Kingdom Holding (KSA) Press Release 13 June '09 and Zawya.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Kingdom group said Saturday it had signed Dubai-based Emaar to develop and supervise the construction of a kilometre-high tower in Jeddah.

The Jeddah Kingdom City and Kingdom Tower will comprise 23 million square metres (247 million square feet) of commercial, residential and office space on 530 hectares of land near Jeddah's international airport, Kingdom said in a statement. The Kingdom Tower was unveiled first in 2003 and in 2007 the Kingdom group announced that the US-based engineering firm Bechtel would oversee the project. Kingdom Tower is part of the Kingdom City development which will be one of the largest and most comprehensive real estate projects to be built in Saudi Arabia located at Obhur, North of the creek of Jeddah and the mountains to the east.

Prominently located on a prime site, the master plan, encompassing 5.3 square kilometers. Kingdom City in Jeddah is 20 km from the old city of Jeddah near King Abdulaziz International Airport. The centerpiece of the development will be the landmark Kingdom Tower. Kingdom City is expected to house 80,000 residents and accommodate 250,000 visitors who will enjoy its facilities; lakes, canals, water sports and other leisure activities.

Prince Alwaleed commented: "The alliance between Kingdom Holding Company and EMAAR is strategic."

EMAAR are in charge of developing and supervising the construction of Jeddah Kingdom City land and Kingdom Tower, the highest in the world. EMAAR was selected by Kingdom Holding from 5 other international developers, for their previous proven experience in the development of mega projects, their knowledge of the area and social setup. EMAAR was able to bring together an experienced team within a week from the signing to work on the development, master planning, traffic study, environment and updating market research and commencement of ground work. Furthermore, the preliminary license was obtained and the EMAAR team is working closely and in co-ordination with the Jeddah municipality.

The centrepiece of the 100 billion riyals (26.6 billion dollar) project will be a 1,000 metre-high (3,280 feet) needle-like skyscraper, taller than any building completed or under construction in the world.

The current tallest building, the Burj Dubai, which towers over the Dubai emirate to the east of Saudi Arabia at a current height of 800 metres (2,624 feet) while still not completed, is being built by Emaar.

According to industry reports Bechtel pulled out early this year.

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