Kingdom Tower to be completed by December 2018

Official height of tower confirmed at 1,008 metres, CEO of project’s owner says

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Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower is scheduled to be completed by December 2018, the CEO of the Jeddah Economic Company has confirmed during a summit in Dubai.

Set to be the world’s tallest tower at 1,008 metres, Mounib Hammoud told delegates at the Arabian World Construction Summit that contractors were currently working on the raft foundation of the tower.

“It is the largest concrete raft in the world. In places, the thickness is five metres,” Hammoud said. “Everything in the tower is the biggest or tallest.”

Contractors working on the $1.6 billion project expect to complete the raft foundation by August of this year.

The tower will be the nucleus of a new commercial centre to the north of Jeddah. The first phase will stretch out over a total area of 1.4 million square metres. It will in include the tower, a mosque for 12,000 worshippers, a shopping mall and a number of residential and commercial buildings.

Hammoud said that the entire first phase could cost as much as $3.73 billion to complete.

The contractor on the project is the Saudi Binladin Group. In February 2013, a joint venture between EC Harris and Mace was awarded the project management contract to oversee development of the tower.

Earlier this month, Hammoud said that construction funding for the project would be in place by the end of the first half of this year. BNP Paribas SA is currently advising Jeddah Economic Company, he added, but did not disclose the size of the loan being sought.

The builder has been looking for financing since April 2012, a report by Bloomberg News said, quoting sources familiar with the project.

“The slogan of the company now is ‘It’s happening’ because, before I joined last September, people were asking whether the project is happening,” Hammoud said at the time. “We are up and running.”

Kingdom Holding Co, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s investment company, and partners including tower builder Saudi Binladen Group are trying to arrange funding after investing $2.3 billion in the project, Hammoud said.

They are seeking a bank loan with a maturity of five to seven years, he added.

Saudi Binladen Group has invested $400 million in order to gain a 16.6% stake in Jeddah Economic Company, the project’s owner. The building received final municipal approvals in 2012.

Kingdom Tower was designed by Adrian Smith, the Chicago architect responsible for the 828-meter Burj Khalifa, which opened in Dubai in 2010 and currently holds the record for the tallest building.


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