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German Legal Expertise in the Middle East since 1981

Kingdom Tower, the Highest Building in the World 2016

Guiding Principle

In a region experiencing the highest rates of spending on real estate developments in the world, the Gulf region is going to be the platform for the world’s tallest building for the second consecutive time. The Kingdom Tower in Jeddah is going to overtake the title of Burj Khalifa as the current highest building in the world – with an overall height of 1 Kilometer. However, this will not happen any time before 2016 the estimated time for finishing the construction works of the new tower.

Driven by the oil revenue, and as a reflection for the increasing economic activities in the region, building skyscrapers has become the feature that distinguishes the cities in the Gulf.

In a further step to attract more attention, the Emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has started a new phase in building skyscrapers by building the highest tower in the world “Burj Khalifa” with an overall height of 828 metres (2,716.5 feet), more than 160 storeys, and $ 1.5 billion as the total cost for the constructions.

This step was under focus from Dubai’s neighbours in the GCC, where the first impact of this step has happened in Saudi Arabia the largest country in the Gulf region in terms of influence, area and population. On August 1st, 2011, it was announced that an agreement has been signed for the construction of the highest tower in the world “KingdomTower” in the city of Jeddah at the west cost of Saudi Arabia. Construction works for building the tower has already started in January 2012.

H.R.H. Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal – the richest person in the Arab world, the 19th in the world and a member of the Saudi royal family – is the one who stand behind this project through his company Kingdom Holding, which owns 33.35% of the shares of Jeddah Economic Company (JEC). JEC is a company established for the development of the city of Jeddah including the tower project. The remaining shares were distributed as follows: Abrar International Holding Company holds 33.35%, Abdel Rahman Al-Sharbatly Company holds 16.67% and Bin Laden Group, which will be the contractor of the project as well, holds 16.63%.

This will be the second tower holding the same name “KingdomTower” in Saudi Arabia. Kingdom Holding company already owns another tower in Riyadh under the same name, which is the highest tower in the Kingdom currently with an over all height of 300 meter.

Based on the experience gained from the building Burj Khalifa, the total cost of building the “KingdomTower” shall be less than the cost for building the Burj Khalifa, with $ 270 million. The cost saving occurred as the project development is being managed by Emaar Properties PJSC, which was the same developer of Burj Khalifa, also the designer of KingdomTower. Adrian Smith is one of the designers who designed Burj Khalifa. The total cost is estimated at Saudi Riyal 4.6 billion ($ 1.23 billion). In accordance with the statement issued by the Kingdom holding company in regards to the project execution, Saudi Riyal 1.5 billion shall be funded by the cash capital, while the rest of the estimated cost shall be funded by banks and the project income.

Building the tower represents the 1st phase of a larger project for building the Kingdom city in Jeddah, where the tower shall represent the centre of this city. The 2nd phase shall include developing the infrastructure of the entire land of the project, which is estimated at 5.3 million square meters. The study for the 3rd phase is still not completed yet.

The project is expected to be finalized within 63 months from the date of starting construction works, being finalized approximately by January 2016.

January, 2012 Hany Kenawi
Meyer-Reumann & Partners,
Saudi Office

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