It took more than 20 months for Kingdom Holding Company, a diversified investment group, to convince investors to put money to build the over one-kilometre-high Kingdom Tower in Jeddah.
“Convincing the investors took us well beyond 20 months, working every detail of every aspect of project finance. We will be monitoring the financial success of the project very closely,” said Talal Al Maiman, Chief Executive Officer, Kingdom Real Estate Development Company, real estate arm of Kingdom Holding, during the presentation at Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Shanghai Congress 2012.
The tower, which is expected to be complete in 2017, will be a mixed-use building, featuring a Four Seasons Hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments, office space, luxury condominiums and an observatory at higher level than the world’s current highest observation deck.
Burj Khalifa is home to the world’s highest restaurant at Level 122 at 442 metres and At the Top observation deck is located at Level 124 at 452 metres. At the Top, which is at 452m.. The tower has 900 studio, one, two, three and four bedroom, while the Armani Residences has 144 fully furnished private apartments.
In his presentation, Al Maiman revealed details of the tower:
-Tower height: 1000 plus metres (to surpass Burj Khalifa by at least 173 metres)
-Highest occupiable floor: Level 163
-Observatory deck: Level 125, 502 metres
-Restaurant: Level 127, 510 metres
-Sky Terrace: Level 157, 630 metres
-Car parking spaces: 3100
-No of tower elevators: 42
-Speed: 10 metres per second
-It will take 98 seconds to go from the lobby to the observatory level.
-Two triple decker elevators, which will be first of their kind in the world
-Total built up area: 556,000 square metres
During his presentation, Al Maiman said: “Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is a known international investor and he was actually the soul behind the project… he insisted to have it, he fought to have it and he will have it.”
The contract for construction of the tower was signed with Saudi Bin Laden Group for $1.2 billion.
Kingdom Tower is the centerpiece of the Kingdom City Jeddah, which covers 5.3 million square feet of land in the north of Jeddah, overlooking the Red Sea and Obhur Creek. The master development consists of commercial, residential, educational, institutional, hotels, entertainment, retail and hotel facilities. The total estimated cost is $20 billion.
At the end of his presentation, Al Maiman said: “Kingdom Tower is an invitation to all innovators in the world to reach a place where no man or an elevator has been before.”
The CTBUH, in 2012 review on tall buildings, said 66 buildings taller than 200 metres were completed, the third most in history, but down from the 82 finished in 2011.
The global number of buildings taller than 200 metres has almost tripled since 2000, increasing from 263 to 756 at the end of 2012. In total, 35 buildings taller than 200 metres were completed in Asia in 2012 and 16 in the Middle East. On the contrary, six were completed in North America, including only two in the United States, which once dominated tall building development.
Of the projects under construction, 59 will join the list of the 100 tallest buildings in the world; eight will likely make the top 10. There are also 10 buildings taller than 500 metres under construction, including three mega-talls, over 600 metres.
The CEO, in his presentation, thanked Dubai-based Emaar Properties, the developer of iconic Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest tower.
“The challenges we faced started in 2006 when we tried to identify the land to build the tower. We are developers, but we never developed such a (large) scale project. So we went to our partners and professional friends Emaar. We talked to them and they helped us out… we liked to thank them for doing so,” Al Maiman said.