Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal unveiled, on Tuesday, plans to build the world’s tallest tower, two-thirds of a mile high, in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, msnbc.com informs. He signed a USD 1.23 billion contract with Bin Laden Group for the proposed tower, which will take just over five years to complete. The building is the centerpiece of the planned Kingdom City. “Building this tower in Jeddah sends a financial and economic message that should not be ignored,” Prince Alwaleed told reporters. “It has a political depth to it to tell the world that we Saudis invest in our country despite what is happening around us from events, turmoil and revolutions even.”
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, a Chicago architectural firm, has been selected to design the Kingdom Tower, which will feature a Four Seasons hotel, serviced apartments, Class A office space, luxury condominiums and the world’s highest observatory. When completed, the 1,000-meter-plus tower would replace Gulf neighbor Dubai’s 828-meter Burj Khalifa as the tallest tower in the world. The Burj Khalifa was built by Emaar Properties for a total cost of USD 1.5 billion. The exact final height is still a closely guarded secret, though it will be at least 173 meters taller than Burj Khalifa. Kingdom Tower will contain 59 elevators and 12 escalators.