The “Kingdom Tower” will soon become Saudi Arabia’s newest shiny toy and the tallest man-made structure in the world; a title that has been hold by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, since 2010. The Kingdom Tower represents a SR4.6 billion investment ($1.23 billion), as well as the centerpiece and first phase of “Kingdom City”, the $20Million; 17-million-square-foot metropolis, located just north of Jeddah.
If completed as planned, the record-breaking skyscraper will overlook the Red Sea at a staggering height of 1,000 meters. Four times taller than The Shrad and over 500 feet taller than Khalifa Tower. Half a million cubic meters of concrete and about 80 thousand tons of steel are expected to be used during construction, set to begin next week. Once finished, Kingdom Tower will have 200 floors, including an observatory at 1,600 feet, and will cover an area of more than 500,000 square meters.
Saudi Arabian prince, Al-Waleed bin Talal is creator and leader of the project, as well as chairman of Kingdom Holding Company. Al-Waleed is the nephew of King Abdullah, and naturally, the wealthiest Arab in the Middle East. American architect, Adrian Smith is responsible for the design of Kingdom Tower, who seems pretty popular around the Arabian princes since he also created the blueprint for Burj Khalifa, back in 2004.
The new Kingdom City will consist of a 5.3 million-square-diameter of urban development, with offices, commercial centers, housing, hotels and more. Although Al-Waleed sees his project as giving the city an icon that represents the nation’s wealth and power, plans for the “royal city” have caused some heavy polarized feedback based on the economic predictions that negative financial consequences will result from this project. CEO of Jeddah Economic Company, Waleed Abdul Jaleel Batterjee, disregards these accusations by promising, “the project itself will set the world’s sights on our beloved Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (…) Furthermore, the project will help create hundreds of jobs for our Saudi countrymen.”
Kingdom Tower is set to be finished and inaugurated in 2019 and will undoubtedly become self-proclaimed winner of the 21st Century Middle East pissing match.