Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talaal has signed a contract through his Kingdom Holding Company with Dubai-based Emarr Properties to develop the construction of Kingdom Tower which will trump the current world record holder for tallest building (currently the Burj Khalifa) by over 200 meters, with the Burj Khalifa standing at 828 meters. The tower will be designed by Chicago-based Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture, and will encompass a two -square mile urban development project totaling upwards to a final cost of $20 billion. The tower itself will feature a Four Seasons Hotel, luxury condos, luxury office space, and “the worlds highest observatory.” While no doubt an ambitious endeavor, many observers are skeptical of the project especially given the current global financial climate. The current record holder for tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in neighboring Dubai, remains embarrassingly vacant almost a year after its opening, with only 75 of the 900 luxury apartments currently occupied.
Images ©Leandro Ciuffo