Saudi's Kingdom hires Emaar for kilometre-high skyscraper

By AFP

July 15, 2010 Updated Jun 14, 2009 at 9:41 PM CDT

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Kingdom group said Saturday it had signed Dubai-based Emaar to develop and supervise the construction of a kilometre-high tower in Jeddah.

The Jeddah Kingdom City and Kingdom Tower will comprise 23 million square metres (247 million square feet) of commercial, residential and office space on 530 hectares of land near Jeddah's international airport, Kingdom said in a statement.

The centrepiece of the 100 billion riyals (26.6 billion dollar) project will be a 1,000 metre-high (3,280 feet) needle-like skyscraper, taller than any building completed or under construction in the world.

The current tallest building, the Burj Dubai, which towers over the Dubai emirate to the east of Saudi Arabia at a current height of 800 metres (2,624 feet) while still not completed, is being built by Emaar.

The Kingdom Tower was unveiled first in 2003 and in 2007 the Kingdom group announced that the US-based engineering firm Bechtel would oversee the project.

According to industry reports Bechtel pulled out early this year.

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