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Convincing Kingdom Tower investors took 20 months

Project go-ahead thanks to Emaar, fervour of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal

Line up of the tallest built and under construction skyscrapers by the CTBUH
Line up of the tallest built and under construction skyscrapers by the CTBUH

Kingdom Holdings had to work hard to lure stakeholders to invest in the Kingdom Tower, a senior executive told the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Shanghai Congress 2012 in comments since released.

“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,” Talal Al Maiman, CEO, Kingdom Real Estate Development Company, told the audience.

The diversified investment group also attributed much of the practical credibility and gravitas lent to the project to the early involvement of Emaar Properties, developer of the Burj Khalifa.

“The challenges we faced started in 2006, when we tried to identify the land to build the tower. We had never developed a project of this scale, so we went to our partners and professional friends Emaar. We talked to them and they helped us … and we thank them for doing so,” said Al Maiman.

He added: “Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is a known international investor and he was actually the soul behind the project … he insisted on having it, he fought to have it and he will have it.”

The tower, which is expected to be complete in 2017, will be mixed-use, featuring a Four Seasons hotel and serviced apartments, office space, condominiums and the world's highest observation deck.

In his presentation, Al Maiman rattled of the full details of the tower as:

  • Height (m): 1000+
  • Highest occupied floor: 163
  • Observatory deck height (m): 502 / floor 125
  • Restaurant height (m): 510 / floor 127
  • Sky Terrace height (m): 630 / floor 157
  • Car parking spaces: 3100
  • No. of elevators: 42 (two first ever triple-decker elevators)
  • Speed: 10 m/s (98s from floor to observation level)
  • Total built up area (m2): 556,000
  • Contractor: Saudi Binladen Group
  • Construction cost: $1.2 billion

At the end of his presentation, Al Maiman added: “Kingdom Tower is an invitation to all innovators in the world to reach a place where no man or an elevator has been before.”

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