Kingdom Tower to complete in December 2018
Raft foundation work expected to be finished in August this year
The Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia, which will be the world's tallest tower at 1,008 metres, will be completed in December 2018, said Mounib Hammoud, CEO of Jeddah Economic Company.
Contractors working on the SR6bn ($1.6bn) project expect to complete the raft foundation of the tower, which is the largest of its kind in the world, in August this year.
"It is the largest concrete raft in the world. In places, the thickness is five metres," said Hammoud at MEED's Arabian World Construction Summit (AWCS) in Dubai. "Everything in the tower is the biggest or tallest."
The tower will be the nucleus of a new commercial centre to the north of Jeddah - Jeddah Kingdom City. The first phase will be 1.4mn m2 and will include the tower, a mall, a large mosque for 12,000 worshippers together with other residential and commercial buildings.
The contractor working on the tower is the local Saudi Binladin Group. In February 2013, a joint venture of the UK-based EC Harris/Mace was awarded the project management contract to oversee the development of the tower.
The client developing the tower and the surrounding Kingdom City is Jeddah Economic Company, which said it is looking to raise about $1bn to help fund the estimated SR13bn ($3.5bn) first phase of the Jeddah Kingdom City, together with the SR8.7bn ($2.3bn) that the shareholders of Jeddah Economic Company have provided to capitalise the company.
France's BNP Paribas is the financial adviser for the deal and the local Alinma Bank is also assisting with the loan that will bridge the funding gap while the developer waits for revenues from land sales at Jeddah Kingdom City.
Land sales and off-plan property sales are expected to accelerate as construction work on the SR6bn Kingdom Tower's superstructure starts.
"We are not in a hurry to sell land as the value is increasing as the tower construction moves ahead," said Hammoud.
The three-day AWCS 2014 is being held at the Sofitel Hotel on Palm Jumeirah, and is being supported by HSBC and CPC as Strategic Event Partners; Hyder and Six Construct as Gold Partners; Agis, Mashreq and Projacs asSilver Sponsors and Deloitte as Knowledge Partner. EC Harris Built Asset Consultancy is Lunch Sponsor on day one and Bentley is CEO Forum sponsor. Aksa, Drake & Scull, Hill International and Zurich are conference sponsors.