The local Jeddah Economic Company is looking to raise about $1bn to help fund the construction and development of the first phase of Jeddah Kingdom City and the world’s tallest tower, the 1,008-metre-tall Kingdom Tower.

“We are close to finalising a deal, we will announce it soon,” said Mounib Hammoud, CEO of Jeddah Economic Company, speaking on the sidelines of MEED’s Arabian World Construction Summit (AWCS) in Dubai on 12 May.

The deal is expected to be worth about $1bn, and will be used to fund the estimated SR13bn ($3.5bn) first phase of the Jeddah Kingdom City, together with the SR8.7bn that the shareholders of Jeddah Economic Company have provided to capitalise the company.

The first phase of Jeddah Kingdom City will be 1.4 million square metres and will include the tower, a mall, a large mosque for 12,000 worshippers, and residential and commercial buildings.

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.

Contractors working on the tower expect to complete the raft foundation, which is the largest of its kind in the world, in August this year. “It is the largest concrete raft in world; in places the thickness is 5 metres,” said Hammoud. “Everything in the tower is the biggest or tallest.”

The tower is expected to be completed in December 2018.

The contractor working on the tower is the local Saudi Binladin Group.