Riyadh considers options for world’s tallest tower

14 March 2019
Options for the extension to King Abdullah Financial District include a tower that could be up to 1,200 metres tall

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has invited five firms to take part in a design competition for a tower in Riyadh that could be the world’s tallest when completed.

According to sources involved in the scheme, the height of the proposed tower could reach 1,200 metres, which would make it taller that the 828-metre Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

Design firms were approached to take part in the competition in late February and five have now been shortlisted for the contest.

Two other tower projects are being built in the region that, when completed, could be the world’s tallest. They are the 1,008-metre Jeddah Tower Scheme in Saudi Arabia and the Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour in the UAE. A target height has not been disclosed for the Dubai project, but when launched in 2016 the project’s developer Emaar said it would be the world’s tallest.

Work on Jeddah Tower is understood to have stalled and a main contractor has not been appointed for the tower at Dubai Creek Harbour.

PIF’s proposed tower in Riyadh would be a key component of an expansion to King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD). It is planned for land adjacent to the existing KAFD development known as KAFD-X.

PIF is also working on completing the initial phases of KAFD. In February, MEED reported that the project is steadily progressing towards its October 2020 completion date. It is understood that PIF wants to complete the multibillion-dollar scheme in time for the G20 summit in Riyadh in late 2020.

Construction work on the development resumed in early 2018 after the project had earlier stalled. The development was about 70 per cent complete when work ceased. PIF took over the project from the Public Pension Agency (PPA) in 2016-17.

There have been plans to change the use of some built-up areas to increase the allocation for residential accommodation, services and hospitality areas. There are also plans to directly connect KAFD to King Khalid International airport in Riyadh, turning it into a special zone with competitive regulations and procedures, and visa exemptions.

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current MEED.com package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.