Saudi financial regulator the Capital Market Authority (CMA) has selected the local Saudi Binladin Group for the contract to build the kingdom’s tallest tower at King Abdullah Financial District on the outskirts of the capital.

According to sources close to the project, the value of the contract has not been finalised.

Once the contract is awarded, the contractor will build a 400-metre-tall tower with three basement floors and 79 storeys above ground. The building will have a total built-up area of 185,000 square metres.

When complete in 2012, the tower will supercede the 309-metre-tall Kingdom Tower in Riyadh and will be the country’s tallest building (MEED 25:9:09).

The regulator wants to move into the tower in early 2012.

The CMA tower is one of several high-rise developments planned for the SR36bn ($9.6bn) financial district.

The Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) and other Saudi financial institutions, such as Samba, Alina Bank, Al-Raj hi Bank, and the Public Investment Fund, are all seeking high-rise office space in the financial district.

In November, Saudi bank Samba invited companies to qualify for the contract to build its new headquarters.

The main construction contract involves building the structure and a basic fit-out of a 39-floor office building with three levels of basement parking.

The total built-up area is about 110,000 square metres. A contract to complete the fit-out will be awarded later, once work has started on the main contract. The client expects construction to start during the second quarter of 2010.