Dubai has officially confirmed the $1bn tower it plans to build at the Dubai Creek Harbour development will be the world’s tallest tower when it is completed in 2020.

The final height has not been disclosed. To become the world’s tallest tower it will have to be more than 1,008 metres in height. The world’s tallest building at present is Burj Khalifa, which is 828 metres tall. It is due to be surpassed by 2020 by the 1,008-metre-tall Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia.

UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum unveiled the project name, The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, at a groundbreaking ceremony on 10 October.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid at groundbreaking ceremony

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid at groundbreaking ceremony

With the groundbreaking ceremony complete, work on the substructure is due to start, with France’s Soletanche Bachy as the contractor.

Once work on the substructure is complete, progress can be made on the superstructure, which comprises three key elements. They are: a concrete core, a steel frame structure on top of the concrete core, and cables descending down from near the top of the tower to the ground.

Contractors are preparing to submit bids in late October for the deal to build the susperstructure. Firms invited to submit bids include:

The tender process is being fast-tracked and an award is scheduled to be made in December.

The tower is designed by Spanish/Swiss architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava Valls. Calatrava is working with the local office of Aurecon as the consultant, supported by the UK’s RMJM. The project manager for the tower is US-based Parsons.

Inside The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour

Inside The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour

Inside The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour

Emaar says that with no similar super-tall structures in the world, it has undertaken a completely new approach to wind engineering and seismic tests, which have already been completed. The firm adds that every aspect of the tower, from the choice of materials to the technology being deployed in its construction, is designed to the highest international standards of safety.

At the top of the tower will be The Pinnacle Room, opening to views of the city, as well as several VIP observation garden decks. The tower will also have dynamic illumination and movement lighting to enhance its status as a visual landmark during the day and night.

“We are thankful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum for his generous guidance and support in developing another global icon for Dubai. The Tower [at Dubai Creek Harbour] is inspired by his vision and his firm belief that in the race for excellence there is no finish line. From Burj al-Arab, Emirates Towers, Burj Khalifa and now the tower, Dubai has been the centre of innovation for super-tall structures and breakthrough developments in design, architecture and engineering. We are pushing our boundaries in every aspect of this new masterplanned development, one of the largest in the world, which underlines the spirit of positivity and hope that our nation celebrates. It will be a sterling addition to the smart city that Sheikh Mohammed envisages, with futuristic digital features that meet the aspirations of the next generation. We will continue to push the frontiers of engineering and construction to complete the project in time for Expo 2020.”

Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties

“The design and architectural features of The Tower [at Dubai Creek Harbour] demand unique engineering approaches that are currently being implemented on site. Extensive studies were undertaken in preparation for the groundbreaking, and the learning that we have gained from the experience will add to the knowledge base of mankind.”

Santiago Calatrava Valls

The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour is the centerpiece of the 6-square-kilometre Dubai Creek Harbour development in the Ras al-Khor area on the bank of Dubai Creek. The scheme is being developed by a joint venture of Emaar Properties and Dubai Holding. The UK’s Faithful+Gould is the programme manager for the development.