(File pix) ‘Kingdom Tower’ is set to break records. JEC Photo

THE completion date for the world’s tallest structure, which will comprise 170 levels, is set for next year—almost eight years after the record-breaking project’s launch.

According to Times of Oman, Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, which will more than double Malaysia’s 451.9-metre Petronas Twin Towers, had experienced delays, but construction is now progressing.

When completed, the skyscraper will rise at least 1,000 metres, overtaking the 828-metre Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which is currently the world’s tallest building.

The 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers are currently the tallest structures in Malaysia and the world’s tallest twin towers.

The towers were the world’s tallest buildings until 2004.

Malaysia’s soon-to-be tallest building is The Exchange 106, which is being built within the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur. It will have 106 floors and eight basement levels, and stand at 492.3 metres.

The Exchange 106, slated for completion next year, will also be the tallest building in Southeast Asia and among the top 15 tallest buildings in the world.

However, in 2020, the Exchange106 is expected to end up as the second tallest structure in Malaysia as 644-metre Merdeka PNB 118, which has 118 floors, will be fully constructed.

Merdeka PNB 118, a project by Permodalan Nasional Bhd, is a mix-used development which will offer residential, hotel and office space.

The 118-storey tower, which is listed as one of 28 incredible skyscrapers of the future, will be the sixth tallest structure in theworld. Taking the lead will be Jeddah Towers, followed by Burj Khalifa, Suzhou Zhongnan Centre, China (729 metres), Dubai One (711 metres) and Wuhan CTF Centre,

China (648 metres).

Suzhou Zhongnan Centre is positioned to be the tallest building in China and the third tallest in the world when it is completed in 2020. It will have over 137 storeys with 470,000 square metres of mixed-use facilities such as Grade A offices, deluxe apartments, a six-star hotel, an observation deck, and a podium with premium retail, entertainment, hotel, conference facilities, multi-functional ballrooms and a six-level basement.

Wuhan CTF Centre, at 121 floors, will comprise office space and a hotel, and form part of the Wuhan Chow Tai Fook Financial Centre.

JEDDAH TOWER

Jeddah Economic Co (JEC) chief executive Mounib Hammoud was quoted assaying that Jeddah Tower will hopefully open for business by 2020.

Once dubbed “Kingdom Tower”, Jeddah Tower will be one of the world’s most expensive development, boasting a Four Seasons hotel, Four Seasons furnished apartments, first-class office space and retail.

It will also feature the world’s highest observatory deck at Level 157 (at 644 metres) which will double as an “air park”.

The residential components will offer two- to six-bedroom suites to fit the needs of the ultra-high net worth individuals who appreciate a life of high standards.

Jeddah tower will be the centrepiece and first construction phase of the US$20 billion (RM77.5 billion) Jeddah Economic City development by JEC near the Red Sea.

The development will have residential and commercial units, an international hotel, business offices, educational centres, a diplomatic area, commercial centres, entertainment and tourist facilities, and water sports activities.

JEC was formed in 2009 to develop the city.

Principal JEC financiers include Kingdom Holding Co, Abrar Holding Co and construction giant Saudi Binladin Group, who is the project’s main contractor.

According to an article in MailOnline last year, the costs to build Jeddah Tower was originally estimated at around £900 million (RM4.9 billion). But delays and an oil price crash have skyrocketed the total cost to £1.5 billion (US$2 billion).

Saudi Binladin was among the kingdom’s construction firms that suffered heavy financial losses aftera collapse in oil revenues in 2014.

The company, which has developed other prominent buildings in Saudi Arabia, was founded more than 80 years ago by the father of deceased Al-Qaeda leader Osama Laden.

Plans were first announced for Jeddah Tower in August 2011, where it would take 36 months to build after construction started.

By November 2014, a four-storey foundation was in place and the building was expected to be completed this year. But that was before Saudi Arabia felt the full force of a drop in oil revenues.

In November 2015, Kingdom Holding said JEC had reached a financing deal with Saudi Arabia’s Alinma Investment to finish the Jeddah Tower, which then had 26 floors completed.

In the Times of Oman report, the daily said the construction of the tower has reached 63rd floor and the superstructure — the concrete shell and the cladding — is to be completed next year.


(File pix) Infographics from Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, CTBUH

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