Saudi developer secures funds to complete world's tallest tower

PHOTO: ADRIAN SMITH + GORDON GILL ARCHITECTURE
PHOTO: ADRIAN SMITH + GORDON GILL ARCHITECTURE

RIYADH (AFP) - The Saudi developer behind plans for the world's tallest building said on Sunday it had secured financing to complete the record-breaking project.

Kingdom Holding Co, chaired by billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, said its affiliate Jeddah Economic Company had reached a more than US$2 billion (S$2.8 billion) financing deal with Saudi Arabia's Alinma Investment to finish the Jeddah Tower in the Red Sea city.

Previously dubbed "Kingdom Tower", the 170-storey building is to rise more than a kilometre, surpassing Dubai's Burj Khalifa as the world's highest building.


PHOTO: ADRIAN SMITH + GORDON GILL ARCHITECTURE

Costs for the project had previously been estimated at 4.6 billion riyals (S$1.73 billion).

"Alinma Bank will finance the fund, to be managed by Alinma Investment, while Jeddah Economic Company will be the master developer of projects that will draw on the fund's credit lines," the statement said.

The 8.4 billion riyal fund, compliant with Islamic sharia law, will also be used to develop the first phase of Jeddah Economic City, an urban project surrounding the tower in the Obhur area north of Jeddah, the statement said.

Prince Alwaleed said a year ago that the tower, which will feature a hotel, apartments and offices, was slated for completion in 2018.

At that time the four-storey foundations of the building were finished and Prince Alwaleed said "now we are on the verge of building a floor every four days".

That pace would have put the skyscraper at around 90 floors now, but the statement on Sunday said it is "currently at its 26th floor".

Mr Mounib Hammoud, chief executive officer of Jeddah Economic Company, said he expects the project to be finished on time "now that the agreement has been signed and required funds secured".


PHOTO: ADRIAN SMITH + GORDON GILL ARCHITECTURE


PHOTO: ADRIAN SMITH + GORDON GILL ARCHITECTURE


PHOTO: ADRIAN SMITH + GORDON GILL ARCHITECTURE