Developers in Dubai have announced plans for a new skyscraper that will become the world’s tallest building.
That record is currently held by the Burj Khalifa, which is also located in Dubai. The new tower will be built by the same developers that built the 828-meter tall Burj Khalifa.
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New tower to surpass Burk Khalifa by “a notch”
Emaar Properties have not so far announced how tall the proposed tower will be, but a source did say that it would be “a notch” taller than the Burj Khalifa. Construction is expected to be completed in time for the Dubai Expo trade fair in 2020 at a cost of $1 billion.
The tower, which is designed by Spanish-Swiss neo-futuristic architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, who also worked on the railway station at the new World Trade Center in New York. The tower is expected to have residential units, a rooftop courtyard and a hotel.
Its slender form is reminiscent of a minaret and will be supported by a series of cables.
Redevelopment of Dubai Creek continues
The design of the structure means that it probably won’t be recognized as a taller “building” than the Burj Khalifa, according to the Associated Press.
Either way both the new tower and the Burj Khalifa are expected to be beaten to the title of the world’s talles building by the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, which is projected to reach a height of 1 kilometer when it is completed in 2020.
Developers in Dubai are working on a number of schemes to redevelop Dubai Creek, the heart of old Dubai. The new tower is one such development, and will also boast restaurants and observation decks.
“When we look at downtown and the Burj Khalifa, the area is almost full to the brim,” said Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar.
Super projects continue despite worries over real estate market
He said that the company wants to make an “elegant monument that will be celebrated by the world.” Developers continue to announce new projects despite the fact that experts say the real estate sector is softening.
Alabbar said that the tower will be funded by 50% equity and 50% debt. The Emaar chairman has not been discouraged by the apparent softening of the market. “I don’t see a pullback. We are doing better than 2015,” he said.
Emaar is backed by the government of the wealthy emirate. The $1.2 billion Kingdom Tower has received investment from Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.
Dubai has developed a reputation as a tourist and business hub, but the emirate continues to work on entertainment projects and other tourist attractions. Authorities hope to welcome more than 20 million visitors per year within 4 years.
While the tower is expected to provide a focal point in the Dubai Creek area, it looks unlikely to hold the title of world’s tallest building for long, if at all. With Saudi Arabia entering into the race with the Kingdom Tower, things have got a lot more difficult.
At 1 kilometer tall the Kingdom Tower is approaching the limit of modern engineering in terms of buildings that can stay standing. The huge cost of these super-skyscrapers is also discouraging developers in times of austerity, but both Dubai and Saudi Arabia apparently believe that the investment is worthwhile.
Given that Emaar is backed by the government the project will probably go ahead even if it runs into difficulties.