Development on Jeddah Tower and Surrounding Economic City Moves Forward After Alwaleed’s Release

Construction of what is planned to be the world’s tallest skyscraper in Jeddah is going ahead following the release of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the head of the consortium behind the $1.5 billion project said.

Mounib Hammoud,  chief executive of Jeddah Economic Co (JEC), said in an interview that the project will ideally be completed by 2020. Construction on the tower has reached the 63rd floor.

Roughly half of the ownership stake in the project was beset by complications surrounding the government’s crackdown on corruption, which started in early November. Both Kingdom Holding Co., owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and Saudi construction giant Saudi Binladen Group, saw their leaders detained in the Ritz Carlton, Riyadh under suspicion of corruption. Kingdom Holding Co. owns 33% of the project, and SBG owns 16%.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

The Jeddah Tower, featuring residential and hotel space as well as shopping facilities, is projected to be over 1,000 metres (3,281 feet) tall, eclipsing Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

In 2015, the project was renamed from the Kingdom Tower Jeddah to Jeddah Tower.

“We have faced delays. In projects of this magnitude you always have delays – I hope we’ll recover the delays we’ve had. We will be open for business by 2020, hopefully,” Hammoud said.

This week, Kingdom Holding Co. signed an electrical power agreement worth SR180 million ($48 million) on behalf of the JEC partners (which includes Kingdom Holding Company) with Saudi Electric Company (SEC) to supply power to the site.

At the signing ceremony for the deal, Ziad Mohammed Al Shiha, CEO of Saudi Electric Company, said “by signing this important electrical power agreement, the main infrastructure services of Jeddah Economic City and Jeddah Tower are considered complete.”