Saudi Arabia’s under-construction Kingdom Tower Jeddah, set to be the world’s tallest building when finished, has been delayed until 2019, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said at the building’s construction site yesterday.
“The project was delayed… but it’ll open (in) 2019,” Prince Alwaleed said.
Alwaleed is chairman of Kingdom Holding Company and consistently listed as the Arab world’s richest individual, owning stakes in Twitter, the Four Seasons, and many other Saudi and international companies.
Recent troubles stemming from builder Saudi Binladen Group (SBG) have caused the Kingdom Tower Jeddah’s delays, according to reports, in addition to other financial issues stemming from the collapse of oil prices in 2014.
SBG was among construction firms in the kingdom that suffered financially after 2014, and last year completed payment to 70,000 laid-off employees. The company also suffered after the collapse of a crane at a construction site in Mecca that killed dozens of worshippers at the Grand Mosque.
According to Newsweek, Prince Alwaleed said construction will be slow and steady. “Construction of the Jeddah Tower will rely on cutting-edge technology, including the high-strength reinforced concrete and the pumps used to elevate it to record heights,” he said. Completion of the skyscraper is the first stage of a project Bin Talal envisages will transform the city of Jeddah on Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast into a hotspot for tourism and business. The tower will be the centerpiece in the Kingdom City project that will include other skyscrapers and apartment buildings.