Saudi Arabia's planned 'world's tallest building' still isn't finished after 15 years
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The plans to erect the tallest building in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is set to get back underway after years of delays and paused construction.
The Jeddah Tower, initially called the Kingdom Tower, would have been the first building to reach a height of 3,280 feet or more.
At its completed height, the Jeddah Tower would be more than 500 feet higher than the current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Construction started on the building in 2015 and by 2017 the building had 63 of the stories built. However, construction was halted after two of the main backers of the project faced legal troubles, according to reports.
Investors Prince Alwaleed and Bakr Bin Laden were both arrested in November 2017, ultimately throwing the project into a spiral. Their arrests were part of an anti-corruption campaign seen in the country, spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The allegations against the pair, as well 10 other princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers, included money laundering, bribery and extorting officials, according to a Reuters report.
More recently, a source close to the project has said ‘the project is now back in full motion’, according to a report by Middle East business intelligence publication MEED.
Multiple companies have been invited to make a bid on the project and have been told to do so before the end of the year. These companies have already been to the site of the building and are expected to form joint ventures comprising local and international partners.
The companies invited to bid include: Almabani, Bawani, China Harbour, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, Consolidated Contractors Company, El-Seif Engineering Contracting, Hyundai Engineering Construction, Mohammed Abdulmohsin al-Kharafi & Sons, Nesma & Partners, Powerchina, Samsung C+T, Saudi Freyssinet, Skanska and Strabag.
The Jeddah Economic Company (JEC) also commissioned an independent assessment of the structure already erected before the invitations to the companies were sent out.
The foundation and the pilling work is already complete and the construction of the building is considered to be one third complete.
The JEC website has also recently changed to read ‘it’s happening’ on its home page, in celebration of the news the project is set to get back underway. The website also showcases concept art of the tower and the plans for the surrounding city. The local area is expected to contain residential, business and luxury buildings in the future.