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Jeddah Tower, world’s tallest building, ‘to open in 2019’

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal speaks during a press conference on Thursday in Jeddah. (AFP)

JEDDAH: The long-delayed Jeddah Tower — which is set to be the world’s tallest building — is now expected to open in 2019, the developer said.

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal signed a construction contract for the 1km-tall structure back in 2011, but the project has been met with several delays amid difficult economic circumstances and the oil-price crash.

But in the concrete shell of the under-construction building, Prince Alwaleed this week told reporters that the doors will finally open in two years’ time.

“The project was delayed... but it’ll open (in) 2019,” Prince Alwaleed said during a visit to the site.

Alwaleed chairs Kingdom Holding Company, which is affiliated with the Jeddah Economic Company, developer of the spire-topped landmark.

Saudi Binladin Group, the contractor, was among the construction firms in the Kingdom that suffered financially after the 2014 collapse in oil prices.

GALLERY: Jeddah Tower

Prince Alwaleed spoke to reporters on the building’s 28th floor, some 183 meters in the sky. Even at this height, the Jeddah Tower already offers some spectacular views of the Red Sea.

Alwaleed said the tower will be part of a sprawling development known as Jeddah Economic City. 

“Hotels, residential areas, schools, mosques, universities, hospitals and malls will be included around the Jeddah Tower,” he said.

The triangular footprint and sloped exterior of Jeddah Tower, previously known as Kingdom Tower, is designed to reduce wind loads.

It is set to have the world’s highest observatory deck and hanging balcony, 652 meters above the sea, and house a Four Seasons hotel, office space and apartments.

        — With input from AFP

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