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)
Updated 13 May 2017
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Jeddah Tower, world’s tallest building, ‘to open in 2019’

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


Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

Updated 25 April 2018
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Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

  • The Privatization Program is one of 12 key elements of the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030
  • The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs on Tuesday approved the Privatization Program that is one of 12 key elements of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals, attracting the latest technologies and innovations, and supporting economic development.

It encourages both local and foreign investment in order to enhance the role of the private sector, with government entities adopting a regulatory and supervisory role. The aim is to increase the private sector’s contribution to GDP from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2030. 

The program will aim to reach its objectives through encouraging the private sector to invest in establishing new schools, universities and health centers, while the government pursues its organizational and supervisory role in health and education.

The privatization program aims to benefit from previous success stories, with the private sector’s collaboration in the development of infrastructure, and its involvement on a large scale in sectors such as energy, water, transport, telecommunications, petrochemicals and finance.

The program sets out a series of objectives in three areas: Developing a general legal framework for policies related to privatization; establishing organizational foundations and dedicated institutions to execute the policies; and setting a timescale for their delivery. 

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.