Saudi Arabia, UAE claim some of the tallest skyscrapers completed in 2017

The United Arab Emirates have featured among the top 144 for the tallest skyscrapers completed in 2017. (Shutterstock)
Updated 08 January 2018
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Saudi Arabia, UAE claim some of the tallest skyscrapers completed in 2017

Cities in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have featured among the top 144 for the tallest skyscrapers completed in 2017, according to a report filed by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.

The report placed the UAE in fourth, fifth and sixth place, with Marina 101 tower (425m), the Address Boulevard hotel (370m), and Ahmed Abdul Rahim Al Attar Tower (325m) claiming their positions respectively.

“With the help of these tall beautiful structures, Dubai creates new records and these in turn give Dubai global recognition... These tall structures help boost the real estate and tourism economy too, the two factors that majorly drive and effect the country’s GDP,” Imrann Nawab, director of sales, Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty, told Khaleej Times.

Saudi Arabia was placed at 124 and 144 for Al Rajhi Bank Tower (205m) and Al-Obeikan Hilton Tower Hotel (200m) skyscrapers respectively.

Turkey also featured in the report with Istanbul’s Skyland Office Tower (284m), Skyland Residential Tower (284m) and Metropol Tower Istanbul (280m) claiming the 20th, 21st and 25th spots respectively.

The top spot was occupied by China’s Ping An Finance Center which looms over the city of Shenzhen at 599m.

In the UAE, Dubai Creek Tower is under construction, which once complete, will reach a height of 928m.

And Saudi Arabia is currently building the Jeddah Tower, previously known as the Kingdom Tower, which aims to become the world’s tallest building by hitting the one-kilometer mark.
Middle East's tallest towers completed in 2017
Regional rank Overall rank Tower name City Height (m)
1 4 Marina 101 Dubai, UAE 425
2 5 The Address Boulevard Dubai, UAE 370
3 6 Ahmed Abdul Rahim Al Attar Tower Dubai, UAE 325
4 20 Skyland Office Tower Istanbul, Turkey 284
5 21 Skyland Residential Tower Istanbul, Turkey 284
6 25 Metropol Tower Istanbul Istanbul, Turkey 280
7 124 Al Rajhi Bank Tower Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 205
8 144 Al-Obeikan Hilton Tower Hotel Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 200


Saudi stocks receive landmark emerging markets upgrade from MSCI

Updated 21 June 2018
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Saudi stocks receive landmark emerging markets upgrade from MSCI

  • Market authorities in Saudi Arabia have introduced a series of reforms in the past 18 months
  • MSCI’s Emerging Market index is tracked by about $2 trillion in active and global funds

LONDON: Saudi Arabian equites are poised to attract up to $40 billion worth of foreign inflows, following a landmark decision by index provider MSCI to include the Kingdom’s stocks in its widely tracked Emerging Markets index.

"MSCI will include the MSCI Saudi Arabia Index in the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, representing on a pro forma basis a weight of approximately 2.6% of the index with 32 securities, following a two-step inclusion process," the MSCI said in a statement late on Wednesday night Riyadh time.

“Saudi Arabia’s inclusion in MSCI’s EM Index is a milestone achievement and will likely bring with it significant levels of foreign investment,” Salah Shamma, head of investment for MENA at Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity, told Arab News. 

“It is a recognition of the progress Saudi Arabia has made in implementing its ambitious capital markets transformation agenda. The halo effect of such a move will be felt across the stock exchanges of the entire Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).”

Market authorities in Saudi Arabia have introduced a series of reforms in the past 18 months to bring local capital markets more in line with international norms, including lower restrictions on international investors, and the introduction of short-selling and T+2 settlement cycles.

Such reforms prompted index provider FTSE Russell to upgrade the Kingdom to emerging market status in March, opening the country’s stocks up to billions worth of passive and active inflows from foreign investors.

MSCI’s Emerging Market index is tracked by about $2 trillion in active and global funds. The inclusion of Saudi stocks in the index, alongside FTSE Russell’s upgrade, is forecast to attract as much as $45 billion of foreign inflows from passive and active investors, according to estimates from Egyptian investment bank EFG Hermes. 

The upgrade announcement was widely expected by the region’s investment community, following a similar emerging markets upgrade announcement by fellow index provider FTSE Russell in March. 

“MSCI index inclusion will be a historic milestone for the Saudi market as it will allow for sticky institutional money to make an entry in 2019 which will help deepen the market,” said John Sfakianakis, director of economic research at the Gulf Research Center in Riyadh.