By Hadi Khatib

The 1km-high Kingdom Tower is an engineering feat that, according to project’s handlers, “has challenged mankind to outdo himself” – and calls into question whether it really is possible to build even higher in the future.

1That’s the view of Dr Hisham Jonah, chief development officer for Jeddah Economic City, who spoke during the Construction Week’s Infrastructure Summit last week.

Astounding figures can be found all over this project, inluding that for the soft cost (design, research and development) of the Kingdom Tower – which was 1/3 of the $1.2+ billion construction bill. Unheard of, but that’s what it took to deal with the design challenges for this monumental project slated for completion by end 2018 with Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects (AS+GG) as principal architects.

But Jomah began by straightening out certain facts from fiction. He said it was a misconception to believe the project was owned by Saudi entrepreneur El Waleed bin Talal

“He dreamed the idea and was closely involved in all facets of the planning, and design but there are four partners with Kingdom Holding representing only 33%, with Abraar International Holding 33%, Saudi Bin Laden Group a 16.63% stake, and Kelaa Jeddah 16.67% stake,” said Jomah. More info