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27 Interesting Facts About Jeddah Tower

There are a lot of impressive skyscrapers in the world, but one is set to beat them all in terms of height.

With the construction of the 800+ meter high Burj Khalifa in Dubai, it was only a matter of time before a 1,000+ tall skyscraper would rise.

In this post, you’ll find the ultimate list of facts about Jeddah Tower, a building that will become the tallest skyscraper in the world.

1. Jeddah Tower had different names

Jeddah Tower wasn’t originally called this way. The first names it got were “Kingdom Tower” and “Mile-High Tower.”

The Mile-High name was changed to “Jeddah Tower” as the building itself wouldn’t reach a total height of 1 mile but rather 1 kilometer.

The Jeddah Tower represents a desert plant shooting upwards to symbolize the growth of Saudi Arabia and its future.

Facts about the Jeddah Tower
An epic view of the future Jeddah Tower / Source

2. How high will Jeddah Tower become?

The original plan of the Jeddah Tower was to design a building of 1 mile (5,280 ft) tall. Several studies done on the site deemed this impossible due to unsuitable geology.

The approved plan will ensure the building has a height of at least 1,000 meters (3,281 ft), which will make Jeddah Tower the first building in the world that stands one kilometer tall.

An important fact about Jeddah Tower: The exact height of the tower remains a secret and will only be revealed during the final phase of construction. This is similar to Burj Khalifa in which we didn’t know the exact height during its construction.

facts about Jeddah Tower
Jeddah Tower, 1-kilometer building / Source

3. Where is the Jeddah Tower located?

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Jeddah is a major city with about 4 million inhabitants in the west of Saudi Arabia. It’s a booming city with multiple projects rising right now.

Jeddah is the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia and the 10th largest city in the Arab world. Jeddah Tower is located in the North-West of the city on an undeveloped waterfront area near the Red Sea.

Unlike for instance Dubai, which is home to the current tallest building in the world, Jeddah doesn’t really have an impressive skyline yet, which will make the Jeddah Tower even more remarkable.

Jeddah Skyline
Jeddah Skyline / Tahir MQ /

4. Jeddah Tower is part of a larger project

Jeddah Tower is the first phase of a huge project called the “Jeddah Economic City,” which will have a variety of buildings including residential, commercial, and offices.

The project was formerly known as the “Kingdom City” because its main attraction was called the “Kingdom Tower.”

It’s located in an area of 5,202,570 square meters (56,000,000 square ft) which is the equivalent of about 2 square miles.

Jeddah Economic city
The Jeddah Economic City With Jeddah Tower / Source

5. Jeddah Tower owner and construction facts

The Jeddah Tower is integrated into the Jeddah Economic City which was designed by HOK Architects. They are in charge of urban planning for the city development just north of the center of the second-largest city in Saudi Arabia.

below you’ll find more interesting facts about Jeddah Tower specifically regarding its owners and who is in charge of its construction.

Jeddah Tower Owner

The main man in the project is Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal who owns the Kingdom Holding Company, a partner of the Jeddah Economic Company.

Some of Bin Talal’s real estate investments include the Plaza Hotel in New York, the Four Seasons Hotels chain, and the company owning and managing Disneyland in Paris.

Primary Designer

Remarkably, the primary designer of the Jeddah Tower is Adrian Smith of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS + GG), a Chicago-based architectural and design firm.

He also designed the Burj Khalifa and many other notable structures around the world which include Trump Tower in Chicago, the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, and the Zifeng Tower in Nanjing.

Lead Developer

The main development supervisor of the project is done by Emaar Properties, a real estate development company located in the United Arab Emirates.

Emaar Properties was also in charge of the development of the Burj Khalifa and is active in multiple other Dubai construction projects. Apart from locally, they are also active in multiple other countries in the Middle East and India as well.

Structural Engineer

The structural engineering firm assigned to the project is Thornton Tomasetti, a 1,500-plus person engineering consulting firm that is headquartered in New York City.

This company has been in charge of some other very notable buildings including the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and Taipei 101 in Taiwan. They have collaborated with famous architects including Renzo Piano of the Centre Pompidou in Paris and The Shard in London.

Construction Company

Unsurprisingly, the contract for the construction of the Jeddah Tower went to the Saudi Binladin Group. Why unsurprisingly? Because this company invested $400 million and gave them a 16.6% stake in the development of the Jeddah Economic Company.

The main candidate for getting the contract was the Belgian Besix Group which constructed the Burj Khalifa. They admitted though that considering the situation, chances were nihil they would win.

6. Construction Progress

The construction of the Jeddah Tower officially began on April 1, 2013, and was scheduled to last about 5 years (63 months). Rumors that the construction would start were already circling since 2008 though, shortly after the soil testing was finished in May of that year.

The piling was completed in December 2013 and the foundation was ready for the above-ground construction to begin in September 2014.

Construction has been moving forward gradually and is currently at about one-third of the completed building until an unexpected event happened.

Jeddah Tower current status

7. Construction was halted

At the moment, construction isn’t moving forward as planned. The reason for this is the 2017–19 Saudi Arabian purge which had both the owner of the Kingdom Holding and the chairman of the Saudi Binladin Group arrested in an anti-corruption crackdown.

A recent report, however, has confirmed that this event won’t interfere with the project being completed, and construction would continue in 2020.

Art Facts will follow progress closely and will update this article if anything in the status of construction of the Jeddah Tower changes.

Jeddah Tower progress
Jeddah Tower progress / S. Nitzold /

More interesting facts about Jeddah Tower

8. The start of the project was in May 2008 when soil testing was done on the site. It was however halted in 2008-2009 and even feared it would never happen due to the global financial crisis at that time.

9. The Jeddah Tower has a neo-futuristic design, which is similar to Renzo Piano’s Shard in London for example, or The Gherkin. It represents an idealistic belief in a better future by incorporating functionality into the aesthetics of the design of structures.

The Shard design
The Shard in London / Pixabay

10. The estimated construction cost of the Jeddah Tower is about USD 1.23 billion. The total cost of the Jeddah Economic City in which the tower is located will cost around USD 20 billion and will take about 10 years to complete.

11. The Jeddah Tower will have over 200 floors and will only have 2 basements. The total floor count will be 243,866 square meters (2,624,950 square feet). The top floor is planned to be located at a height of 668 meters (2,192 ft).

12. KONE, an international engineering company with over 55,000 staff worldwide and headquartered near Helsinki, Finland, has won the contract to integrate the elevators into the Jeddah Tower. There will be a total of 59 elevators of which 4 are double-deckers.

13. The original plan was to create a mile-high tower (which was also its original name) but that idea was shelved. Several news agencies, however, reported mistakenly that the idea to create a 1,609-metre tower was approved.

14. If the one mile-high building would have been constructed, it would have been an enormous project with some dazzling stats and features:

  • The building would have cost almost $30 billion USD (SR112.5 billion).
  • The floor area would have been 3,530,316 square meters (38,000,000 square ft)
  • It would contain futuristic wind aversion systems.
  • It would also have been completely sustainable containing energy-producing technology.
  • The city around it would have been able to house 80,000 residents.
  • It would also have been able to welcome 1 million visitors.
  • It was rumored that it would freeze at the top.
  • Some other remarkable rumors were that helicopters would have been used during construction due to the height and parachutes were part of the fire evacuation plan.
  • It would have taken 12 minutes to reach the top floor in a regular elevator and 5 minutes in a high-speed elevator (with several stops along the way).

Obviously, the stats of the Jeddah Tower are still pretty impressive, regardless of these hypothetical stats of the original plan. That being said, it clearly shows that much more would be needed to actually construct a skyscraper that reaches a height of 1 mile.

15. There will be an observation deck at a height of 610 meters (2,000 ft). This will make it the world’s highest observation deck once completed. It will be attached to the tower and have an area of 697 square meters (7,500 square feet).

Jeddah Tower observation deck
Jeddah Tower observation Deck / Source

16. The elevators going to the top of the Jeddah Tower will travel at a speed of 10 meters (33 feet) per second. That’s almost 35 kilometers (22 mi) per hour!

17. A remarkable fact about the Jeddah Tower elevators is that they could go even faster, but this would result in numerous people getting sick from a change in air pressure at such a high speed.

18. The overall concept of building an immense landmark in an area of residential and commercial development was taken from the Burj Khalifa. The tower itself makes little to no profit but the malls, shops and real estate surrounding it are making very high profits.

19. Ever wonder why you didn’t hear much about what will be the tallest building in the world? That’s because the construction company that will build it is the family of the late Ossama Bin Laden, the well-known terrorist.

Bin Ladin construction
Bin Ladin headquarters entrance / / Bertilvidet

20. When Adrian Smith, the main designer of the building, was asked about working with family members of the world’s most infamous terrorist he simply responded that “a large family shouldn’t be stereotyped because of one of its members.”

21. To solve the main issues of height and wind, the building’s Y-Shaped, triangular footprint has been integrated. This follows the same pattern as the Burj Khalifa and allows for better stability.

facts about Jeddah Tower
The footprint of the Jeddah Tower / Source

22. The main difference is that the Jeddah Tower uses a sloped design instead of a stepped design. Even though this is more costly to build, it has a more conservative core and allows for better aerodynamic performance. This way the tower can have a smooth exterior as well.

23. The French spiderman Alain Robert who climbed multiple skyscrapers, including the current world’s tallest building (it took him 6 hours to reach the top), mentions he is up for the challenge once the tallest skyscraper in the world will be completed.

Alain robert
Alain Robert in action, soon on Jeddah Tower? Source

24. The completed structure will weigh over 900 million kilos (900,000 tonnes) and will use 500,000 cubic meters (18 million cubic feet) of concrete and 80 million kilos of steel.

25. The Four Seasons Hotel, which is owned by Prince Al-Waleed as well, will be incorporated into the Jeddah Tower and offer 200 rooms and 121 luxury serviced apartments.

26. The overall reception of the Jeddah Tower, apart from some negative feedback regarding its height which is rather trivial, has been positive. It’s believed that the area will become a major hub for tourists to the holy city of Mecca from all around the world, causing huge gentrification of the entire city.

In the words of Prince Al-Waleed:

Building this tower in Jeddah sends a financial and economic message that should not be ignored. It has a political depth to it to tell the world that we Saudis invest in our country.

27. Finally, we want to share an image from the official website of the Jeddah Tower which presents a comparison to other skyscrapers. This clearly shows the magnitude of the project and how it will send shockwaves throughout the world once it’s completed!

Jeddah Tower comparison

We always believed the Hong Kong International Commerce Center was an enormous skyscraper, but it literally pales in comparison to the Jeddah Tower!