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17 April 2024

At the top: Latest to vie for Dubai's 'tallest'

By Parag Deulgaonkar

Barclays Skyscraper Index shows that the list of countries planning to build the world’s tallest tower is getting bigger.

Kuwait, China and Azerbaijan had already announced their plans for the tallest tower in previous years, now Pakistan has now joined the elite group, which is led by Dubai.

The 2,717-feet high Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building in the world by far. It has 900 studio, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments, with Armani Residences having 144 fully furnished private apartments.

The tower offers luxurious recreational and leisure facilities including four swimming pools, an exclusive residents’ lounge; health and wellness facilities; At.mosphere, the world’s highest fine dining restaurant at level 122 and At the Top, the world’s highest observatory deck, with an outdoor terrace on level 124.

Emirates 24/7 reported on Sunday that China’s Broad Group is waiting for government approval to build the 220-storey Sky City in Changsha, 10 meters taller than the 828-metre Burj Khalifa. The tower will be standing tall in mere three months.

But to date, it is only Kingdom Holding Company that has commenced work on the 1,000-metre high Kingdom Tower in Riyadh, which is set to overtake Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest tower in the world, by 2017.

The following are the four towers that are vying for the coveted position.

Kingdom Tower, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

A hand out picture made available by Kingdom Holding Company on August 2, 2011, shows the model of the world's tallest tower to be built in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. (Agencies)

With a total construction area of over 500,000 square meters, the Kingdom Tower will be a mixed-use building, featuring a Four Seasons Hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments, office space, luxury condominiums and an observatory at higher level than the world's current highest observation deck.

The Kingdom Tower complex will contain 59 elevators, including 54 single-deck and five double-deck elevators, along with 12 escalators. Elevators serving the observatory will travel at a rate of 10 meters per second in both directions. Another unique feature of the design is a sky terrace, roughly 30 meters (98 feet) in diameter, at level 157. It is an outdoor amenity space intended for use by the penthouse floor.

Sky City Changsha, China

The 838-meter high Sky City is expected to have residences, offices, elementary and secondary schools, kindergarten, old people’s home, healthcare hospital, store, hotel, sports and entertainment centre, 17 helipads and house nearly 30,000 people.

Sky City will use BSB modular technology which features 95 per cent factory prefabrication with a construction pace of five storeys a day. The projected cost is four billion yuan (Dh2.35 billion). People will use 104 electricity-saving auto-power generated lifts in the 220 storey hi-rise.

Azerbaijan Tower, near Baku, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan Tower, near Baku, Azerbaijan pic downloaded from Avesta Concern, the developer of the tower.

Azerbaijan Tower, which will be part of "Khazar Islands New City, developed by Avesta Concern, will be 1,050 metre high and consist of 186 floors. It will be surrounded by number of artificial islands and a Formula One race track. The tower will rise over a collection of 41 man-made islands connected by 150 bridges off the shores of the capital city, Baku, in the Caspian Sea. The tower alone is expected to cost $2 billion. The full project is likely to be completed between 2020 and 2025.

Burj Mubarak Al Kabir, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Burj Mubarak Al Kabir pic downloaded from CivicArts LLP

The tower will rise to 1,001 meters has been designed by London-based architect Eric Kuhne. The $7 billion-plus Mubarak al Kabir will have three interlocked towers that support the overall structure. No details have been given on when the tower will be completed.

Unnamed tower, Pakistan

Pakistani construction tycoon Malik Riaz and Abu Dhabi Group have announced plans to build the world's tallest building. The project is likely to come up on an island some three to four kilometers off the coast of Karachi and into the Arabian Sea. The tower is part of the $45 billion investment plan. No details are yet announced for the tower.