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13 April 2024

Dubai’s towering achievements of 2012

414-metre Princess Tower

By Parag Deulgaonkar

Four of the world’s six tallest buildings completed in 2012 are located in Dubai, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) said.

In its 2012 review on tall buildings, the Council said: “Dubai continues to be a significant market for tall building construction, despite the much-publicised drop in development after 2008.”

The average height of these four buildings in Dubai was 385 metres, while the four buildings completed in Guangzhou province in China averaged 310 metres and five buildings completed in Makkah, Saudi Arabia averaged 319 metres.

The title of the tallest residential building in the world changed twice in 2012 with both towers standing in Dubai Marina.

395-metre 23 Marina

Skyscrapers that were completed were: 414-metre Princess Tower, 395-metre 23 Marina, 381-metre Elite Residence and 355- metre JW Marriot Marquis.

Data tracked by the CTBUH’s Skyscraper Center reveals that 25 projects taller than 400 metres have been either stalled or cancelled in Dubai, even though the government in 2012 proposed several new projects.

Abu Dhabi saw completion of one building taller than 200 metres last year — the 268- metre Nation Towers, which has a sky bridge connecting the two towers.

Seven towers were finished in 2011 with 13 towers over 200 metres under construction in the UAE capital and expected to be completed in the next three years, the report said.

Overall, the UAE is ranked third as the country having most buildings taller than 200 metres.

China and the United States hold the first and second positions, respectively.

381-metre Elite Residence

In Saudi Arabia, seven buildings taller than 200 metres were completed in 2012, including the Makkah Clock Tower Hotel with Mecca completing more buildings over 200 metres than any other city in the world in 2012.

Saudi Arabia currently has 12 buildings that are 200 metres or taller, but in the next few years that number is likely to double.

Three super-tall towers over 300 metres are under construction in Riyadh, with two super tall developments in Jeddah.

The under-construction numbers don’t include Kingdom Tower, the one-kilometer-plus project in Jeddah. Construction is expected to begin on the tower by early 2013.

For the first time in six years, CTBUH said, the number of tall buildings completed annually around the world declined in 2012 due to the consequential effects of the 2008/2009 global financial crisis becoming obvious in tall building construction in many Western countries.

355- metre JW Marriot Marquis

In 2012, 66 buildings taller than 200 metres were completed, the third most in history, but down from the 82 finished in 2011.

The global number of buildings taller than 200 metres has almost tripled since 2000, increasing from 263 to 756 at the end of 2012.

In total, 35 buildings taller than 200 metres were completed in Asia in 2012 and 16 in the Middle East.

On the contrary, six were completed in North America, including only two in the United States, which once dominated tall building development.

“Although the pace of completions slowed in 2012, there is no indication of a tall building construction slowdown.

“As 2012 closes, the industry is on the cusp of another burst of tall building development. In total, there are 437 buildings taller than 200 metres under construction globally. It is likely the 2013 completion total will set a new record for tall building completions, surpassing the 2011 total,” the Council said.

Of the projects under construction, 59 will join the list of the 100 tallest buildings in the world; eight will likely make the top 10. There are also 10 buildings taller than 500 metres under construction, including three mega-talls, over 600 metres.