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Work Resumes On Planned World's Tallest Tower

Jeddah Tower, which ceased construction in 2018, pictured in 2021.

Along the coast of Saudi Arabia, developers appear to be dusting off the desert sands on what will be the world’s tallest tower.

Jeddah Economic Co. is resuming work on Jeddah Tower, a skyscraper with aspirations to reach a height of more than 3,200 feet, or 1,000 meters, which would stake its claim as the world’s tallest building, the Middle East Economic Digest reported

The project, which broke ground in 2013, has been rife with stops and starts, including delays after Saudi Prince Bakr bin Laden was detained by Prime Minister and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in a corruption purge of the country’s royals in 2017. Bin Laden was the owner of the construction firm Saudi Binladin Group, which was building the tower before work ceased in 2018, Dezeen reported

The tower, formerly known as Kingdom Tower and designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture in Chicago, reached the 63rd floor — of 165 planned stories — before construction stopped, Dezeen reported. Construction firms Skanska, Samsung C&T, China State Construction Engineering Corp. and Hyundai E&C are among the more than a dozen contractors invited to bid on completing the tower and have three months to send in their proposals, MEED reported.

Jeddah Tower, which was estimated to cost $1.3B in 2008, according to Forbes, is envisioned to be part of a larger Jeddah Economic City development, which is expected to have a total of 56M SF of development.

The current tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which rises 2,700 feet.