Emaar’s gift to Dubai: New landmark to surpass world\'s tallest tower
DUBAI - Dubai's Emaar Properties plans to build a new tower in the emirate to surpass the Burj Khalifa, currently the world's tallest building, Chairman Mohamed Alabbar told reporters on Sunday.
The new project comes as Dubai developers continue to announce new schemes despite a softening real estate sector, with the Emaar-built Burj Khalifa expected to be usurped by a tower currently under construction in Saudi Arabia.
The viewing tower will cost around $1 billion (880 million euros) and will be "a notch" taller than Burj Khalifa, Alabbar said as he revealed details of the project.
But he said that the final height will be announced upon completion, adding that his company would like to present the tower as a "gift to the city before 2020," the year Dubai hosts the world Expo trading fair.
Supported by a matrix of cables, the futuristic tower will anchor the redevelopment of the Dubai Creek, the heart of old Dubai where traditional dhow boats continue to ferry goods.
Designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, the tower will have observation decks, in addition to 18 to 20 mixed-use floors that will host restaurants and a boutique hotel, Alabbar said.
Burj Khalifa is 828 metres (2,700 feet) high and it cost $1.5 billion to build. It was opened in January 2010.
Alabbar described the new structure as an "elegant monument" which would add value to property being developed by the company along the city's creek.
"Many would like to have a view" when considering buying a property, he said.
The tower will be slender, evoking the image of a minaret, and will be anchored to the ground with sturdy cables, Emaar said.
Funding for the $1 billion project will be 50 percent equity and 50 percent debt, Alabbar said, undeterred by a residential property market that consultancy Cluttons says has softened for at least five quarters.
The balance between supply and demand is very encouraging, Alabbar said. He declined to give figures, but said: "I don't see a pullback. We are doing better than 2015."
Dubai has established a reputation for building dozens of futuristic skyscrapers, which have transformed its skyline.
Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding is building a tower in Jeddah that is planned to surpass Burj Khalifa, rising more than a kilometre.