Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud, the Prime Minister and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, is planning to build a towering skyscraper in Riyadh that will stand at a staggering 2 kilometers tall, making it five times higher than the Empire State Building in New York.
This ambitious project is expected to cost $5 billion, which will be funded through the state's public investment fund, which has a reserve of $500 billion. Once completed, this skyscraper will be more than twice the height of not only the tallest buildings in America and Britain, but also the current tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands at 827 meters.
According to a report by Middle East Business Intelligence (MEED) magazine, a design competition is currently underway, with a prize of one million dollars being offered to the firm that comes up with the winning design. Eight firms have been invited to participate in the design competition, including Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture, Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), Gensler, 10 Design, and Killa Design, the Dubai-based company responsible for the award-winning Museum of the Future.
The King Salman International Airport
The skyscraper will be a part of a planned 18 square-kilometer development located north of Riyadh and west of the King Khalid International Airport, which is rumored to be renamed the King Salman International Airport.
“It will become an aerotropolis centered around a seamless customer journey, world-class efficient operations, and innovation. Riyadh’s identity and the Saudi culture will be taken into consideration in the airport’s design to ensure a unique travel experience for visitors and transit travelers,” PIF said.
This development is just one of many grand construction projects being undertaken under the leadership of Mohammed Bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, including the megaresort Red Sea Project, the Neom development, and The Line, a city being built in the desert.
“We’ve got to build quite a lot of real estate in a short space of time. Well, we’re not actually building THE LINE. We’re assembling it from a series of modular pieces that are pre-engineered and predetermined as to what they do,” Pendleton said