Why Jeddah Tower Is on Hold? Future Tallest Building In The World

Why Is Jeddah Tower On Hold

Construction Of The Jeddah Tower: The Unfinished Dream of Saudi Arabia’s Tallest Skyscraper

As we step into 2023, the towering ambitions of the Jeddah Economic Company in Saudi Arabia continue to captivate the world’s attention. This ambitious endeavor, symbolized by the iconic Jeddah Tower, was poised to redefine the Kingdom’s skyline and assert its global presence. However, the story takes an unexpected turn, marked by delays, controversies, and a shifting landscape of power.

Join us on a journey through the intricacies of the Jeddah Tower project as we explore its significance, its challenges, and its place in the evolving narrative of Saudi Arabia’s economic aspirations.

Why You Should Read This Article

Jeddah Tower Completion DaTe

In this article, we delve into the intriguing story behind the Jeddah Tower, an ambitious skyscraper project announced by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in 2008. Discover why this colossal endeavor has been marred by delays, what led to its unexpected pause, and why it remains in limbo.

10 Facts About Jeddah Tower – The Future Tallest Building

Our exploration sheds light on the power struggles, geopolitical shifts, and personal ambitions that have left this remarkable architectural feat hanging in the balance. If you’re intrigued by tales of grand visions, unexpected setbacks, and the intersection of wealth, power, and construction on a global scale, this article offers a compelling narrative you won’t want to miss.

The Construction Of The Kingdom Tower

Is Jeddah Tower A Failed Project

Announced in 2008 by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the construction of the Kingdom Tower has been plagued by delays and may never fully recover from a power struggle involving two of the world’s wealthiest men.

Read More: Jeddah Tower 2023 Updates

Over the past five years, the tower has not grown beyond the 63 storeys it reached in 2017, when construction came to an abrupt halt.

Initially planned to stand an impressive 252 storeys tall, the Jeddah Tower was meant to dwarf its regional rival, Dubai’s 828-meter Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world). Once completed, the Jeddah Tower would have been at least equivalent to three stacked Eiffel Towers.

However, that ambitious goal now seems distant. Recent photographs of the tower show a deserted construction site and a skeletal structure of empty concrete floors, standing at around 250 meters tall, roughly a quarter of its proposed final height.

The Grand Vision

Expected Total Cost Of Jeddah Tower

When Prince Alwaleed announced the project, it was estimated to cost around $1.3 billion to build, slightly less than the $1.5 billion required for the Burj Khalifa. The tower was intended to be the crown jewel of a new waterfront development called Jeddah Economic City, located 80 kilometers northwest of Mecca. It held both national and personal significance, symbolizing Saudi Arabia’s regional dominance and serving as a prestige project for Prince Alwaleed.

During that era, Prince Alwaleed was among Saudi Arabia’s most prominent entrepreneurs, and the ambitious Jeddah Tower project seemed like a natural extension of his endeavors.

Explore Jeddah Tower vs Burj Khalifa – The Battle of Supremacy

Around the turn of the millennium, Alwaleed emerged as a formidable force in the world of international business. His remarkable wealth, stemming from the vast oil resources of his homeland and his lineage as the grandson of Saudi Arabia’s first king, positioned him as a prominent figure in Saudi business on the global stage.

Bolstered by seemingly limitless oil wealth, he strategically acquired substantial stakes in major companies such as Apple, News Corp, Netscape, and Motorola. He also made substantial investments in global giants like Coca-Cola, Ford, and other influential corporations.

Construction Of The Jeddah Tower

Notably, Alwaleed’s property portfolio boasted a collection of prestigious assets, including iconic properties such as the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, New York’s Plaza Hotel, London’s Savoy Hotel, and Monaco’s Monte Carlo Grand Hotel. These investments underscored his penchant for luxury and his presence in some of the world’s most esteemed properties.

In the year 2004, Forbes magazine bestowed upon him the impressive title of the fourth wealthiest individual on the planet, estimating his net worth at a staggering $21.5 billion. During this period, Alwaleed’s star was undeniably shining brightly in the global financial firmament.

Engineering Marvels of Jeddah Tower – Supertall Skyscraper

Meanwhile, as of April 2008, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai had already ascended from the desert landscape to a remarkable height of 160 floors, cementing its status as the world’s tallest man-made structure. Although it would take an additional 18 months to complete the Burj Khalifa, which included the addition of a towering 242-meter spire at its pinnacle, both Dubai and the skyscraper had already seized the world’s collective attention.

As the Burj Khalifa steadily reached for the skies, Alwaleed made a bold declaration – he intended to surpass Dubai’s achievement by constructing what he claimed would become the world’s tallest tower.

Read About: Tallest Building In The World 2022

Renowned American architect Adrian Smith, the visionary behind the Burj Khalifa, was entrusted with the task of designing the Jeddah Tower. Simultaneously, the construction contract was awarded to the Binladin Group, a company owned by the family of Osama bin Laden, promising lucrative returns.

Construction commenced in April 2013, and initially, progress was rapid. The tower’s foundations were driven an impressive 105 meters below the surface, and by September 2014, the structure had risen above the desert floor, slowly inching its way upward.

Over the subsequent couple of years, approximately 60 floors were successfully constructed, bringing the tower’s height to 250 meters.

Also Read About: The World’s Tallest Elevators – Scaling New Heights

However, the year 2017 marked the beginning of a pivotal moment known as the Saudi Arabian purge. This orchestrated movement sent shockwaves through Saudi Arabia’s elite circles as state police initiated mass arrests of prominent princes, government ministers, and influential business figures. Spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was also a cousin of Alwaleed and an emerging power within the kingdom, no one was deemed too influential to escape the crackdown.

In this sweeping action, both Alwaleed and Bakr Bin Laden, the chairman of the Binladin Group, found themselves ensnared in the legal proceedings, adding a layer of complexity to the future of the Jeddah Tower project.

Jeddah Tower

In a sweeping anti-corruption crackdown, Saudi Arabian officials froze an astonishing $800 billion. However, beyond the kingdom’s borders, suspicions arose that Prince Mohammed, the crown prince and future king, might be utilizing this purge as a means to eliminate potential adversaries and contenders for power.

With the two key figures associated with the Jeddah Tower project now sidelined, construction on the towering structure came to an abrupt halt. Alwaleed, one of the central figures, endured 83 days of detention in the opulent confines of the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh. Disturbing reports surfaced, suggesting that Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest individuals were being subjected to harsh treatment within the luxurious confines of these hotels, where they were not only held captive but also stripped of their considerable fortunes.


The tale of Jeddah Tower’s uncertain fate serves as a poignant reminder of how even the grandest visions can encounter unforeseen obstacles. As we reflect on the past and present of this monumental project, we glimpse the complex interplay of ambition, politics, and economics on the global stage. While the tower may stand in suspended animation, its story continues to evolve, and its significance remains a captivating chapter in the ever-changing landscape of Saudi Arabia’s ambitions. In the years ahead, the world watches with bated breath, waiting to see whether the Jeddah Tower will rise to claim its place in the skyline, or whether it will forever remain a symbol of what might have been.

Share this post


I am Sarah Waqas. I’m a professional content creator with a passion for writing travel blogs. I enjoy researching and writing about new places to visit.  My goal is to always provide my readers with the most accurate and up-to-date information possible. I also enjoy interacting with my readers and hearing their feedback.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We believe that travel should be accessible to everyone, and our goal is to provide practical information that makes it easy for readers to plan their own adventures. read more

Recent Posts

Top Posts

Join Our Newsletter

Sign up to our mailing list for free regular updates with travel tips, reviews, and articles sent straight to your inbox!

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. No Spam!