Saudi Prince to Build World's Tallest Tower

Prince Alwaleed bin TalalOne of Saudi Arabia's richest princes plans to erect the world's tallest building for an estimated $1.23 billion. When finished, it will be 3,281 feet tall. By contrast, the tallest building in New York City, the 80-year-old Empire State Building, looms only 1,211 feet high.

The tower in the brain child of Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a rich investor who holds stock in many of the world's largest companies, including Citigroup (C) and News Corp. (NWS). His firm, Kingdom Holding, has signed a contract with construction firm Bin Laden Group to build the tower. Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, headquartered in Chicago, will do the initial design work.

Proposed world's tallest building"Building this tower in Jeddah sends a financial and economic message that should not be ignored," Prince Alwaleed said at a press conference Tuesday. "It has a political depth to it to tell the world that we Saudis invest in our country."

Building Up Instead of Out

Nonetheless, the reasons for the project remain a wonder. The taller the building, the more difficult the task of shoring floors and buttressing walls. And there are certainly a number of ways to more easily supply similar square footage. Building three towers, each the height of the Chrysler Building, would provide more office space than building one large tower. That makes the Saudi project something of a vanity.

Alwaleed is hardly the first to want the tallest building, however. At 2,717 feet, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai holds the current crown as the world's tallest tower. The U.S. gave up the prize long ago. It doesn't even have a building in the world's top 10. The Willis Tower in Chicago, formerly known as the Sears Tower, is the tallest building in the U.S. It was built in 1974, and is only 1,353 feet tall.

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August 04 2011 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The more the world buys Saudi oil the less they have. Mean while the US has 300 years of reserve if needed and more natural gas not to mention coal getting cleaner as tech emerges.
But western ways have to take hold in the middle east more so building a billion dollar building is a good thing. Eventually the need to improve ones livelihood will invoke a mass uprising and Saudi Arabia and others will become better for it.
Now we the people must come to terms that which has a hold of our Government is in need of replacement!

August 04 2011 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He"s building a monument to himself. Well, at least he's stimulating the economy somewhere, and its his money not the U.S. government. Remember his name. He could be the next Nebuchadnezzar.......

August 04 2011 at 1:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Kind of strange that this Man owns 45% of FOX News but they Hate Muslims

August 04 2011 at 1:15 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jtdancernh I the only one who finds it ironic that the man who wants to build the world's tallest tower holds stock in THE BIN LADEN GROUP? Are you KIDDING me?!? Not to mention the fact that he'll most likely be using money earned by raping the rest of the world with the price of oil.

August 04 2011 at 1:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

bin Tatal speaks of "political depth." Inadvertently, he describes his reasons for building this monstrosity: political ideology. It's no secret the Saudis fund al qaeda and other terrorists. The USA has suffered terrorist attacks, largely by Saudi muslims. Why don't we go after them? The U.S. buys 80% of it's foreign oil from Saudi Arabia, that's why. Their oil has provided a potentional scenario of world economic destruction.

August 04 2011 at 12:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Will he have some more money to donate to Somalia? Britain really doesn't have much - he seems to have a lot more to spare.

August 04 2011 at 12:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Jon Biddle

The man needs viagra ..

August 04 2011 at 12:21 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Yep, thats the money we pay for gas, while they pay 15 cents a gallon, then they send their favorite son Osama Bin Laden over to do his thing,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,awesome guy!

August 04 2011 at 12:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

And how many BILLIONS of American dollars go to the Saudis as foreign aid? They have their incredibly wealthy and self-indulgent royalty, and the citizens live in poverty under the most restrictive Sharia laws of any government. Their wealth sponsors much of the Islamic terrorism in the world.

ps. Don't bring a Bible into the country, wear a crucifix or any other sign of Christianity. If your name sounds like it might be Jewish, or if you have passport stamp showing you've every entered Israel, you'll be denied entry into the country. If you're a woman, don't expect to be allowed to drive - although there is no government rule about this, the Sharia courts convict women regularly.

August 04 2011 at 12:07 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dfoster's comment

We don't send foreign aid to Saudi Arabia. They get their trillions from selling their oil.

August 04 2011 at 12:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to siscosdad's comment

Please educate yourself on before making stupid comments. The United States sends BILLIONS to the Saudis ever year, what ever title you want to call it by, just so they will be our friend.

August 04 2011 at 1:25 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down