London Shard group to manage 1,000-metre tower project in Saudi

LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The builder of The Shard

skyscraper in London will be the project manager for the planned

$1.2 billion, 1,000-metre (3,300-foot) Kingdom Tower skyscraper

in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Mace will manage the development in a joint venture with

construction consultant EC Harris, part of Dutch group Arcadis

, and the tower will be built by Saudi construction

firm Bin Laden Group.

The tower's height will exceed a kilometre - precisely by

how much is a secret but the structure will take over from

Dubai's 828-metre tall Burj Khalifa as the world's tallest

skyscraper.

Plans were unveiled 18 months ago by Saudi billionaire

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal as the centrepiece to the Kingdom City

development in Jeddah, a major Red Sea port.

"One of the reasons we hired them is they are going to use

the same team that was on The Shard," Waleed Abduljaleel

Batterjee, chief executive of developer Jeddah Economic Company,

told British trade magazine Building.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is undertaking multi-billion dollar

projects to improve its infrastructure and meet its massive

housing needs, spending over $400 billion in the five years to

2013 in addition to more than $130 million in social spending.

Jeddah, the country's second largest city with around four

million residents, has long complained of neglect.

Firms will "start mobilising" in April and construction work

should start by the middle of the year, Batterjee said.

Construction will take just over five years and the tower,

to include a hotel, serviced apartments and luxury condominiums,

will be more than three times taller than the 308-metre tall

Shard when complete in 2018.

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