Dubai’s Emaar Properties plans on Sunday unveiled plans to construct a new tower in the emirate to surpass the Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building.
Chairman Mohamed Alabbar told reporters on Sunday that the height of the tower “will probably be announced when we open the tower but it will be a notch taller than the Burj Khalifa”. The Burj Khalifa, also built by Emaar, currently tops out at 828 meters.
Emaar aims to deliver the tower, which won’t be for residential use but contain an observation deck and possibly a small hotel, before Dubai hosts the World Expo fair in 2020. It will be situated in a yet-to-be built 6-square-kilometer residential and retail district next to Dubai’s creek and adjacent to a wildlife sanctuary.
The tower is designed by Spanish-Swiss neo-futuristic architect Santiago Calatrava Valls.
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 taken over by a tower currently under construction in Saudi Arabia.
The new tower plans aim at reviving Dubai’s real estate industry following the crash that hit the region with the global financial crisis in 2009.
“Cycles happen in all economies, in all cities world-wide,” said Mr. Alabbar.
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.
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.”