Saudi Prince to build 1,000 m skyscraper, dwarfing Dubai's Burj Al Khalifa

When the Empire State Building was built in New York, way back in 1931, it held sway as the world's tallest building (381 m, or 1,250 ft - 102 floors) for a record 41 years. In the 21st century though, the title of 'world's tallest building' has been falling rapidly, as newer, taller, towers have been dislodging record-holders.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has just announced that his Kingdom Holding Co (KHC) has teamed up with the Bin Laden Group to build the world's tallest tower in Jeddah; the new Kingdom Tower, soaring a kilometre into the sky, will dwarf Dubai's Burj al Khalifa, the current title-holder, by 172 metres.

The Burj al Khalifa, built in 2010, toppled the then title-holder, Taipei 101, which (at 509 metres) held sway for a mere six years. But it will be over-shadowed by the Kingdom Tower, which will be ready in 2016. The 1,000-metre-high structure will include luxury apartments, offices, and a shopping complex.

The glitzy new tower will be the centerpiece of a $20-billion new development that will jut out over the Red Sea, and will be the first phase of the proposed Kingdom City, a two-sq mile urban development project, first unveiled in 2008.

"We intend Kingdom Tower to become both an economic engine and a proud symbol of the Kingdom's economic and cultural stature in the world community," announced Talal Al Maiman, a board member of KHC and the Jeddah Economic Co, a KHC-affiliate, while signing the deal with the Bin Laden group, a Saudi construction conglomerate, owned by the family of Osama bin Laden.

The family has disavowed the head of Al Qaeda terror, who was recently killed by US commandos.