Burj Khalifa developer plans to build taller tower as gift for DubaiAn artist's impression of the planned Dubai tower that will surpass Burj Khalifa in height. Image: Santiago Calatrava/Emaar Properties

Burj Khalifa developer plans to build taller tower as gift for Dubai

The developer of the world’s tallest building in Dubai is planning to add an even taller tower to the glittering Middle East commercial hub’s skyline.

Emaar Properties PJSC chairman Mohamed Alabbar says the new observation tower in the company’s Dubai Creek Harbour project would be “a notch” taller than the megatall Burj Khalifa. He would not say by how much.

“We wanted to build a new landmark for Dubai,” Mr Alabbar said at a media briefing on Sunday. “When we look at downtown and the Burj Khalifa, the area is almost full to the rim.”

“The design by Santiago Calatrava, chosen after a competitive pitch from the world’s top architects, was a perfect fit to our requirement for a landmark that defined our urban core for Dubai Creek Harbour.

“It integrates not just design excellence but also strong environmental and smart-tech considerations.”

A rendering of the planned Dubai tower that will surpass Burj Khalifa in height. Image: Santiago Calatrava A rendering of the tower that would surpass Burj Khalifa in height. Image: Santiago Calatrava

A rendering of the planned Dubai tower that will surpass Burj Khalifa in height. Image: Santiago Calatrava/Emaar Properties The spire design of the planned tower is reminiscent of a minaret. Image: Santiago Calatrava/Emaar Properties

Unlike the 828-metre Burj Khalifa, the new tower designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Calatrava will not be a traditional skyscraper.

The design is a slender spire supported and anchored by cables and including observation decks, gardens and 18 to 20 floors for shops, restaurants and other tourist facilities.

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“From the beginning, my team and I have tried to put the best of ourselves into this project, since it is very special and is a great honour to participate,” Calatrava said.

“The design has clear reference to the classic art from the past and the culture of the place while serving as a great technological achievement. It is a symbol of an abiding belief in progress and in hope.”

The $1 billion project will be financed by 50 per cent of equity and 50 per cent of debt, Mr Alabbar said.

Construction is scheduled to begin in June and the tower is due to open “as a gift to the city” from Emaar Properties in time for Dubai to host the World Expo in 2020.

Dubai has 18 buildings taller than 300 metres and classified as supertall – the biggest number of any city in the world.

The Burj Dubai, the world's tallest building, towers over the skyline in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010. Photo: Charles Crowell/Bloomberg Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, towers over the skyline in Dubai. Photo: Charles Crowell/Bloomberg

An artist's impression of the Jeddah Tower. Photo: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture / CTBUH An artist’s impression of the Jeddah Tower. Photo: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture / CTBUH

The $1.5 billion Burj Khalifa, completed in 2010, is one of only three megatall buildings – taller than 600 metres – in the world, along with the 632-metre Shanghai Tower and Saudi Arabia’s 601-metre Makkah Royal Clock Tower.

The 1000-metre Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia is under construction and due to be completed in 2018.

The world’s 100th supertall building was completed in New York in December 2015. According to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, megatall buildings may now become the new frontier for development.

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