Bin Laden Group to build world's tallest tower
Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud shows a model of the Jeddah Tower on Tuesday.
August 2nd, 2011
10:46 AM ET

Bin Laden Group to build world's tallest tower

Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding has hired Saudi Bin Laden Group to build the world's tallest skyscraper in Jeddah, Gulfnews.com reports.

Jeddah Tower will be 1,000 meters (3,281 feet) tall and will contain a Four Seasons luxury hotel, apartments, condominiums and offices that overlook the Red Sea, Financial Times reported.

Kingdom Holding is paying Bin Laden Group, one of the world's largest construction companies, about $1.2 billion to take on the five-year project, according to Financial Times.

Saudi Bin Laden Group was founded in 1931 by Muhammad Awad bin Laden, the billionaire father of terrorist Osama bin Laden. It built much of Saudi Arabia's highways and infrastructure, as well as entire districts and cities.

The company constructed additions to the Muslim nation's two holiest mosques in Mecca and Medina. It operates throughout the Middle East and was chosen in 1964 to reclad the golden Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem.

Over the years, Saudi Bin Laden Group has expanded into a conglomerate that includes engineering, manufacturing and telecommunications, according to business analysis site Hoovers.com.

Osama bin Laden, the 17th of 52 children, inherited part of his father's fortune, but his radical activities led the family to disown him in 1994.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, a nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, announced the tower building contract Tuesday. He owns 95% of Kingdom Holding, according to Financial Times.

When completed, Jeddah Tower will easily surpass Dubai's 828-meter (2,717-foot) Burj Khalifa as the world's tallest building.

The Chicago firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture designed the project and will oversee its development, Gulfnews.com reported. Adrian Smith was one of Burj Khalifa's designers when he was with Skidmore Owings and Merrill.

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Filed under: Architecture • Saudi Arabia
soundoff (528 Responses)
  1. Hahahah

    the world's best trolls: the Bin Laden family.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ernest

    What for??? These towers are wasteful, engineering nightmares. Everytime someone flushes a toilet you have to pump water a half mile or more straight up in the air. Nonsense!

    August 2, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Quite true. But, it's their money, their nightmare.
      But, you have to admit, it'll look cool!
      Give them enough time, someone will build a building so tall that they'll need to pressurize it.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • rtbrno65

      Well said. We need to get over this phallic need to build ridiculously tall buildings just so we can brag about them.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. WTC/Katrina/OEF/OIFvet

    Wow? Brilliant!!! Sir, if you’re NOT a structural collapse engineer, nor have degree in High-rise Architecture, and/or degrees in Aviation/Aerodynamics, I would suggest that you leave such comments to yourself. The Empire State Building and the World Trade Centers were two completely different structures; one being limestone and steel, and the other concrete and steel. Also, the B-25 and modern civilian aircraft have many differences, i.e. fuel load, speed capabilities, etc. Basic theory of kinetic energy is the mass of an object multiplied by the speed squared then divided by 2. Thus, a vintage war bird, weighing in roughly 33,500 lbs, with a max speed of 275mph absolutely not compare to a modern aircraft with an estimated 181,600 lbs and a max speed of 568mph! You do the math. SO.....in short, the next time you feel the need to express your point of view on this subject I suggest you go outside a fall on your face first. ... PS. I was actually at the WTC and lost more than brothers and sisters there.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • THE KID

      THATS HOW U DO IT, VERY VERY GOOD JOB OF EXPLANATION, I TRULLY APPRECIATE UR KNOWLEDGE,AN I'M VERY SORRY 4 UR LOSS OF FRIENDS ON THAT HORRIBLE DAY,,,,,,,,

      August 2, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jon

    I'd love to see this tower built to its promised height.....ONLY TO BE BROUGHT DOWN. PAYBACK'S A B$$CH!

    August 2, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      If they allow Saudi nationals to be part of the construction management, it'll fall down on its own, due to corruption accepting lousy materials.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bates

      Payback for what? What did Saudi do to anyone?

      August 2, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Unknown

    The Bin Laden family is very numerous and very wealthy. Yeah they had at least one black sheep (that would be Osama), but a lot of the family members own a very powerful construction company.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thehunted25

      I agree, There are several interviews on how the Bin laden family kicked out osama, Some even live in the United States! Not a big deal really

      August 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joe M

    Sounds like it might be time for some payback??? Anybody got their wings? lol

    August 2, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joe Kady

    My fellow Americans, I have tons and tons of data for proof as does the govt and the Israelis. But for simplicity reasons someone please answer just one question. Just one simple question. Please explain how World Trade Center 7 fell on its own? BTW "Loose Change" on youtube makes an attempt to bring some key questions to light but does not have the data or maybe the guts to come to a conclusion of what really happened.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      One of the hijackers got off the plane just before it hit the WTC and kicked building #7. Real hard.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheBlogNinja

      I worked for a gov. agency with offices in 7; it didn't fall on it's own. Assessments and in-your-face obvious evidence proved that.

      But why accept reality when sifting through the internet for conspiracy crap is more fun right?

      August 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sgtfury

      You are a total idiot, I'm surprised you can even type.

      August 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      " But for simplicity reasons someone please answer just one question. Just one simple question. Please explain how World Trade Center 7 fell on its own? " On it's own? I think there was some help from both the airplane and gravity. Of course there could have been thousands of elves with little saws chopping away at it too. Either way just blame the Tea Party and call it a day. This is CNN after all.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • ariwax

      I was inside 7WTC on 9/11 after the towers fell, setting up a triage unit in the Duane Reade (I was an EMT). Temperatures were going up in the lobby and it was reported that the building was on fire. After an hour or so we were evacuated and maybe 15 minutes later I saw 7WTC crumble.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Moron!

      August 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      look idiot. First, truly explain to me how the government could take such a building down. The problem with your conspiracy nuts is you try to connect the dots w/o realizing humans are involved...you just don't take into account human emotion and social involvement. Keep in mind I have experience as the manager of large office buildings...

      1. Have you ever watched a controlled explosion? It takes days and days to get things placed even for a poorly designed explosion. Believe me my staff would notice all the government agents hiding in the shadows putting C4 in my building...and even if they put a gun to my head I would have talked by now.

      1b. Someone would have talked by now...quit thinking the government is some dark hand of a secret society. They are just people like me (not you) and my neighbors with kids and dogs. A few are more covert but to keep a who team covert is imposible. We already know (via the media) who the mastermind behind getting Bin Laden was and many of the seals on the team...people just cannot keep their mouths shut.

      2. There is no evidence of large scale bombs or missiles todo the damage of building 7 or any building.

      I was going to write more but now I just want to punch you and people like you...

      August 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan Wood

      7 WTC did NOT fall on it's own; however, it was damaged beyond repair and was demolished. The US Post Office building and the Verizon building were also heavily damaged as were the Amex building (3 WFC).

      August 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Meg

      There was a fire from falling debris that weakened a critical supporting element of the structure. It is all detailed and modeled by qualified engineers in a lengthy study that was published and reviewed by experts. I heard a lecture by the authors that used actual film footage, building blueprints, and computer modeling to simulate exactly how it happened.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      WTC 7 fell down because two of the world's biggest planes knocked down two of the world' biggest buildings right next to it. With the magnitude of the forces involved in that, it's amazing that there was ANYTHING left standing around the WTC site. Don't try to create or promote conspiracies; reality is crazy enough by itself.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZUBU

      Joe no one wants to answer the question about how WTC 7 fell even though it was not hit by a plane or debris. Never in the history of steel framed buildings has one ever fell as a result of fire, but we lose 3 in a few hours. Also it's common knowledge that jet fuel can NEVER get hot enough to melt steel. I tell you what can get hot enough to melt steel and that is thermite, traces of which found in the debris field afterward. Also thermite can literally be painted on a wall and be used as an explosive agent.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • fred

      I think getting hit by a million pounds of burning debris from the falling towers had something to do with it.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • its-real-easy

      In November, 2008, NIST released its final report on the causes of the collapse of 7 World Trade Center.[28] This followed their August 21, 2008 draft report which included a period for public comments.[34] In its investigation, NIST utilized ANSYS to model events leading up to collapse initiation and LS-DYNA models to simulate the global response to the initiating events.[46] NIST determined that diesel fuel did not play an important role, nor did the structural damage from the collapse of the twin towers, nor did the transfer elements (trusses, girders, and cantilever overhangs). But the lack of water to fight the fire was an important factor. The fires burned out of control during the afternoon, causing floor beams near Column 79 to expand and push a key girder off its seat, triggering the floors to fail around column 79 on Floors 8 to 14. With a loss of lateral support across nine floors, Column 79 soon buckled – pulling the East penthouse and nearby columns down with it. With the buckling of these critical columns, the collapse then progressed east-to-west across the core, ultimately overloading the perimeter support, which buckled between Floors 7 and 17, causing the entire building above to fall downward as a single unit. The fires, fueled by office contents, along with the lack of water, were the key reasons for the collapse.[28]

      August 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rethink

      If someone kicks me in the back of the knees and I fall over, it isn't because the government planted a bomb underneath my kneecap at birth!

      August 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg S

      I used to laugh at you "truthers", but now I just sort of feel sad for you.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dover

      The Tea Party did it.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mahhn

      For those that don't know, building 7 was not one of the twin towers.
      It was primary a government building. It was pulled. It is where Enron evidence was being held that would have indited both Clinton and Bush family members. And a few other cases that would have sunk a few very powerful people. It was not a government conspiracy, but a few powerful people that wanted to and did, stay that way. No I won't elaborate, it's all available for the reading if you actually care, but I doubt you do, as most don't. I read the 911 report, a fourth grader would have written it more in-depth.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph

      A large amount of debris struck WTC7 during one of the impacts. The debris included burning jet fuel, causing massive amounts of damage to the building's support structure. Wake up, Joe. You're being lied to be people who want you to be distracted by the obvious while they try and bring down the government for all the wrong reasons and replace it with a foundation of lies.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • whatother

      What other conclusion is there that 911 was pulled off by the united states government in its bid for the Iraqi oil dollars, which it stole from the Europeans causing their economic crisis, while not really helping america AT ALL in the end, while their economy continues to crumble, and idiot rappers still gloat over their illuminati dreams, and the NWO is still being built, while americans are dummed down like stupid sheep unable to think or even form a violent revolution to challenge their government and take the power back to create a great world for all, not only the top 2% of americans that control easily half of the countries wealth.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Denizen Kate

    How high is high enough? For what shortcomings are they compensating?

    August 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      I wonder what shortcomings Americans had when they built the Empire State Building. lol so really stfu.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. hairball

    They should name it the Bush Tower in honor of the Bin Ladens' greatest benefactors!

    August 2, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. WasteisaWaste

    What an absolute waste of resources and wealth. Saudi royals and business men could be setting a good example by putting these resources to work in transforming their society into a real, working democracy where everyone has a chance at determining the outcome of their own life. They could be investing the money in scientific research or the next break-through technology. They could be the pioneers of the new wave of sustainable power-generation methodologies. What do they choose to do? They choose to build a huge palace in the sky.

    People are dumb animals.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • LibranRogue

      Very much agreed.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      Is it really any different than what we do here in the US?

      August 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tal

      Why would the Saudi royals want reform? They want to keep their people dumb and keep selling oil. They'll all be long dead by the time they run out of oil.

      Plus they have to prove they have a bigger **** than Dubai. Duh.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      The Arab culture's significant, positive contrinbutions were made centuries ago and have not since been repeated, just talked about.

      August 2, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steven R. Hamm

      greed has no religion, boundaries. GREED is an "equal opportunity" employer 🙂

      August 2, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • its-real-easy

      yea...just like America does!

      For those of you idiots asking why they need such a tall building...seriously? did you ask that when we built them in the USA?

      August 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Surak

    Bin Laden group... building towers... a lot changes in ten years. Say, if I fly a plane into that tower, do you think the Saudis will invade Canada looking for me while I hide safely for 9 years in the U.S.?

    August 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dz

    Now that their least favorite son is dead, maybe they can build it with hope that it won't be knocked right down.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GLY

    Isn't the one in Dubai in bankruptcy? Ironic indeed.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. quresh

    Ignorant Saudi, you need to invest money in educational sector and get educated. Making Big tower will not provide you
    wisdom or self awareness.

    August 2, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Soulcatcher

    Wouldn't it be ironic that the tower was found to have offices of Al Qaeda and bombed by the Americans?

    August 2, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
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