4. Jeddah Tower

Another prominent construction scheme in Saudi Arabia, the 1km Jeddah Tower has also recorded progress in 2018.

Between January and March this year, three key updates were revealed about the tower. In January, a contract was awarded to begin infrastructure works for Jeddah Tower and Jeddah Economic City. Al Fouzan Trading and General Construction Company won the $165.3m (SAR620m) contract, and is expected to complete its work within 12 months. 

The infra works contract was signed by Eng Talal Almaiman, chief executive officer of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), and board member of Jeddah Economic City (JEC). Commenting on the project, Mounib Hammoud, chief executive officer of JEC, said: “The works are going according to the set time-frame and soon, plots of land will be available and ready for development by local [and] international investors with all support services and utilities.” 

In February, Reuters reported that construction on the project had reached the 63rd floor, with shelling and cladding work to be completed next year. According to the report, Hammoud added: "We have faced delays. In projects of this magnitude you always have delays – I hope we'll recover the delays we've had. We will be open for business by 2020, hopefully.”

Hammoud added that construction on the project would continue despite Saudi Arabia's purge last year to crackdown on corruption. The allegations saw the detention of several businessmen, including investors in the project.

JEC is owned by Saudi investors including Kingdom Holding Co, which has a 33% stake, and construction giant Saudi Binladin Group, which has 16.6% and is the project's main contractor, were both impacted by the corruption purge, according to the report.

Orange Business Services signed a smart city consulting agreement with JEC for the skyscraper this March.

Under the agreement, Orange will create a blueprint for the ICTinfrastructure of the 1km-tall tower. The scope will extend from the planning and design phases up to construction and operations, the consultancy said in a statement. Commenting on the deal, Hammoud said: “The implementation of the smart city components is considered as an essential step [towards the delivery of] an environmentally friendly [and] self-sustainable project.”