Emaar unveils tower taller than Burj Khalifa

Emaar Properties has unveiled its plans to build a tower taller than Burj Khalifa.

The Dubai developer announced its new project at the weekend, with chairman Mohamed Alabbar and the Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava hailing the development as Dubai’s equivalent of the Eiffel Tower.

The two have more than just height in common: the Paris landmark was built in 1889 for the Paris Expo and Emaar’s plan is to have its own tower ready for Expo 2020. The event, which will be hosted by the emirate, is already playing a vital role in the housing market’s recovery, as professionals anticipate rising employment and rising investor confidence in the coming four years – and, of course, rising buildings.

Indeed, the $1 billion tower is unveiled just as the emirate enjoys improving sentiment in its real estate sector, with developers resuming construction on a number of previously unfinished projects, as business returns to normal.

“There’s no doubt that the Eiffel Tower has inspired over 100 years,” Mr Calatrava told the press. “It represents a city, a whole nation. It still today is a monument. I feel so proud to be part of a team that aims to obtain a similar achievement.”

The tower is currently unnamed, but it will be attached to the Dubai Creek development that is designed as a joint venture by Emaar and Dubai Properties. The 6 sq. km harbour project is a “mega-retail district” that will include a 4.5km boardwalk, nine lifestyle districts, an array of hotels, plus a marina and yacht club.

The building itself will have a concrete core and a glass and steel facade, with an observation deck offering a 360-degree view of the city. Although it will primarily be an architectural tower, there will be around 20 upper floors used as a hotel, with restaurants, function rooms and an interior garden joining the viewing platform.

Santiago Calatrava’s design was chosen by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, following a competition involving a number of top practices. Work on the foundation is expected to begin in June or July, with construction expected to be carried out under three packages, with one company handling the foundation, another the core and another the steel cables. Both the harbour and the tower are hoped to be ready for Expo 2020.

And what of the height? At present, it is not known exactly, but Mr. Alabbar said it would be “a notch taller” than Emaar’s Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest tower.