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London in running to house Saudi prince’s "ultimate" mile-high skyscraper

by Deleted Subscriber Content
19th Jun 13 11:07 am

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who boasts London’s Savoy Hotel among his many luxury investments, has announced plans to build the world’s tallest ever skyscraper.

At 1.6km high, it would hover a mile above the ground, far eclipsing anything seen before. The “ultimate” skyscraper would be about five times the height of the Shard, and almost double that of the world’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which stands 828 meters high.

London is foremost among the world’s major cities, currently being asked to pitch for the project. Other competitors include Shanghai, New York and Moscow, as well as Middle East capitals such as Jeddah, which is in the midst of constructing the 1 km high Kingdom Tower.

“I am now inviting the major cities of the world […] to come and give their offers,” the Prince told Reuters.

However, concerns have already been raised about the viability of such a project in the UK capital, which has strict planning premising laws and one of the busiest skies in terms of air travel.

Alwaleed, a nephew of the Saudi king, is said to be the world’s 24th richest person, with a personal net worth of $20bn, although he contests this figure. The Savoy owner insists that his actual wealth is closer to $30bn, which would make him the world’s 9th richest. The prince is currently suing Forbes magazine for libel for underestimating his fortune.

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