Way back in 2008, billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal of Saudi Arabia announced his intention to build the world's tallest building, the first skyscraper to reach 3,280 feet or more. The Jeddah Tower, a record-breaking building, was to be the crown jewel of Jeddah Economic City, a sprawling urban oasis, with aspirations to become the Dubai of Saudi Arabia. For comparison, One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the U.S., is 1,776 feet tall, roughly half the planned height of the Jeddah Tower.
After construction was paused in 2018, the ambitious project to construct the world's tallest tower was in limbo until the fall of 2023. Stalled by Saudi political intrigue and COVID shutdowns, only a third of the tower has been built, but construction is finally expected to resume. The website of the Jeddah Economic Company, created to develop the project, launches with a splashy rendering of the sky-piercing Jeddah Tower and the words "It's Happening." But when will it be finished?