The world’s tallest skyscraper left unfinished for half a decade

In the heart of Saudi Arabia, the city of Jeddah has been home to a towering enigma that has baffled onlookers and industry experts alike.

Jeddah Tower, once envisioned to be the world’s tallest skyscraper, has stood incomplete for over five years, casting a shadow of mystery and uncertainty over the city’s skyline.

Originally named the Kingdom Tower, the ambitious project was launched in 2013 with the goal of surpassing the heights of its predecessor, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

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The visionaries behind the project aimed for a staggering height of over 1,000 metres, nearly 11 times the size of the iconic Statue of Liberty in New York, which is 93 metres tall.

However, the grandeur and ambition of the project have been marred by a series of setbacks and challenges that have left the tower in a perpetual state of construction limbo. The reasons for the delay have been shrouded in secrecy, with only sporadic updates provided by the developers, the Jeddah Economic Company.

The tower, designed by the renowned architect Adrian Smith, was set to be the centrepiece of the multibillion-dollar Jeddah Economic City development. The sleek, modern design and state-of-the-art engineering promised to make it a global symbol of Saudi Arabia’s ambitions for economic and cultural growth.

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The project’s description read: “The sleek, streamlined form of the tower can be interpreted as a reference to the folded fronds of young desert plant growth.

“The way the fronds sprout upward from the ground as a single form, then start separating from each other at the top, is an analogy of new growth fused with technology.”

As the years have passed, speculation has swirled regarding the reasons behind the prolonged construction hiatus. Financial concerns, changes in leadership, and even geopolitical tensions have been suggested as potential factors contributing to the delays.

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