“SAUDI billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has launched a project to build the world’s tallest tower at more than 1000 metres in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. The project to built a tower topping Dubai’s world’s highest building, Burj Khalifa, “will soon see the light after the signing of a $1.2 billion agreement” between Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding Co and construction giant Bin Laden Group, the Saudi tycoon said. It will take 36 months to build the tower, said the Saudi businessman, a nephew of King Abdullah and one of the kingdom’s wealthiest men. He did not say when construction will begin. Prince Alwaleed said the tower was intended to “send a message of strength” reflecting the OPEC kingpin’s economic and political stability….The tower, which will be part of a $US20 billion ($18.29 billion) project north of Jeddah, would top Dubai’s 828-metre Burj Khalifa, which was opened last year……..“Our message is political,” he said…………..”
A political message at the cost of $ 20 billion.
What is all this obsession with tall(est) towers in the Middle East these days. First there was Burj Dubai, whom they changed to Burj Khalifa after Shaikh al-Nahayan who pulled the nuts of the Dubai rulers from the fire. Then there was talk of which tower is more ‘leaning’ the Tower of Pisa or some other UAE tower. Then the Saudis built the tallest clock tower in the whole fucking wide world: an ugly travesty right over the Holy Mosque, possibly built over the destroyed remains of some ancient Islamic monument (they princes have been busy destroying houses of the Sahaba of the prophet and other ancient monuments to build their high-rise money machines). Now they are going to build this: the tallest tower in the whole wide world, relegating the Khalifs (al-Nahayan) Tower to second class status. I bet the al-Nahayan will add a few stories on top of the Burj Khalifa to make it taller by about the proverbial ‘nine inches’. It is all symbolic phallic game-playing, I suspect. Maybe there are feelings of “inadequacy” somewhere and this si just another way of trying to make up for it.
(I figure a $ 20 billion makes as much sense as a $ 20 billion political statement).