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Dubai’s Emaar seeks to surpass world’s tallest tower with new landmark

Dubai’s Emaar Properties plans to build a new tower in the emirate to surpass the Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building, Chairman Mohamed Alabbar told reporters on Sunday.

The new project comes as Dubai developers continue to announce new schemes despite a softening real estate sector, with the Emaar-built Burj Khalifa expected to be usurped by a tower currently under construction in Saudi Arabia.

Alabbar would not confirm the height of the proposed new tower, saying only that it would be “a notch” taller than the Burj Khalifa, which stands at more than 828 metres.

Supported by a matrix of cables, the futuristic tower will anchor the redevelopment of the Dubai Creek, the heart of old Dubai where traditional dhow boats continue to ferry goods.

The tower, designed by Spanish-Swiss neo-futuristic architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, is slated to have a rooftop courtyard, residential units and a link to a retail plaza.

The building is expected to be completed for the Dubai Expo trade fair in 2020, the same year that the kilometre-high Kingdom Tower in Jeddah is due to overtake the Burj Khalifa as the world’s tallest building.

Funding for the $1 billion project will be 50 percent equity and 50 percent debt, Alabbar said, undeterred by a residential property market that consultancy Cluttons says has softened for at at least five quarters.

The balance between supply and demand is very encouraging, Alabbar said. He declined to give figures, but said: “I don’t see a pullback. We are doing better than 2015.”

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