Dubai Unveils Plans for World's Tallest Skyscraper, Higher Than Its Own Burj Khalifa

Dubai Marina
Heavy fog rolls by early in the morning near the Dubai Marina, November 21, 2007. Dubai will welcome a new addition to its skyline before 2020, within contention to be the tallest building in the world. Steve Crisp/Reuters

Dubai is planning the construction of a building taller than the world's tallest skyscraper, Burj Khalifa, which also stands in the Gulf city state, Al Jazeera reports.

Property development firm Emaar has announced plans to build a new tower, which will cost around $1 billion, standing “a notch” above the 830-metre Burj Khalifa.

The final height will be confirmed upon completion, according to Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar, who set a deadline for the project as 2020, when Dubai will host the world Expo trading fair.

The tower, which will be designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, will boast observation decks, along with restaurants and a boutique hotel, across an additional 20 floors, Alabbar said.

Alabbar described the new structure as a “gift” to Dubai and an “elegant monument” that would increase property values of Emaar buildings on the city’s creek, by providing other projects with a new view.

The new development comes in cheaper that Burj Khalifa, which cost $1.5 billion when completed and opened in January 2010.

The slender tower will evoke the image of an Islamic minaret, and will use sturdy cables to stay anchored to the ground. It is unclear whether the new Dubai building will snatch the title of tallest building from the Burj Khalifa for long, as Saudi Arabia is currently building another tower in Jeddah that will rise more than a kilometre in height. The $1.23 billion Kingdom Tower is also set to be unveiled by 2020 and will boast around 200 floors.