Kingdom Centre- An Arabian Wonder
Kingdom Centre is the tallest building in Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. and is owned by one of the princes of the politically powerful Saudi Royal Family. Abdul-Aziz Al Saud; the Saudi prince, even uses the tower as his company headquarters. The company is known as the Kingdom Holding Company. At more than 300 meters in height, Kingdom Centre is estimated to be the 37th tallest tower in the world. It also houses the world’s tallest ‘King Abdullah Mosque’ which is situated on the 77th story of the tower. This great Mosque even holds a position in the ‘Guinness Book’ of world records for its exceptional height. There are also two additional mosques within the tower. The tower has an exclusive sky bridge of sixty meters in the top, which houses a great retail section of almost 600,000 square feet. The great city of Riyadh can be seen in its entirety from the sky deck. As you can tell already, the Kingdom Centre is not only one of the worlds tallest buildings, but it is a fascinating structure. The soon to be completed Burj Arab Dubai Tower will top the tallest buildings in the world list, but Kingdom Centre will still be amazing in its own right.
The staggering price for the construction of this huge tower is close to 18 billion Saudi Arab Riyals. Kingdom centre is located in the busy industrialist locality of Olaya. The tower was also the winner of the prestigious ‘Emporis Skyscraper Award’ in 2002 for its exclusive design structure and operational functions. A multi-level shopping hub is situated at its eastern wing, the opening of which is lighted up to create a luminous glow of varying colors. This exclusive shopping centre which comprises of about 160 stores, has ten stores on the service floors, 74 shops on the ground floor, the first floor has 37 shops and the ladies floor on the 2nd story which houses 40 stores. This woman’s floor meant exclusively for females, has lady assistants and helpers, who do not wear the otherwise compulsory ‘abaya’ when in a public place anywhere in Saudi Arabia, even the female shoppers are allowed to take off their ‘abaya’. There is also a luxury hotel and residential apartments at the east wing of the tower. The tower is shaped like a triangular shaped structure extended with a sky bridge and an observation deck. This unique tower is home to five-star hotels, sporting clubs, banks, conference rooms, even a wedding arena apart from luxury apartments and complexes.
After its initial completion, it was the world’s 25th tallest tower in the 21st century. It houses the largest dance room in all of Riyadh. The sky deck has a domed floor designed with cross beams at the windows. The tower has a four entrance access, each entrance used for a special purpose. Picturesque landscape gardens with abundant palm trees greet visitors on the northern and southern sides of the building. The lighting arrangement in the driveway impersonates the exquisite figure of the building. Reflective glasses in blue color are used for creating a style statement although aluminum is used for the outer lining to emphasize the shape of the tower. Thus, the Kingdom Centre manages to merge the most contemporary designs and technology with the primeval and respected customs of the Islamic society.