Dubai will host a tower a ‘notch higher’ than the Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest building. The $1 billion-skyscraper will be decked with rotating balconies and elevated landscaping inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

The tower in Dubai Creek Harbour, a 6-square-kilometre master development, will be higher than 828-metre Burj Khalifa, property developer Emaar said.

“We are keeping the height quiet at this stage… probably we will announce when we open the tower. It will be a notch taller than Burj Khalifa,” Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar said on Sunday.

“The total cost will be $1 billion,” he said.

“Of course, when it comes to financing a project like this, we have to think about the revenue model. A monument like this where we will have probably close to 18 floors with different uses and a boutique hotel at the top…the company has enough resources to fund it but I think it will probably be 50 equity and 50 debt,” he said.
“We have our own financial and revenue models that have been checked by external consultants, financial consultants and bankers and the 50-50 is a very comfortable model for us.” The tower will be ready before Dubai hosts Expo 2020, starting October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021, Emirates 24|7 reported.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, vice-president and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, had approved the selection of the design by the Spanish-Swiss, neo-futuristic architect Santiago Calatrava in February 2016.

The tower will be ready before Dubai hosts Expo 2020, starting October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021.

“The tower is our tribute to the positivity, energy and optimism that Dubai and the UAE celebrate, led by a leadership committed to all-round progress. A shining beacon of hope for the world, celebrating diversity and human achievements, this new iconic landmark further highlights the country’s ambition and futuristic vision and enhance our nation’s pride,” Alabbar said.

“The tower, with 18 usable floors, draws design inspiration from the lily and evokes the image of a minaret, which is a common feature and distinctive aspect of Islamic culture,” said architect Santiago Calatrava.

“The tower will be linked to the ground with sturdy cables which have been inspired by the delicate ribbing of the lily leaves. The cable array gives the structure its strength, anchoring the ‘bud’ securely to the ground with technical precision using modern engineering materials,” Calatrava said.

Visitors will have a 360 degree views of the city, with a hotel in the uppermost section, while the VIP Observation Garden Decks will recreate the glory of the ‘Hanging Gardens of Babylon’, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.