Saudi Arabia is set to start building the world’s tallest skyscraper, the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, on April 27, according to Building Design magazine.

The Kingdom Tower will reach a height of 1007 meters — surpassing the current tallest tower, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, by 173 meters to become the first high-rise building to be taller than a kilometer.

The foundation laying for the $1.2 billion project was completed in February 2014, and the estimated date of the building’s completion is 2017.

The tower is expected to house offices, apartments, a hotel, an observatory on the 157th floor (about 500 meters high), and 56 elevators.

The building construction is backed and overseen by billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a member of the Saudi royal family, and one of the richest men in the world. Adrian Smith, the chief architect working in conjunction with Gordon Gill Architecture, was also behind the design of the Burj Khalifa.

The building is expected to incorporate scientific innovations to combat the fierce wind tunnels at its higher levels, and install an internal air conditioning and irrigation system that would draw the air condensation from the higher floors to cool the rest of the building.

A simulated image of the Kingdom Tower (photo credit: CC BY Forgemind ArchiMedia/Flickr)

A simulated image of the Kingdom Tower (photo credit: CC BY Forgemind ArchiMedia/Flickr)