Official launch of Riyadh's tallest building Burj Rafal in September

Kempinski hotel could be soft launched as early as September
Official launch of Riyadh's tallest building Burj Rafal in September
Burj Rafal, Riyadh
Published: 15 June 2013 - 11:59 p.m.
By: Construction Week Online

A soft launch of the new Kempinski hotel within the $320m Burj Rafal tower in Riyadh could take place after Ramadan ahead of an official launch in September.

The project director overseeing the scheme for Riyadh-based developer Rafal, Eng Nazer Mohammed, said: "Substantially, by the end of June the works will be finished but we are anticipating final completion (of the building) by something like September."

The 308m-high, 70-storey tower is the tallest residential building in Riyadh, offering 360-degree views of the surrounding area including the nearby King Abdullah Financial District.

The 350-room Kempinski hotel takes up most of the first 23 storeys of the hotel and has a six-level podium with 24 meeting rooms, a banqueting hall for up to 2,000 guests, a substantial spa area and some external swimming pools, tennis courts and squash courts on the podium roof.

Above this are 440 apartments including eight penthouses - two of which are feature properties split over three levels. Rafal said that 86% of the units have already been pre-sold.

The tower has been designed by Hong Kong-headquartered P&T Architects and has been built by Dubai Contracting Co - the firm's first major building contract in the Kingdom.

Rafal's chief projects officer Dr Sultan Al Salem said that one of the challenges it faced at the start of the project was in finding contractors with the relevant experience in building tall towers, which were still a rarity in Riyadh at the time.

"We are not like Dubai where you have lots of contractors who are experienced in all of these things. We have a limited amount of contractors who are overwhelmed with so many projects that have suddenly come to the market."

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