Report: Qatar led the region in building tall towers last year

Abraj Quartier Commercial Towers. Credit: UDC

Four of the nine tallest buildings constructed in the Middle East last year were made in Qatar, according to a new international review.

That means Qatar led the region in terms of tall building (200m+) construction for 2016, the Chicago-based council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) said.

The buildings were the Hilton Double Tree Sinyar Tower (230m), Tower 7 of the Qatar Petroleum District (223m), and the Abraj Quartier Commercial Towers (201m each) at the entrance to the Pearl-Qatar.

Tallest tower built in 2016: CTF Finance Centre in Guangzhou (530m). Credit: KPF

Worldwide, a record 128 buildings were completed last year, according to CTBUH’s Year in Review: Tall Trends of 2016.

China was the most prolific producer of tall buildings for the ninth year in a row, with 84 projects completed. It was followed by the US with seven completions, and South Korea with six.

Meanwhile, Indonesia came in fourth with five buildings while the Philippines and Qatar tied with four towers each.

Slowdown in MENA

The report stated that 2016 was a slow period for the MENA region, which for the first time in a decade saw no “super tall” buildings (300m+) come online.

However, CTBUH added that this doesn’t mean the era of tall towers is over for the Middle East:

“One should be wary of assuming that this is indicative of a regional swing away from the supertall height threshold. Optimistic projections show as many as nine supertall buildings completing in the Middle East in 2017.”

Speaking to the National earlier this month, one expert financial issues could explain the slowdown.

“Previously, this region hadn’t been quite so sensitive as to whether numbers stacked up,” said Chris Seymour, regional development director for consulting engineer Mott McDonald.

“It’s been a case of build it and they will come, but as liquidity tightened, the numbers needed to work.”

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