Dubai lays groundwork for 'world's tallest' tower
Dubai has started construction on a tower which is set to overtake the Burj Khalifa to become the world's tallest tower.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the emirate's ruler, marked the groundbreaking of The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour as construction workers laid foundations for the skyscraper at a vast patch of sand.
The structure "will be the world's tallest tower when completed in 2020", a statement read.
Dubai's developer giant Emaar Properties announced plans to build the viewing tower in April.
It promised it would be "a notch" higher than Burj Khalifa, which stands 828 metres (2,700 feet) high at a cost of around $1 billion.
Designed by Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, the tower will have observation decks providing 360-degree views of the the city state.
Emaar Chairman Mohamed Alabbar said the tower will completed before the Expo 2020 trade fair which Dubai is preparing to host.
Earlier, the construction company said said that the tower would be "slender", evoking the image of a minaret, and anchored to the ground with sturdy cables.
Dubai has established a reputation for building dozens of futuristic skyscrapers, which have transformed its skyline.
Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding is building a tower in Jeddah that is planned to surpass the Burj Khalifa, rising more than a kilometre.