The Dubai-based property company Middle East Development has announced that it plans to build Africa’s tallest tower in the Moroccan city of Casablanca.Â
The building, which will cost about $1bn to construct, will be 540m tall, almost twice as high as the 223m Carlton Centre in Johannesburg, the present holder of the record.Â
It will have 114 floors, one for each surah of the Koran. The outside of the building will be covered in patterns that represent more than a thousand African languages.Â
The working title for the project is the "Al-Noor Tower", or Tower of Light, but it may eventually be named after King Mohamed VI, the current king of Morocco.
Artists depiction of the "Al-Noor Tower" (http://www.alnoortower.com)
The tower will be built on a 25ha plot and will include a seven-star hotel, shopping mall and business centre.Â
Amede Santalo, the project manager for the scheme, told AFP: "It will be Africa’s highest tower. We chose Morocco because it is the gateway to Africa and Europe, a modern country and politically stable."Â
Middle East Development is owned by Sheikh Tarek bin Laden, the half-brother of Osama bin Laden. Work is expected to start in June next year and to be completed in 2018.