Thailand in talks with group of investors from Middle East and China to build world’s tallest tower


Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin met with a group of Middle Eastern and Chinese companies including Emaar Group, Broad Group and Vatone Group and discussed plans to "build the world’s tallest building in Thailand,” he said in a post on X on Friday. - Bloomberg

BANGKOK (Bloomberg): A group of investors led by a Dubai-based real estate developer is in talks to build a mixed-use tower in Thailand that may vie for the mantle of the world’s tallest building.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin met with a group of Middle Eastern and Chinese companies including Emaar Group, Broad Group and Vatone Group and discussed plans to "build the world’s tallest building in Thailand,” he said in a post on X on Friday.

Emaar is best known for building the world’s tallest tower Burj Khalifa in Dubai. Mohamed Alabbar, who founded Emaar, said the Thai project won’t be developed by the publicly traded company but by a group of investors that includes him in a personal capacity. The talks are in early stages for "a super tall tower,” he said.

The project in Thailand will include a large department store, offices, a financial hub, a hotel, and an entertainment center, said Srettha, a former property tycoon who has backed the idea of building "entertainment complexes” that also house casinos.

"It will create considerable investment value and attract tourists,” Srettha wrote in the post, adding that the investors will study the prospects and propose an investment plan later. "Promoting investments from the private sector is a key factor to stimulate the country’s economy and generate income for the people.”

The group is interested in setting up the "mega project” in the Thai capital Bangkok, said Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke. "The prime minister put forward a challenge to them that they could build a tower here that’s even taller than the one in Dubai. They didn’t reject the idea,” he told Bloomberg.

Since taking office in September, Srettha has fashioned himself as Thailand’s chief "salesman,” courting big firms and potential investors to attract foreign direct investment into Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, which has lagged behind regional peers. The premier has met with top executives from more than 60 companies, pitching for foreign investments across high-value sectors to lift Thailand’s growth rate from an average of less than 2% in the last decade.

Srettha said the tower project could become a "man-made tourist destination” that will help bring in more visitors to Thailand, whose vital tourism industry accounts for 12% of its gross domestic product.

Thailand has seen a more than 40% jump in foreign tourist arrivals this year to about 11 million, as its visa waiver programs and easier travel rules draw travelers from across the world. This year, the country aims to welcome 35 to 40 million foreign tourists, close to the pre-pandemic record of 40 million visitors in 2019.

-- ©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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