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Qatar\ s Shard London denies delay in opening.

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Officials at London's Shard Tower, which is 95% funded by Qatar and is the tallest building in Western Europe, have denied reports the project has been delayed and confirmed it will be officially opened on July 5 as planned.

A spokesperson said the building was physically completed on May 31 and the official inauguration, which will be attended by the Qatari prime minister and the UK's Prince Andrew, will go ahead as planned on July 5.

The spokesperson said reports at the weekend claiming the opening of the 310m tall structure would be delayed by up to two months were inaccurate.

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A report construction trade website Building.co.uk quoted Irvine Sellar, the founder and CEO of developer Sellar - Qatar's partner in the project - in which he claimed the completion of the tower could come "many weeks after" the end of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The report added Sellar had agreed with the contractor of the tower to extend the deadline, with the extensions resulted from "changes in the design as it progressed" and increases in the amount of work involved.

The GBP[pounds sterling]500m (US$779m) tower, which is being co-financed by Qatar Diar and is located on the South Bank of the Thames, is part of the US$3bn London Quarter development by Qatar Diar and Sellar.

The tower will consist of residential apartments, offices, signature restaurants and the five-star Shangri-La hotel.

The spokesperson added the hotel was due to open later this year and the observation deck, which will be the tallest in Europe, will open in 2013.

It is estimated that more than 1m visitors a year will visit the tower.

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Publication:Construction Week
Date:Jun 26, 2012
Words:313
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