The Al Noor Tower in Casablanca, Morocco, could become the tallest building in Africa if construction begins as planned later this year.

The project has been proposed by Dubai-based construction firm, Middle East Development LLC, in conjunction with French architects Valode & Pistre and would provide a 114-storey building encompassing commercial, residential and luxury retail space in addition to a seven-star hotel and art gallery.

Though there are still a number of factors that have not been finalised for the project – not least a definitive location or the agreement of Moroccan authorities to build it – the tower’s designer told CNN that the project is progressing as planned. “Our goal is to start the soil testing in June 2015,” said Amedee Santalo. “Then the engineering studies will take another few months and the construction should take two-and-a-half to three years maximum to be completed.”

Santalo believes the building could be the first of many large skyscrapers across Africa in the coming years, should permission be granted for its construction. The 540-metre building would currently rank as the fifth-tallest building in the world. Africa’s current tallest building is the 223-metre Carlton Center in Johannesburg.