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Top 10 Tallest Skyscrapers in the World


Boasting of three of the top ten tallest skyscrapers in the world – Shanghai Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center and Zifeng Tower – China is an undisputed leader in architecture. However, UAE is the proud home of the tallest building on the planet – the Burj Khalifa.

World’s Top 10 Tallest Skyscrapers


Architectural Height City/Country


Burj Khalifa


Dubai, UAE


Tokyo Skytree


Tokyo, Japan


Shanghai Tower

632m Shanghai, China
4 Abraj Al Bait 601m

Mecca, Saudi Arabia


One World Trade Center

546.2m Manhattan, New York


Taipei 101

509m Taipei, Taiwan


Shanghai World Financial Center

494.3 m Shanghai, China
8 International Commerce Centre 484m

Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

9 Petronas Towers 451.9m

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

10 Zifeng Tower 450m

Nanjing, China

The unparalleled Burj Khalifa was constructed in only 5.7 years and was opened to the public on January 2010. While the structure also takes the prize for being the highest commercial and office building in the world, the Dubai Fountain sitting at its base is the tallest performing fountain in the globe. Burj Khalifa houses parkland, residential towers and the Dubai mall in addition to 30,000 homes.


The Shanghai Tower in Pudong, Shanghai, is currently being constructed and is scheduled to open in 2015. As of now, it is the tallest skyscraper in China; however, another structure has threatened to usurp the title held by Shanghai Tower – the Sky City in Changsha, south-central China. Once the skyscraper is complete, it will top the Burj Khalifa by 10m.

The Abraj Al Bait in Mecca holds the record for housing the world’s tallest clock tower and biggest clock face. The structure is situated right across the street from the Masjid al Haram mosque, which is home to the Kaaba and is the largest mosque in the world. Thus facilitating the Kaaba worshippers, the Abraj Al-Bait Towers has a prayer room which can hold over 10,000 people. It also has a hotel run by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts to provide lodging to pilgrims visiting the Hajj every year.

One World Trade Center, which is slated to open in 2014, is an endeavor to commemorate the original World Trade Center complex which was destroyed during the terror attacks of 9/11. Taipei 101 boasts of being the world’s tallest and largest green building after being awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification in 2011.

The Shanghai World Financial Center, the second tallest structure in China, houses conference rooms, hotels, offices, observation decks as well as shopping malls. The tallest building in Hong Kong, the International Commerce Centre, is the fourth tallest building in the world in terms of the number of floors:

Tallest Structures by Number of Floors




Burj Khalifa 163


Shanghai Tower 121
3 Abraj Al Bait


4 International Commerce Centre


5 Willis Tower


The Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia were the world’s tallest skyscrapers between 1998 and 2004, till the construction of Taipei 101 was completed. However, the towers continue to hold the title of being the tallest twin building on the planet.


There are several other prominent names which have not featured in the list of the top 10 tallest buildings in the world but hold some titles to their credit. For instance, the title of the tallest hotels is the world is held by JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, which stands at 355.4m, boasts of 72 storey and a total of 1608 rooms in two towers. The next in line is Yas Viceroy Hotel Abu Dhabi (354.9m) in Abu Dhabi and Rose Tower (333m) in Dubai.

The top four tallest residential buildings in the world are again concentrated in Dubai, UAE. The term ‘residential building’ is defined as a structure where a minimum of 85 per cent of the total floor area is used for residential purpose. By this definition, Princess Tower, which stands at a height of 414m, takes the cake. The next in line are 23 Marina (392m), Elite Residence (381m) and The Marina Torch (348m), all of them situated in Dubai.

While there are over 100 residential skyscrapers under construction across the world, the good news is that India will soon feature in the list. World One in Mumbai is under construction and is slated to be completed by 2015. It will stand at a height of 442 m and will soon hold the title of being the tallest residential building in the world.

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