World Facts

10 Tallest Buildings in the World

The tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, has held onto its title since 2010. Other entires on the list of the world's tallest buildings include the Shanghai Tower, the Abraj Al-Bait, and the Ping An International Finance Centre.

Whether it be due to innovation or land scarcity, the expansion of towns and cities has increased at a very vertical rate in recent years. In fact, there seems to be a great deal of competition between cities to see who can build the world's most impressive supertalls. Having the world's tallest building can bring tourism revenue and glory to its host city, although it is not a title that many cities hold on to for very long. When it comes to skyscrapers, world trends are changing. North America used to have 75 percent of the tallest buildings 20 years ago, but this has shifted to Asia and Middle East today. Thanks to the marvel of modern engineering that is ever-changing with the times, buildings keep growing higher, higher, and higher.

11. Shanghai World Financial Center (Shanghai, China) 1,614 feet/492 meters

The Shanghai World Financial Center has a height totalling 492, which makes it the tenth tallest building in the world. Construction of the building was completed in 2008. It has a total of 101 floors. The Shanghai World Financial Center is located in Shanghai's skyscraper-laden Pudong district and acts as an international finance and trade center. It is home to hotel rooms, offices, conferences, observation decks and shopping malls. Its tower has a trapezoid aperture towards the peak and has an air controlling feature called Variable Air Volume (VAV), and it is designed with a diagonal frame to mitigate bending and compressive forces from people inside the building, the wind, and heavy equipment on the ground alike. The design of the skyscraper has been very positively received by critics.

10. Tapei 101 (Taipei, Taiwan) 1,667 feet/508 meters

Like its name would suggest, Tapei 101 has a total of 101 stories. At 508 meters tall, it is among the world's tallest buildings. Taipei 101 made great waves when it was constructed in 2004, as its design was quite revolutionary at the time. It held the title of the world's tallest building for a six years before being surpassed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. An example of postmodern architecture, Taipei 101 is well known for its unique green-blue hue. It dominates the skyline of Taipei and is a major tourist attraction, mainly thanks to its observatory at the top.

9. CITIC Tower (Beijing, China) 1,732 feet/528 meters

Though still technically under construction, CITIC Tower, or China Zun, already dominates the skyline of Beijing, China. The groundbreaking for the building's construction occurred in 2011, and construction is expected to be completely finished sometime in 2018. The building's eventual height will be 528 meters. It will feature luxury apartments, hotel rooms, and a very high rooftop garden.

8. CTF Finance Centre (Tianjin, China) 1,739 feet/530 meters (Tie)

The Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Binhai Center can be found in the city of Tianjin in China's northeast. While the building's construction has been ongoing since 2013, it has not yet been completed. The finishing touches are expected on the building sometime in 2018. When it is completed, it will tie the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre for the position of the world's seventh tallest building. It will be the second tallest building in Tianjin, which has seen a surge in high-rise construction over recent years.

7. Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, China (Guangzhou, China) 1,739 feet/530 meters (Tie)

Located in the city of Guangzhou in southern China, the CTF Finance Centre is a mixed-use skyscraper whose construction was completed in October of 2016. At 530 meters tall, it shares the title of the world's seventh tallest building with the Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Binhai Centre in Tianjin. Guangzhou's CTF Finance Centre is notably home to one of the fastest elevators in the world, which reaches speeds of 71 km (44.7 miles) per hour. There are 111 floors in total. The building is also home to a shopping mall, offices, and a hotel.

6. One World Trade Center (New York, United States) 1,776 feet/541.3 meters

Standing at 541.3 meters and 104 stories, One World Trade Center is the tallest building in New York City, the United States, and the entire Western Hemisphere. Its construction was completed in 2014. Its namesake comes from the North Tower of the original World Trade Center. One World Trade Center was built as a functional building in commemoration of the 9/11 attacks. The building has been lauded for its use of renewable energy, which includes the reuse of rainwater.

5. Lotte World Tower (Seoul, South Korea) 1,819 feet/554.5 meters

The Lotte World Tower is found in Seoul, South Korea. At 554.5 meters, it is the fifth tallest building on the planet. Construction on the building was completed in March of 2016. A total of thirteen years of planning went into the preparation the the Lotte World Tower's construction, which began in March 2011. The building features 123 floors, six of which are underground. The roof of the Lotte World Tower was constructed with such a strength that it is designed to withstand earthquakes with a magnitude of up to 9 on the Richter scale.

4. Ping An International Finance Centre (Shanghai, China) 1,965 feet/599 meters

The Ping An International Finance Centre stands at 1965 feet in Shenzhen, China. It is the fourth tallest building in the world. Construction of the building topped out in 2015, and was completed in 2017. The Ping An International Finance Centre features a conference center, hotel, and a number of high-end retail spaces. It is also the home of its namesake, Ping An Insurance. The building uses an impressive total of 33 double decker elevators to access its 115 floors. Originally, the building designs called for the inclusion of an antenna. However, this plan was eventually called off due to concerns of flight interference.

3. Abraj Al-Bait (Mecca, Saudi Arabia) 1,971 feet/601 meters

Also referred to as Makkah Royal Clock Tower, the Abraj Al-Bait of Mecca, Saudi Arabia is the third tallest building in the world. It stands at a total of 601 meters. The government-owned complex features a hotel with 120 floors, as well as a conference center, an Islamic museum, and a prayer room with a capacity of 10,000 people. Other amenities inside the building include a five story shopping mall and a Lunar Observation Centre, which is used to watch the moon during the Holy Month. The Abraj Al-Bait was constructed by the Saudi Binladin Group, which is the largest construction firm in Saudi Arabia. It was completed in the year 2012. The building's design was a cooperative effort between the German architecture firm SL Rasch GmbH and the Mahmoud firm, which designed the clock tower.

The clock dimensions of Abraj Al-Bait have an area of 141 square feet, which makes it the largest clock face in the world. There are 21,000 green and white lights located on the top of the clock to signalize prayer times. These lights can be seen up to 19 miles away.

2. Shanghai Tower (Shanghai, China) 2,073 feet/632 meters

The Shanghai Tower is the world's second tallest building, with 121 floors and a height of 632 meters. The construction of Shanghai Tower began in 2006 and took a total of eight years. This building was designed by an American architectural company called Gensler. Its initial purpose was to to serve as a hotel and offices. Today, the building has a total of 1,100 parking spaces and 320 hotel rooms. The view from the top of the building offers a stunning view of the area of Shanghai known as Pudong, which has seen a great amount of development over recent times.

1. Burj Khalifa (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) 2,717 feet/828 meters

The Burj Khalifa towers above the city of Dubai's already burgeoning skyline. With 163 floors topping out at a height of an astonishing 2,717 feet tall, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. Primarily constructed from steel and concrete, the building was designed by the same architects responsible for other famous super-talls like the Willis Tower in Chicago and One World Trade Center in New York City. The construction of the building, which was completed in 2010, was part of an initiative by the government of the United Arab Emirates to shift the country’s economy from one that is solely oil-based to a more tourism and service based nation. The Burj Khalifa has 30,000 residences spread out over 19 residential towers, an artificial lake, nine hotels, and a shopping mall. This superstructure has given the United Arab Emirates international recognition, in addition to receiving praise from critics for its sleek design. It has yet to be surpassed in height by any other structure.

The World's Top 10 Tallest Buildings

RankBuildingLocationHeight in Meters (Feet)
1Burj Khalifa Dubai, United Arab Emirates828 (2717)
2Shanghai TowerShanghai, China632 (2073)
3Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower Mecca, Saudi Arabia601 (1971)
4Ping An International Financial CentreShenzhen, China599 (1965)
5Lotte World TowerSeoul, South Korea544.5 (1819)
6One World Trade CenterNew York, United States541.3 (1776)
7Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre Guangzhou, China530 (1739)
8Tianjin Chow Tai Fook Binhai Center Tianjin, China 530 (1739)
9CITIC Tower Beijing, China528 (1732)
10Taipei 101 Taipei, Taiwan 508 (1667)
11Shanghai World Financial CentreShanghai, China492 (1614)

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