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Top 20 Tallest Buildings in the World (Updated 2017)

Updated on March 19, 2017
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Kannan loves to create articles comprising Top 10's/20's. He has a knack for preparing listicles that help readers obtain information.

Did you know that the tallest residential tower in the world is in Dubai. Known as 23 Marina is of a massive 90 floors with each duplex having a separate swimming pool and a dedicated elevator. Wonder what would be to live in one of those extraordinary houses.

Or are you searching for the tallest buildings of the world? Now everybody must have heard about the tallest building is somewhere in Dubai and most probably would have also heard its name on T.V. Yes, Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world.

But did you know Burj Khalifa will soon (however, not so till 2017) lose its status of the largest building in the world when Kingdom Tower is completed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. If this is not "tall", then there is Azerbaijan Tower which is until now only announced is going to have 3445 ft. This structure will be more than 1 km in its height. Oh boy, what would that be!!!

If you are a civil engineer or a student then there is no better place to take inspiration from these amazing, stunning, and beautiful structures. Man-made wonders, I say.

So, this page is all about the largest buildings which are completed and also has a list of upcoming skyscrapers in the end of the article.

20| Emirates Park Tower, Dubai, UAE - 1,234 ft with 77 Floors


The Emirates tower will be the second tallest hotel in the world. The project is in its final lap, and the Emirates group will hand it over to Marriott International for the management of the hotel. The hotel will be known as JW Marriott Marquis Dubai Hotel.

The hotel will have 1612 lavish rooms, food courts, rooftop bars, business center, and an extensive banquet hall.

19| Tuntex Sky Tower, Kaohsiung, Taiwan - 1,240 ft with 85 Floors


The design of the building is unique with two 39 floor sections which merge in to a central tower. The building mainly has offices, but also has residential homes, a hotel, as well as a shopping mall.

The structure is of about 1140 ft but the antenna pushes its height to an additional 100 ft making it 1250 ft.

18| Empire State Building, New York City, United States - 1,250 ft with 102 Floors


At present, the Empire State building is the tallest building in New York (since the WTC is in its construction phase). Also, it is the third tallest building in the United States. It is also the oldest in this list which was completed in 1931. That's more than 80 years back!

Including the spire its total height is of 1454 ft, but the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat records it as 1250 ft in its listing.

17| Shun Hing Square, Shenzhen, China - 1,260 ft with 69 Floors


Shun Hing Square was the tallest building in Shenzhen until Kingkey 100 came up in 2011. The building has set a record of sorts wherein the first four floors being completed in just nine days.

The building is mainly occupied by offices, malls and also has an observation deck known as Meridian view center which provides a great view of the surrounding.

16| CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou, China - 1,283 ft with 80 Floors


Located in the largest city of Guangdong province in China. The building lies in the heart of the Guangzhow city which is becoming a fast growing business city. The complex in which the building is located is transport friendly with connecting railheads to other major cities of China.

The CITIC complex also has two 38-storey residential buildings.

15| 23 Marina, Dubai, UAE - 1,296 ft with 90 Floors


23 Marina is the world's tallest residential building. Built Hiranandani group which has its base in India. The residential building has 291 apartments, 57 swimming pools, 8 storey car parking, private elevator for each duplex, and a plunge pool for every duplex.

Those people definitely live "on top of the world".

14| Two International Finance Centre, Hong Kong - 1,364 ft and 88 Floors


The 2 International Finance center is the second largest skyscraper in Hong Kong. Only behind of the International Commerce Center which is the fifth largest in the world. This building is developed keeping in mind the needs of a financial institution.

Some of the famous tenants include Bank of America, Ernst and Young, BNP Paribas, Financial Times among other famous companies.

13| Al Hamra Tower, Kuwait City, Kuwait - 1,352 ft with 77 Floors


At the center of the Kuwait city lies the Al Hamra Tower. Pride of the Kuwait city. Again the design quite unique and somewhat strange when compared with others. Mainly has offices with a restaurant, spa, and 10-screen multiplex.

12| Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai, China - 1,380 ft with 88 Floors


The Jin Mao Tower marked the success of Shanghai as a world-class city. The tower was commissioned in 1994 and got completed in 1999. The complex where the tower stands also has one more building which is also a part of this list: Shanghai World Financial Center.

This tower was the tallest in Shanghai before the opening of Shanghai World Financial Center. Shanghai Tower is another building which is under construction near to the Jin Mao Tower, when completed it would stand 1,381 ft.

11| Trump International Hotel and Tower, Chicago, United States - 1,389 ft


Famously known as the Trump Tower, it is the second tallest building in the United States. With much fanfare Mr. Donald Trump, in 2001 announced that the tower would be the tallest in the world. But because of security concerns the plans were revised and the tower now stands second only after Willis Tower.

10| Guangzhou International Finance Centre, Guanzhou, China - 1,440 ft with 102 Floors


The sheer number of buildings in the list from China goes on to show how fast it is becoming a global super power. The same was the case with the United States when it was rapidly growing during the world war era.

Among the top 20, China has nine of them. From the top 100; 32 of them belong to China.

9| Kingkey 100, Shenzhen, China - 1,449 ft


The tallest structure in Shenzhen; the Kingkey 100 is designed by Terry Farrell and Partners and owned by the Kingkey group. A group which is basically in to production of toys, gifts, electronics, chemical products.

Apart from offices of various business, it has a hotel which occupies floor 75 to 98. It also a massive shopping mall in its lower level.

8| Willis Tower, Chicago, United States - 1,450 ft with 108 Floors


Willis Tower rules the charts when it came to buildings in the United States. It was also the tallest in the world from 1973 to 1998 after which it lost its position to Petronas Towers.

The observation deck know as Sky Deck on the 103rd floor is a major tourist attraction and nearly a million people visit it each year.

7| Nanjing Greenland Financial Center, Nanjing, China - 1,476 ft


Designed by the legendary architect Adrian Smith, who has designed some great structures such as the Burj Khalifa, Jin Mao Tower, and as well as the Trump Tower.

The design of the structure is commendable and what is called as functional; wherein the restaurants, hotel, and observatory deck are located above grade whereas retail, housing space is in the lower grade of the building.

6| Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - 1,483 ft with 88 Floors


One of the most famous towers of the world. Numerous movies have been shot near its premises.

Have you seen any advertisement showcasing tourism of Malaysia with this structure? No, don't think much, there won't be any. It is like the Taj Mahal of Malaysia.

It is also the tallest twin tower in the world and remained the tallest in the world for six years till Taipie 101 opened.

5| International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong - 1,588 ft with 118 Floors


The tower was opened in March 2011 with the opening of a Ritz-Carlton hotel. It forms a major part of the Union square built there to establish it as an esteemed commercial and real estate space.

It is jointly owned and operated by MTR corporation and Sun Hang Kai Properties.

4| Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai, China - 1,614 ft with 101 Floors


The tallest in China. The tower has offices, hotel, shopping malls. Eighth in terms of floor levels. Designed by Kohn Peterson Fox, one other fascinating thing to note here is that it has the highest observatory deck.

3| Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan - 1,670 ft with 101 Floors


This remarkable structure in Taipei shows the strength of Taiwan. And yes the 101 is derived from the number of its floors. At evening time, the top of the structure which has a bright yellow gleam is lighted with different colors of the rainbow, starting from Red on Monday to Purple on Sunday.

Nice way to remember the day; jokes apart, the flashlight is a sign of welcome and liberty.

2| Abraj Al-Bait Towers, Mecca, Saudi Arabia - 1,971 ft with 120 Floors


Not only it is the second largest tower in the world. It has to its name a whole lot of other records. It is the tallest clock tower in the world with the world's largest clock face and the largest in terms of floor area.

The location of the tower is just a stone's throw distance from the most sacred site of Islamism, the Mecca Masjid. The tower is locally known as the Mecca Royal Hotel Clock Tower.

1| Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE - 2,717 ft with 163 Floors


No need to tell you that Burj Khalifa is the tallest of them all in the world. As many say it defies belief. But there is more to come. Several other structures are announced by various countries. Some of them are approved by their respective governments and some of them are just proposed.

Recently there was news that the Azerbaijan Tower (proposed) will surpass the Burj if it gets completed. The Kingdom Tower of Saudi Arabia is one such which is approved by the Saudi government and the site inspection and other aspects of building such a tower is already started.

Proposed and Upcoming

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Azerbaijan Tower, Azerbaijan - 3445 ft, Floor details unknownKingdom Tower, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - 6,561.68 ft (including spire height), 200 FloorsMadinat al-Hareer, 3,284 ft, Dubai - 80+ FloorsBuenos Aires Forum, Argentina - 3,300 ft, 200 Floors
Azerbaijan Tower, Azerbaijan - 3445 ft, Floor details unknown
Azerbaijan Tower, Azerbaijan - 3445 ft, Floor details unknown | Source
Kingdom Tower, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - 6,561.68 ft (including spire height), 200 Floors
Kingdom Tower, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - 6,561.68 ft (including spire height), 200 Floors | Source
Madinat al-Hareer, 3,284 ft, Dubai - 80+ Floors
Madinat al-Hareer, 3,284 ft, Dubai - 80+ Floors | Source
Buenos Aires Forum, Argentina - 3,300 ft, 200 Floors
Buenos Aires Forum, Argentina - 3,300 ft, 200 Floors | Source


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    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 2 years ago

      Very interesting to learn about these buildings! And the architecture is amazing. Thanks, voted useful and beautiful.

    • kannanwrites profile image

      Kannan Reddy 5 years ago from Mumbai

      @ithabise Thanks for adding the info about Taipei 101.

    • ithabise profile image

      Michael S. 5 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

      Spectacular! I've always loved skyscrapers. The Chinese have great design with their buildings. It's also worth mentioning that Taipei 101 is the largest LEED Platinum-certified building in the world. Great hub! Gladly shared!

    • kannanwrites profile image

      Kannan Reddy 5 years ago from Mumbai

      @rahul0324 A big thanks for digging it. Your rock Rahul!!!

      @MartieCoetser Thanks for the wow!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

      Wow! Breath-taking, and beautiful!

      Thanks for this informative hub, kannanwrites :)

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Amazing pieces of architecture and engineering marvels! Awesome hub!

      Sharing it here... on digg... wherever i Can


    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      These are simply stunning! Had to come back for a second look.

      SHARING :)

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Isn't it always a marvel what "simple creatures of God" can do working together?

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      What incredible buildings and simply fabulous pictures! :)

      Its not where I would want to live, I want lots of green space that I can see out my windows and doors, but hese are engineering and artistic marvels.

      Thank you for SHARING with us.

    • Bldg an Architect profile image

      Bldg an Architect 5 years ago

      I love these projects. Its so much fun looking at civil engineering marvels.

      @catlystsnstars I don't the US is going to be getting back into the game of super tall buildings after 9/11. Plus most of these skyscraper projects have been put on hold, even in previously booming places like Dubai and China. It just isn't economical to build that high. If you're going for a tall project, its not because of market forces, its mostly just bragging rights.

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 5 years ago from Finland

      Really impressive buildings.

    • kannanwrites profile image

      Kannan Reddy 5 years ago from Mumbai

      @catalystsnstars Dubai is the hotbed of new constructions. So much so that I have also heard that more than 50 % of world's crane being in Dubai.

    • catalystsnstars profile image

      catalystsnstars 5 years ago from Land of Nod

      I'm an aspiring civil engineer, and am still captivated by the engineering feats of all these buildings. They are by far one of the most amazing things humans are capable of when they all get together.

      I really do need to get myself to Dubai, that's where all the action seems to be. Although it is time for the united states to get itself back in the game. They really are falling behind.