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The Top Five Most Spectacular Skyscapers in the World

Updated on October 14, 2013

A Picture Hub of Breathtaking Architecture

The Top Five Most Spectacular Skyscrapers in the World:

1. Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

2. Al Hamra Tower, Kuwait City, Kuwait

3. One World Trade Center, New York City, United States

4. Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai, China

5. Abraj Al-Bait, Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Honorable Mention: Umeda Sky Building, Osaka, Japan

Burj Khalifa

A view from the observation deck.
A view from the observation deck. | Source
Dubai skyline
Dubai skyline | Source
Burj Khalifa under construction
Burj Khalifa under construction

Height: 2,722 ft (829.8 m) Number of Floors: 163

Construction Start to Opening: January 2004 - January 2010

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Designers: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill

World Records: Burj Khalifa is the worlds tallest structure by nearly 700 ft. Naturally, it holds a number of records in regards to building height and architecture. It holds the world's highest restaurant.

Meaning behind the name: Burj is Arabic for Tower. Khalifa is the name of the President of UAE. The skyscraper was originally namedBurj Dubai, "Dubai Tower", but was renamed at it's opening in honor of President, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in return for his backing of the project.

Interesting fact: The elevators in the tower move at 33 ft/second or roughly 22.5 miles per hour. There are 2,909 stairs from the ground floor to the 160th floor.

Al Hamra Tower


Height: 1,354 ft (412.6 m) Number of Floors: 77

Location: Kuwait City, Kuwait

Total Cost: $500 million

Records: Tallest stone-clad structure

Interesting Fact: Over 195,000 square meters of concrete was used in the construction of the building.

One World Trade Center

Skyline of Manhattan
Skyline of Manhattan | Source
A view of the tower under construction in July 2012.
A view of the tower under construction in July 2012. | Source
The tower--closer to completion--in November 2012.
The tower--closer to completion--in November 2012. | Source
A photo of the tower from the Hudson River taken in July 2013.
A photo of the tower from the Hudson River taken in July 2013.

As of February 2013, this building is topped-out, but not yet completed. Construction started in April 2007 and the building is scheduled to open in late 2013 or early 2014. The building was formerly known as the Freedom Tower. The tower is a part of the new World Trade Center complex which features a September 11 Memorial, a new transportation hub, and other high-rise buildings.

Height: 1776 ft. (546.2 m) Number of Floors: 104

Location: New York, United States

Total Cost: $3.8 billion

World Records: The third tallest skyscraper in the world and the tallest in the western hemisphere.

Interesting Fact: The building is developed and controlled by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Jin Mao Tower

A bottom-up view of the 32 story Grand Hyatt atrium.
A bottom-up view of the 32 story Grand Hyatt atrium.

Height: 1380 ft. (420.5 m) Number of Floors: 88

Location: Shanghai, China

Construction Started and Finished: 1994 - 1999

Number of Lifts/Elevators: 61

Total Cost: roughly $530 million

Interesting Fact: Floors 53-87 hold the Shanghai Grand Hyatt hotel, featuring 555 rooms and a barrel-vaulted atrium 32 stories high.

Abraj Al-Bait

A view of Abraj Al Bait with construction nearly complete.
A view of Abraj Al Bait with construction nearly complete. | Source

Height: 1,972 (601 m) Number of Floors: 120

Location: Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Construction Started/finished: 2004-2012

Total Cost: $15 billion

Interesting fact: the clock on the Abraj Al-Bait tower is the largest in the world. It can be viewed from 16 miles away/

Umeda Sky Building

This 40-story tower deserves an honorable mention simply because of it's unique design and the sky bridges which cross "space" between the two towers.

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    • Jason Matthews profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason Matthews 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      @ Paul Kuehn, the development and evolution of Skyscrapers has been incredible. It seems as though once you visit the "tallest" one, another even taller tower is built. I recently read this fascinating article from BBC News on the possibility of a mile high tower. Check it out if you have a minute!

      @ Torrilynn, Thanks for the encouragement and vote up! I agree that skyscrapers are very fascinating. Great works of architecture!

      @ always exploring, me too! I'd love to be able to visit all of these towers and take some cool pictures myself!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is amazing. I would love to see them all in person. Thank you for sharing....

    • torrilynn profile image


      8 years ago

      jason, i find that this is an interesting hub here that you have about skyscrapers. i find them fascinating and unique in the way the look and are decided. great hub. voted up.

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      8 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand


      In the first half of the 20th century, the Empire State Building was probably the most famous and spectacular skyscraper in the world. I haven't visited any of the skyscrapers on your list, but I sure would like to. In the early 1970s I went to the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago and thought it was cool. In 2005 while in Taipei, Taiwan, I went to the top of the 101 Building which at the time was the highest skyscraper in the world. The view was awesome and the elevator was claimed to be the fastest in the world at that time. This is a very interesting hub and your pictures are great. Voted up and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Also Pinning.

    • Jason Matthews profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason Matthews 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks, Efficient Admin!

    • Efficient Admin profile image

      Michelle Dee 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Very interesting and great photos. Voted up

    • Jason Matthews profile imageAUTHOR

      Jason Matthews 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you, point2make. I also am amazed with the height of these buildings and I marvel at the ability of the engineers to create structures that can withstand gravity and the forces of nature. Thanks for reading!

    • point2make profile image


      8 years ago

      Very interesting and informative list. Well done.....I have always been fascinated with skyscrapers and it is amazing how high they are getting. I do wonder, though, how high can they actually go before gravity and physics take over? Good hub...loved the photos...voted up.


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