The Tallest Building in the World

The twenty tallest buildings in the world

Photo of tallest building in the world, the skyscraper Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE.

Davis McCardle/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Since its completion in January 2010, the tallest building in the world has been the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

However, the building called Kingdom Tower, being built in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is expected to be completed in 2019 and would move Burj Khalifa to the second place spot. Kingdom Tower is expected to be the world's first building that is taller than a kilometer (1000 meters or 3281 feet). 

The Changing Sky-Scape

Currently proposed as the world's second tallest building is Sky City in Changsha, China to be built by 2015. Additionally, One World Trade Center in New York City is also nearly complete and will be the world's third tallest building when it opens sometime in 2014.

Thus, this list is extremely dynamic and by 2020, the world's current third tallest building, Taipei 101, is expected to be around the 20th tallest building in the world due to numerous tall buildings being proposed or constructed in China, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. 

The Top 20 Tallest Buildings

1. World's Tallest Building: Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Completed in January 2010 with 160 stories which reach 2,716 feet (828 meters) high! The Burj Khalifa is also the tallest building in the Middle East.

2. Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia with 120 floors and 1972 feet tall (601 meters), this new hotel building opened in 2012.

3. Asia's Tallest Building: Taipei 101 in Taipei, Taiwan. Completed in 2004 with 101 stories and a height of 1667 feet (508 meters).

4. China's Tallest Building: Shanghai World Financial Center in Shanghai, China. Completed in 2008 with 101 stories and a height of 1614 feet (492 meters).

5. International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong, China. The International Commerce Centre was completed in 2010 with 108 stories and a height of 1588 feet (484 meters).

6 and 7 (tie). Formerly the world's tallest buildings and known for their distinctive appearance, the Petronas Tower 1 and Petronas Tower 2 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia have gradually been moved down the list of the world's tallest buildings. The Pertonas Towers were completed in 1998 with 88 stories and are each 1483 feet (452 meters) tall.

8. Completed in 2010 in Nanjing, China, the Zifeng Tower is 1476 feet (450 meters) with a mere 66 floors of hotel and office space.

9. Tallest Building in North America: Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Completed in 1974 with 110 stories and 1451 feet (442 meters).

10. The KK 100 or Kingkey Finance Tower in Shenzhen, China was completed in 2011 and has 100 floors and is 1449 feet (442 meters).

11. The Guangzhou International Finance Center in Guangzhou, China was completed in 2010 with 103 stories at a height of 1439 feet (439 meters).

12. The Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, Illinois, United States is the second tallest building in the United States and, like the Willis Tower, is also located in Chicago. This Trump property was completed in 2009 with 98 stories and at a height of 1389 feet (423 meters).

13. Jin Mao Building in Shanghai, China. Completed in 1999 with 88 stories and 1380 feet (421 meters).

14. The Princess Tower in Dubai is the second tallest building in Dubai and in the United Arab Emirates. It was completed in 2012 and stands 1356 feet (413.4 meters) with 101 stories.

15. Al Hamra Firdous Tower is an office building in Kuwait City, Kuwait was completed in 2011 at a height of 1354 feet (413 meters) and 77 floors.

16. Two International Finance Centre in Hong Kong, China. Completed in 2003 with 88 stories and 1352 feet (412 meters).

17. Dubai's third tallest building is 23 Marina, a residential tower of 90 floors at 1289 feet (392.8 meters). It opened in 2012.

18. CITIC Plaza in Guangzhou, China. Completed in 1996 with 80 stories and 1280 feet (390 meters).

19. Shun Hing Square in Shenzhen, China. Completed in 1996 with 69 stories and 1260 feet (384 meters).

20. Empire State Building in New York, New York state, United States. Completed in 1931 with 102 stories and 1250 feet (381 meters).


Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat