Home Fun Stuff World’s Tallest Building

World’s Tallest Building

The Burj Khalifa

No great surprises here. The Burj Khalifa burst on to the international scene earlier this year with a massive fanfare, fireworks and festivities at the dawn of the new decade after a much anticipated build. The fanfare wasn’t without merit: the building smashing almost every record in the books – and by a considerable margin.

What’s not commonly know is that the Burj actually bagged several world-topping records when it was opened (see below), and setting new heights for others to surpass.

While other supertall projects, including Kuwait’s kilometre high City of Silk, Jeddah’s proposed Kingdom Tower (1001) and Bahrain’s Murjan Tower (1022m) are in the planning stages, they don’t yet exist. Even if they were to be started soon, the length of time it would take to reach the Burj Khalifa’s lofty heights means the Dubai super-structure would reserve its place at the top of the world for some time yet.

According to The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Taipei 101, at 508m, is the next tallest skyscraper and retains the record for being the world’s tallest all-office tower. Toronto’s 553m landmark CN Tower, and other towers of its type, were excluded from the list because they’re not habitable buildings.The building with the highest observation deck in the world is the Shanghai World Financial Centre (at 474m). The Burj Khalifa is second, at 452m – but still holds the record for the highest outside observation deck.

The World’s Top 10 Tallest Habitable Buildings

Rank Building City Country Height

1 Burj Khalifa Dubai UAE 828m

2 Taipei 101 Taipei Taiwan 508m

3 Shanghai World Financial Centre

Shanghai China 492m

4 International Commerce Centre Hong Kong China 484m

5= Petronas Tower 1 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 454m

5= Petronas Tower 2 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 454m

7 Nanjing Greenland Financial Centre Nanjing China 450m

8 Willis Tower Chicago USA 442m

9 Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago USA 423m

10 Jin Mao Building Shanghai China 421m



Project: Burj Khalifa

Location: Dubai, UAE

Work started: January 2004 (site excavation)

Completed: January 2010 (official launch)

Developer: Emaar Properties

Contractors: Samsung, BESIX and Arabtec

Architect: Adrian Smith, Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM)

Height: 828m

Floors (above ground level): 162

Cost: $1.6bn

Nearest rival: Taipei 101 (508m)


– Tallest building in the world

– Tallest free-standing structure in the world

– Highest number of stories in the world

– Highest occupied floor in the world

– Highest outdoor observation deck in the world

– Elevator with the longest travel distance in the world

– Tallest service elevator in the world; world’s highest mosque (158th floor)

– World’s highest swimming pool (76th floor)

– World’s highest occupied floor.


Fast facts

45,000 — Amount, in cubic metres, of concrete used in the foundations

58 — Number of elevators

900 — Number of apartments within the building

309,473m3 — Gross floor area within the building