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18 of the Tallest Buildings in the World

By | Last Updated: 13th December 2022

Supertall structures have been an object of fascination to humans for a long time. Looking back at history, it’s truly amazing to see the marvels of the architecture of the ancient time. The Pyramids of Giza and Lincoln Cathedral are two prominent examples of the towering buildings of the past. While the historical monuments defined the religious fervor of a particular culture, modern skyscrapers are built as an economic instrument of a country. The tallest building record is set only to be broken again with the passing years. Though Burj Khalifa ranks first at present, the Jeddah Tower is supposed to replace it once its construction is completed.

Here is a collage comparing the height of the top eight skyscrapers in the world.

World's Tallest Buildings

1. Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Burj Khalifa

Also the world’s tallest free-standing structure, Burj Khalifa has an observation deck on the 124th floor, accessible to the public after purchasing a ticket. Experiencing the panoramic views from the top of the skyscraper is indeed breathtaking.

Height: 830 m (2,717 ft)

Number of Floors: 163

Number of Elevators: 57

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Designed by: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Completed in: 2009; opened in 2010

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2. Merdeka 118, Kuala Lumpur

Merdeka 118

The sleek-looking Merdeka 118 is the recent addition to the list, surpassing Shanghai Tower in height that previously occupied the second position. Standing on Petaling Hill, the skyscraper is occupied by offices, residential spaces, a premium hotel, and many more. Its observatory deck is the highest in Southeast Asia at 1857 feet.

Height: 679 m (2227.6 ft)

Number of Floors: 118

Number of Elevators: 87

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Designed by: Fender Katsalidis Architects

Completed in: 2022

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3. Shanghai Tower, Shanghai

Shanghai Tower

The twisted shape of the Shanghai Tower represents a spiral dragon, a symbol of power and good luck in Chinese culture. It has the highest observation deck and even one of the fastest elevators travelling at 45.9 miles per hour.

Height: 632 m (2073 feet)

Number of Floors: 128 floors

Number of Elevators: 114

Location: Shanghai, China

Designed by: Gensler

Completed in: 2014, opened in 2015

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4. Makkah Royal Clock Tower, Mecca

Makkah Royal Clock Tower

Also known as Abraj Al-Bait Tower, Makkah Royal Clock Tower is the tallest building in Saudi Arabia. The massive clock at the top is visible even from a distance of 15-16 miles. The structure comprises a hotel and residential complex, constructed to provide hospitality to wealthy Muslim pilgrims visiting Mecca to complete their Hajj.

Height: 601 m (1972 ft)

Number of Floors: 120

Number of Elevators: 96

Location: Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Designed by: Dar al-Handasah Shair & Partners; SL Rasch GmbH

Completed in: 2012

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5. Ping An Finance Center, Shenzhen

Ping An Finance Center

Ping An Finance Center is an elegant modern skyscraper having a steel exterior. A mix of office, hotel, retail spaces, and a plush shopping mall fills the building. The observation deck, Free Sky, occupying the 116th floor, offers stunning panoramic views of the cityscape.

Height: 599 m (1966 ft)

Number of Floors: 115

Number of Elevators: 33

Location: Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

Designed by: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)

Completed in: 2017

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6. Lotte World Tower, Seoul

Lotte World Tower

The steel-built Lotte World Tower has gentle, curved sides with a glass façade, inspired by Korean ceramics. It is South Korea’s tallest structure, with a luxury 5-star hotel named Lotte Hotel, residential apartments, office, and retail spaces. 

Height: 555 m (1823 ft)

Number of Floors: 122

Number of Elevators: 30

Location: Sincheon-dong, Songpa District, Seoul, South Korea

Designed by: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)

Completed in: 2016, opened in 2017

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7. One World Trade Center, New York

One World Trade Center

New York’s tallest building, One World Trade Center, stands on the site of the Twin Towers in memory of the victims of the 11th September, 2001 attack and as a symbol of new hope for a positive future. It was constructed with reinforced concrete and dense fireproofing, making it the safest office building in the world.

Height: 541 m (1776 ft)

Number of Floors: 94

Number of Elevators: 73

Location: Fulton St, New York, US

Designed by: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)

Completed in: 2014

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8. Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre, Guangzhou

Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre

As the Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre lies on the eastern side of the Guangzhou Twin Towers, it is called the East Tower. The mixed-use tower has five underground floors, a hotel, a shopping mall, and numerous offices and apartments. It boasts of having one of the world’s fastest elevators which move at 46.9 miles per second.

Height: 530 m (1739 ft)

Number of Floors: 111

Number of Elevators: 95

Location: Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Designed by: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)

Completed in: 2016

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9. Tianjin CTF Finance Centre, Tianjin

Tianjin CTF Finance Centre

Equivalent to Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre in height, this skyscraper features eight large sloping columns. Besides making the building earthquake-resistant, the columns provide support and give it a unique curve shape. It tapers off as it rises that helps protect the structure from excess wind. It is home to several offices, apartments, a 5-star hotel, and a shopping mall.

Height: 530 m (1740 ft)

Number of Floors: 97

Number of Elevators: 81

Location: Binhai New Area, Tianjin, China

Designed by: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM); Ronald Lu & Partners

Completed in: 2019

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10. CITIC Tower, Beijing


The structure resembles an ancient wine vessel called zun, from which it gets its nickname, China Zun. The outer shell of each floor has windows that are relatively transparent, providing clear views of the surrounding areas. It consists of a mix-use of 60 floors of office spaces, 20 floors of plush residential accommodations, and 20 floors of hotel.

Height: 528 m (1731.3 ft)

Number of Floors: 109

Number of Elevators: 142

Location: Beijing CBD, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China

Designed by: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Completed in: 2018

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11. TAIPEI 101, Taipei City


Taipei 101 is a modern structure whose shape resembles a towering pagoda. The eight modules with eight floors in each represent the auspiciousness of the number 8 in Chinese numerology.

Height: 508 m (1667 ft)

Number of Floors: 101

Number of Elevators: 61

Location: Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan

Designed by: C.Y. Lee & Partners Architects & Planners

Completed in: 2004

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12. Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai

Shanghai World Financial Center

Shanghai World Financial Center is shaped like an inverted trapezoid that resembles a bottle-opener. It houses several offices, a hotel, and three observation decks.The observation deck on the 100th floor sits at a height of 1555 feet, offering majestic views. It even has a gift shop providing pretty souvenir.

Height: 494 m (1621 ft)

Number of Floors: 101

Number of Elevators: 44

Location: Pudong, Shanghai. China

Designed by: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF); Mori Building; Irie Miyake Architects and Engineers

Completed in: 2008

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13. International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong

International Commerce Centre

As a part of the Union Square Project, International Commerce Center stands tall atop Kowloon Station. It features a mix-use complex having hotels, office spaces, and an observation deck.

Height: 484 m (1588 ft)

Number of Floors: 108

Number of Elevators: 83

Location: West Kowloon District, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Designed by: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)

Completed in: 2010

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14. Central Park Tower, New York

Central Park Tower

Also known as Nordstrom Tower, Central Park Tower is by far the tallest residential building globally. With a façade of glass and satinized stainless steel, the skyscraper has 179 residential units starting from a whopping $7 million.

Height: 472 m (1550 ft)

Number of Floors: 98

Number of Elevators: 11

Location: Manhattan, New York City

Designed by: Adrian Smith; Gordon Gill Architecture

Completed in: 2021

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15. Lakhta Center, Saint Petersburg

Lakhta Center

Lakhta Center is not just the tallest building in Russia but also entire Europe. The glass façade provides high visibility while preventing ice accumulation and excess heat.  

Height: 462 m (1516 ft)

Number of Floors: 87

Number of Elevators: 40

Location: Saint Petersburg, Russia

Designed by: Gorproject

Completed in: 2019

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16. Vincom Landmark 81, Ho Chi Minh City

Vincom Landmark 81

Vincom Landmark 81, perched on the Saigon River is a mixed-use tower featuring a hotel, residential apartments, and retail space. The design of the building, resembling a bundle of bamboos, draws inspiration from Vietnamese culture.

Height: 461 m (1513 ft)

Number of Floors: 81

Number of Elevators: 29

Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Designed by: Atkins

Completed in: 2018

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17. Changsha IFS Tower T1, Changsha

Changsha IFS Tower T1

Changsha IFS Tower T1 is a part of the twin tower development in Changsha. While the 94 floors are filled with office spaces and a hotel, the podium on the ground level features a mega mall.

Height: 452 m (1482.9 ft)

Number of Floors: 94

Number of Elevators: 315

Location: Furong District, Changsha, Hunan, China

Designed by: Wong Tung & Partners

Completed in: 2018

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18. Petronas Twin Tower 1 and 2, Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Twin Tower 1 and 2

The two identical towers, Petronas Twin Towers 1 and 2 are connected by a double-decker sky bridge on the 41st and 42nd floors. It gives an iconic look to the skyscrapers while providing awe-inspiring views.

Height: 452 m (1482.6 ft)

Number of Floors: 88

Number of Elevators: 38 (each tower)

Location: Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Designed by: Cesar Pelli & Associates

Completed in: 1998; opened in 1999

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Top Pick

Tallest Building Under Construction: Jeddah Tower

Estimated Height: 2178 ft (664 m)

Estimated Number of Floors: 252 Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Jeddah Tower

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