The tallest building in the world

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Currently, the tallest building in the world is Burj Khalifa. The building was known as the Burj Dubai before its inauguration. It stands at a height of 829.8 meters, the equivalent of 2,722 feet or just over half a mile in the heart of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Noteworthy, the height of a building is measured from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the top. This includes spires however it does not include antennae, signage, flagpoles or other functional-technical equipment.

Also Read: The Iconic Tower, tallest building in Africa, Project Updates


Burj Khalifa was born as part of a project to build a large-scale, mixed-use development. The development would include 30,000 homes, nine hotels and 7.4 acres of parkland. It would also include at least 19 residential skyscrapers, a mall, and a 30-acre artificial lake. Burj Khalifa would be the centrepiece of the mixed-use development.

The mixed-use development especially Burj Khalifa was part of the government’s plan to diversify from an oil-based economy to one that is service and tourism based. Reportedly, projects like Burj Khalifa needed to be built in the country to garner more international recognition.

Construction and the project team

The construction of the tallest building in the world began back in 2004. The exterior was completed five years later in 2009. The project used up 330,000 m3 of concrete and 55,000 tonnes (61,000 short tons; 54,000 long tons) of steel rebar.

The tower’s architecture and engineering works were carried out by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill of Chicago. Adrian Smith was the project’s chief architect while Bill Baker was its chief structural engineer.

Samsung C&T from South Korea, in collaboration with Petronas Twin Towers and Taipei 101 built Burj Khalifa. BESIX from Belgium and Arabtec from the UAE were also involved in the construction of the tallest building in the world. Turner was the project manager.

Hong Kong-based Far East Aluminum and Hyder Consulting were also involved.

Cost of construction and funding

The cost of construction of the Burj Khalifa was approximately US$ 1.5bn. The funds came from various sources, including a loan from Abu Dhabi and the selling of private apartments within the building.

Other titles

Other than the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa also holds other global titles. These include the tallest free-standing structure in the world, the highest number of stories in the world and the highest occupied floor in the world.

The tower also holds the title of the highest outdoor observation deck in the world, the elevator with the longest travel distance in the world and the tallest service elevator in the world.