Special

The 20 Tallest Skyscrapers in the World

by Chris Newens  |  Published February 28, 2017

1. Burj Khalifa, Dubai (828m, 2,717ft)

A store teeming with authentic Chinese ephemera in Vancouver's Chinatown district (Photo: John C via Flickr)

The tallest building in the world, unsurprisingly it can be hard to fit all of it into a landscape shot (Photo: Daniel Chodusov via Flickr)

Superlatives hardly seem enough for some structures. So tall as to seem like its reaching from the heavens rather than to them, the Burj Khalifa is not just the tallest building in the world, it is two thirds of an Eiffel Tower taller than its nearest competitor.

Built between 2004 and 2009 in the Emirates state of Dubai, this shining colossus is a marvel from base to tip, with its engineers having to deal with everything from the pummelling winds at nearly a kilometre up, to the ferocious heats of the Arabian Peninsula.

Burj Khalifa’s plumbing is a relative river system (it boasts over 100 kilometres of pipes), while its air conditioning is the building’s own micro-climate. The building’s amenities, meanwhile, are many. It offers a combination of business spaces, hotel rooms, observation platforms, apartments, and even the world’s highest nightclub on the 144th floor.

The term “modern wonder of the world” gets thrown about a lot, but if anything qualifies for such a label, the Burj Khalifa is it.