Asia

Testing the firmament

Jeddah will have the tallest, China’s got the most. The UK? Not even in the top 50. New data shows where and how high tall buildings are around the world

Photo by Angelo Cavalli/robertharding/REX/Shutterstock

Burj Khalifa is set to be usurped at the top of the skyscraper league table. Photo by Angelo Cavalli/robertharding/REX/Shutterstock

Skyscrapers still capture the imagination, despite the problems of the Paddington Pole, cut down to size and re-imagined as the Paddington Cube by Sellar Property Group in London earlier this year. The top 100 tallest towers in the world – either built or under construction – have no such problems, soaring to heights unthinkable in the UK. And more are on the way.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s list of the tallest breaks down the buildings, ranking and sizing the top 100 in numerous ways for its new book on the subject. UAE developer Emaar Properties shares the title of most dominant with five of the tallest towers. When it builds The Tower, at its Dubai Creek Harbour project, it will be “slightly taller” than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, also developed and owned by Emaar. But the tallest, the Jeddah Tower, is expected to be 1,000m, when it is finished in 2020.

Chinese state-owned Greenland Group, which also owns five towers, has more modest plans for the UK. Its 67-storey Spire London would be the tallest residential tower in western Europe, but would still be only 235m (771ft) – a relative pipsqueak.

Top 50 towers by height (m) and completion date

Rank Name CIty Height Year
1 Jeddah Tower Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 1,000 2019
2 Burj Khalifa Dubai, United Arab Emirates 828 2010
3 Suzhou Zhongnan Center Suzhou, China 729
4 Wuhan Greenland Center Wuhan, China 636 2018
5 Shanghai Tower Shanghai, China 632 2015
6 Makkah Royal Clock Tower Mecca, Saudi Arabia 601 2012
7 Ping An Finance Center Shenzhen, China 599 2016
8 Goldin Finance 117 Tianjin, China 597 2018
9 Global Financial Center Tower 1 Shenyang, China 568 2018
10 Lotte World Tower Seoul, South Korea 555 2016
11 One World Trade Center New York, US 541 2014
12= Guangzhou CTF Finance Centre Guangzhou, China 530 2016
12= Tianjin CTF Finance Centre Tianjin, China 530 2018
14 China Zun Tower Beijing, China 528 2018
15 Dalian Greenland Center Dalian, China 518 2019
16 TAIPEI 101 Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan) 508 2004
17 Shanghai World Financial Center Shanghai, China 492 2008
18 International Commerce Centre Hong Kong, China 484 2010
19= Chengdu Greenland Tower Chengdu, China 468 2019
19= Corporate Avenue 1 Chongqing, China 468 2019
19= R&F Guangdong Building Tianjin, China 468 2019
22 Lakhta Center St Petersburg, Russia 462 2018
23= Changsha IFS Tower T1 Changsha, China 452 2017
23= Petronas Twin Tower 1 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 452 1998
23= Petronas Twin Tower 2 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 452 1998
26= Suzhou IFS Suzhou, China 450 2017
26= Zifeng Tower Nanjing, China 450 2010
28= Marina 106 Dubai, United Arab Emirates 445 2019
28= Nanning China Resources Tower Nanning, China 445 2019
30= Willis Tower Chicago, US 442 1974
30= World One Mumbai, India 442 2018
30= KK100 Shenzhen, China 442 2011
33 Guangzhou International Finance Center Guangzhou, China 439 2010
34= 111 West 57th Street New York, US 438 2018
34= Wuhan Center Tower Wuhan, China 438 2017
36 Riverview Plaza A1 Wuhan, China 436
37= Dongguan International Trade Center 1 Dongguan, China 427 2019
37= Marina 101 Dubai, United Arab Emirates 427 2016
39 432 Park Avenue New York, US 426 2015
40 Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, US 423 2009
41 Jin Mao Tower Shanghai, China 421 1999
42= Princess Tower Dubai, United Arab Emirates 413 2012
42= Al Hamra Tower Kuwait City, Kuwait 413 2011
44 Two International Finance Centre Hong Kong, China 412 2003
45 China Resources Headquarters Shenzhen, China 393 2018
46 23 Marina Dubai, United Arab Emirates 392 2012
47 CITIC Plaza Guangzhou, China 390 1996
48 30 Hudson Yards New York, US 387 2019
49 Capital Market Authority Tower Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 385 2017
50 Shun Hing Square Shenzhen, China 384 1996

average-height-of-top-100-towers
The average height of the tallest 100 towers across the world has risen again, from 350m (1,150 ft) in 2014 to 423m (1,400 ft) in 2016.

where-are-the-top-100-towers

China dominates the list, with 53 of the tallest 100 towers. The only other countries to come close are the UAE (17), and USA (13). Vietnam, Indonesia, Kuwait and South Korea have one each, while the UK is a notable absentee.

Who owns the most tallest buildings?

Rank Name No of buildings
1 Emaar Properties 5
1 Greenland Group 5
3= Sun Hung Kai Properties 3
3= The (Wharf) Holdings 3
5= China Resources (Holdings) Company 2
5= Emirates Airline 2
5= Hang Lung Group 2
5= KLCC Property Holdings Berhad 2
5= New World Development Company 2
5= Shui On Group 2
5= Silverstein Properties 2
5= Tameer Holding Investment 2
5= The Blackstone Group 2
5= The Durst Organization 2

How do UK towers compare?

Name Height Owned by
The Shard 309m Sellar Property and State of Qatar
One Canada Square 235m Canary Wharf Group
Heron Tower 230m Heron International
122 Leadenhall St 225m British Land and Oxford Properties
Crystal Palace Transmitter 219m Arqiva

The Shard, at 309m (1,000 ft) would have had to be another 76m (250 feet) tall to break into the top 50

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