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World's Tallest Buildings - living, construction, building, and planning

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World tourism is big these days, as long distance flights are relatively cheap. The tourist and holiday media is full of lists of 'must see' places, usually on the same page as the latest green advice. Asia dominates the world's tallest building list, and they have their own Asian tourism and Islamic tourism.

Another big factor is dispersed families - either people have travelled abroad to work (the diaspora) or people have married or had relationships with people from different continents. These family factors add to travel and tourism almost by accident.

Towers are not buildings. Buildings have residential and commercial floors whereas towers are for telecommunications and might only have an observation tower or restaurant. So this list is the World's tallest buildings, despite the Petronas Towers (4th and 5th) being called towers not buildings.

As Johnny Rotten once sang "Cheap holidays in other people' misery". That is an interesting thought when you visit these rich so called third world countries. How times have changed since the 70s seventies. These countries might use a lot of cheap labour imported from India, Bangladesh, Indonesia etc, but so does the West. Tourism and city holidays are very popular, seeing the sights, so Governments know they can't go wrong with some investment in a huge building.

So what is the tallest building in the world? Now the prize has gone to the Middle East, United Arab Emirates, Dubai (which is a part of the UEA not a heavenly holiday mecca as advertised).

There is also a move towards urban high rise and condo building and living as a way of saving energy and materials. Latest designs have green features such as gardens, green roof, vertical gardens. Although higher up wind factors affect decisions.

Burj Khalifa (formerly Burj Dubai), Dubai, The United Arab Emirates

Shops and Burj Khalifa formerly Burj Dubai Dubai The United Arab Emirates built 2010

Shops around Burj Khalifa (formerly Burj Dubai), Dubai, The United Arab Emirates, completed 2010. This is officially the World's Tallest Building, as of April 2010.

Dubai has the World's tallest building (April 2010). It was to be called Burj Dubai but was renamed at the last minute to Burj Khalifa, after the big shot Mr Khalifa.

The World's biggest shopping mall is also there, Dubai Mall. This has an enormous aquarium in the middle of the ground floor of the Mall which is a wonder to behold. Also a wonder to behold are the lingerie shops in this Islamic state.

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Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpar Malaysia

The Twin Towers in Kuala Lumber Malaysia is known as the Twin Towers KL Towers or Petronas Towers

Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpar Malaysia - the top

The Twin Towers in Kuala Lumber Malaysia is known as the Twin Towers, KL Towers, or Petronas Towers. Petronas is the state oil company.

The Twin Towers is a area place for the tourist visitor, as it has huge gardens and lakes with bars, cafes, and restaurants all around. There is also a huge mall, KL Mall. It is open late in the evening and is an incredible sight as the Twin Towers are brightly lit.

There is a small version of Petronas Towers built as twin condo blocks in Penang, north Malaysia.

Both these are made of shiny stainless steel are are similar in ground layout as well - lakes with fountains, huge shopping malls, they might have been master planned by the same company or even off the same plans.

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The Empire State Building in New York, USA

The Empire State Building in New York, USA, is more famous than all these new arrivals, and is a fantastic art deco design materpiece, instantly recognisable. King Kong scaled it, Woody Allen used it in Manhatten, many other films have been made in and around it. A USAF bomber crashed into it in 1945 in the fog. It has a tourist viewing platform at the top.

It is in Manhatten at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. The ASCE - American Society of Civil Engineers have designated it one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. It is relatively isolated compared to some tall buildings and so stands out impressively. It has a great view over Central Park. From the old New York Twin Towers you could see the Empire State Building in the mid distance.

The address of the Empire State Building is: Empire State Building, 350 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Map for address of the Empire State Building

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The Empire State Building in New York, USA

Long view of the Empire State Building, New York, USA

Taipei 101, Taiwan

Taipai 101 worlds tallest building Taiwan

Taipei 101 is the second tallest building in the world, set in Taiwan. Taiwan is a focus for all the different Asian cultures, in its role as offshore haven from Communist China, and general capitalist powerhouse.

Top 20 Tallest Buildings April 2010

Note that London is not in the top 100. The list is almost entirely in Asia and the United States. This is to do with money and energy levels and also building controls in Europe.

  1. 1. Burj Khalifa (formerly Burj Dubai), Dubai, The United Arab Emirates built 2010
    160 stories 828 m 2,716 feet
  2. 2. Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan built 2004
    101 stories 508 1,667
  3. 3. World Financial Center, Shanghai, China built 2008
    101 stories 492 1,614
  4. 4. Petronas Tower 1, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia built 1998
    88 stories 452 1,483
  5. 5. Petronas Tower 2, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia built 1998
    88 stories 452 1,483
  6. 6. Greenland Financial Center, Nanjing, China built 2009
    66 stories 450 1,476
  7. 7. Sears Tower, Chicago built 1974
    110 stories 442 1,451
  8. 8. Guangzhou West Tower, Guangzhou, China built 2009
    103 stories 438 1,435
  9. 9. Jin Mao Building, Shanghai, China built 1999
    88 stories 421 1,381
  10. 10. Two International Finance Centre, Hong Kong built 2003
    88 stories 415 1,362
  11. 11. Trump International Hotel, Chicago, U.S. built 2009
    96 stories 415 1,362
  12. 12. CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou, China built 1996
    80 stories 391 1,283
  13. 13. Shun Hing Square, Shenzhen, China built 1996
    69 stories 384 1,260
  14. 14. Empire State Building, New York built 1931
    102 stories 381 1,250
  15. 15. Central Plaza, Hong Kong built 1992
    78 stories 374 1,227
  16. 16. Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong built 1989
    70 stories 367 1,205
  17. 17. Bank of America Tower, New York City, U.S. built 2009
    54 stories 366 1,200
  18. 18. Almas Tower, Dubai, United Arab Emirates built 2009
    68 stories 363 1,191
  19. 19. Emirates Tower One, Dubai, United Arab Emirates built 1999
    54 stories 355 1,165
  20. 20. Tuntex Sky Tower, Kaohsiung, Taiwan built 1997
    85 stories 348 1,140

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Photo credits: Empire State Building shots from Stock. Others from Building DIY archives.