Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
The UAE's 19 tallest buildings have an average of 19 per cent of their total height unoccupied. Antonie Robertson / The National
The UAE's 19 tallest buildings have an average of 19 per cent of their total height unoccupied. Antonie Robertson / The National

UAE skyscrapers have the world's greatest unusable space

Five of the world's top 10 skyscrapers with the tallest spires are located in Dubai.

ABU DHABI // UAE's skyscrapers have the most non-occupiable space in the world, according to a report measuring spires and other height-extending additions.

The Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat reported that the UAE's 19 tallest buildings have an average of 19 per cent of their total height unoccupied, with five of the top-10 skyscrapers with the tallest spires in the world located in Dubai.

Burj Al Arab was listed as the skyscraper with the highest non-occupiable-to-occupiable height ratio in the world, with 39 per cent (124 metres) of it unoccupied.

The world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa, has the greatest unoccupied extension, at 244m, or 29 per cent of its total height.

On its own, Burj Khalifa's spire would be an impressive stand-alone skyscraper, according to the council - it would be the 11th tallest building in Europe.

Without the height extensions many of the world's tallest buildings would be significantly cut down to size, leaving China's CITIC Plaza, in Guangzhou, the tallest of them all at 390m.

China came second to the UAE in the ratio of non-occupiable-to-occupiable buildings, with 24 of its skyscrapers using spires to boost their heights by an average of 14 per cent.

Two New York towers also made the top-10 skyscrapers with the tallest spires and the city will add a third when the One World Trade Centre is completed in 2014.

The council conducted the study after it noticed a fair amount of Saudi Arabia's one-kilometre-high Kingdom Tower, which is set to surpass Burj Khalifa as the world's tallest tower in 2017, seemed to be an unoccupied spire.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Lionel Richie performed many of his hits from the 1970s and 1980s at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre. Jaime Puebla / The National

Lionel Richie dishes out the hits to Dubai crowd

At his Dubai concert on Thursday, Richie greeted the audience with “Yalla habibi” – a statement of intent as his energy rarely let up.

Tyrese reunited with Fazza

Tyrese today posted on his social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) his pleasure at being reunited with the Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

 Falconry is an activity where they demonstrate how falcons catch prey while flying at a speed of almost 360 kilometres per hour. Mona Al-Marzooqi / The National

In pictures: Adventure in the desert at Abu Dhabi's Qasr Al Sarab

Mohammad Ashfaq, an adventure guide at the Qasr Al Sarab resort, Abu Dhabi, showcases a day in his working life.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 An Egyptian Orthodox Christian priest give communion during the Palm Sunday service inCairo, Egypt. Mohamed El-Shahed / AFP

Region in focus - April 18, 2014

The best images of the last seven days from around the Gulf and across the Middle East.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National