x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Burj Khalifa set to remain world's tallest building

When the Burj was being built it was believed it would soon be overtaken by other taller buildings, but the global economic downturn put a halt to plans for new record-breakers.

The Burj is expected to eventually hand over its crown as the tallest building to another Saudi project, the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah.
The Burj is expected to eventually hand over its crown as the tallest building to another Saudi project, the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah.

DUBAI // The Burj Khalifa is set to remain the world's tallest building for years to come despite a skyscraper building boom in China, according to new figures.

Building data firm Emporis has compiled a list of the top 10 "future skyscrapers" – ones currently under construction that will be among the world's tallest when they are completed.

The upcoming towers reflect a trend towards building higher skyscrapers. Each of the ten newcomers will stand more than 500 metres tall, and they are all due to be finished by 2016.

Nine of the 10 will eventually take the places of the completed buildings currently ranked from 2 to 10 in the firm's list of the world's tallest skyscrapers. Even the tenth-ranked building currently under construction will be higher than the second-tallest completed building, the Taipei 101 in Taiwan.

However, the Burj Khalifa, at 828 metres, will remain unchallenged at the top of the list. When the Burj was being built it was believed that it would soon be overtaken by other taller buildings, but the global economic downturn put a halt to plans for new record-breakers.

Asia is now the world's centre for skyscraper construction – six of the 10 future skyscrapers are being built in China while two are in South Korea. The only building in the northern hemisphere listed is One World Trade Centre in New York.

The sole Middle East project in the table is Saudi Arabia's 601-metre Mecca Clock Royal Tower, which overlooks Islam's holiest place, the Kaaba, and has already been topped out.

Emporis, which is based in Germany, collects and supplies information about buildings and construction projects. "Dubai is no longer booming with construction, instead China is now leading the race," said a spokesman.

The Burj is expected to eventually hand over its crown as the tallest building to another Saudi project, the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah. This is set to be 1 kilometre high, but does not appear in the list as only buildings that are under construction are included, and work on the tower is not currently underway.

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csimpson@thenational.ae