The GCC and the tallest buildings and construction projects (2023)

Posted on 14th July 2022

16 tallest construction projects in GCC

There are very few regions in the world that can compete with the GCC region in terms of either height or volume of skyscrapers. Led by cities such as Dubai, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, and Doha, the GCC region has witnessed enormous growth in

large-scale construction projects

over decades.

According to Statista’s ranking of the 15 tallest towers in the region, 11 were in Dubai. Saudi Arabia had two buildings among the tallest in the region - in the cities of Makkah and Riyadh. Kuwait City and Abu Dhabi also had one building each in the ranking.

According to the CTBUH database, among the 100 tallest completed buildings in the world, 16 are from the UAE. Among the world’s tallest hotels, there are 10 tall hotels in the UAE that stand at least 200 metres (656 feet) tall, and among the top tall 25 hotels, 11 are located in the GCC region.

In GCC, UAE is known for its record-breaking structures with Dubai being synonymous with tall buildings and a pioneer in the GCC region. Currently, Saudi Arabia is giving stiff competition to the UAE in terms of building skyscrapers at a rate and height higher than the ones in the emirates.

The GCC and the tallest buildings and construction projects (1)

UAE tallest buildings construction projects

What are the tallest buildings in UAE?

The GCC region is already home to the world’s tallest building, “The Burj Khalifa”, having a height of 828 metres above the ground, which is almost double of Petronas tower. Apart from holding the title of the tallest tower in the world, it also holds records for the tallest free-standing structure, Dubai’s tallest building with the most floors, and the world’s highest elevator installation.

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Marina 101 at Dubai Marina with 101-storeys and 412 metres will be the tallest hotel apartment tower in the world once completed. The tower will comprise of 750 apartments. A five-star hotel will also be housed in the tower occupying over 32 floors. Glass work for the building is in progress and the project is slated to be completed by Q3 2022.

Currently, Gevora Tower in Dubai holds the crown as the world’s tallest hotel tower. One of the next tallest buildings in Dubai has reached its highest point. After the final pour of concrete on the building’s 79th level, the

Uptown Tower construction project

near JLT has reached its highest point. A 79-floor skyscraper under construction in Dubai, which was inspired by the shape of a diamond, has been described as the next iconic building in the city’s skyline.

Uptown Tower, close to the Jumeirah Lakes Towers community, will stand at 340 metres once completed, with work expected to conclude towards the end of 2022. The developer behind the project says it has been built in response to a growing need for office and commercial space, despite the continuing Covid-19 pandemic. The building, which will be the 14th tallest in Dubai once completed, will be mixed-use with offices and residential units, along with a SO Sofitel five-star hotel. More than 23,000 vehicles were involved in delivering around 140,000 cubic metres of concrete to Uptown Tower. It has been designed to save 15% more energy than the average standard commercial building.

According to the Development Director of DMCC, Uptown Tower was inspired by the shape of a diamond as DMCC does a lot of trade in diamonds and gold. The LT Tower in Dubai’s Business Bay involves the

construction of a 100-storey tower in Business Bay

. The residential tower's height is 600 metres . The project currently remains in the concept stage. The mixed-use Tower for Galleria Investments on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai involves the construction of a mixed-use tower. The building will replace the existing City Tower 1 in the same location. The tower is 83 storeys and will house office units of 4,650 square metres , 705 square metres of retail, and 608 apartments. The parking space will accommodate 1,253 cars. A contractor appointment is awaited for this project.

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Opera District project

involves the construction of a 78-storey tower located within the Dubai Opera District. It will house 866 apartment units with the promenade level that will house retail outlets. Finishing works are ongoing and the project is expected to be handed over in July 2022.

Abu Dhabi’s Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid Tower was ranked the fifth, seventh and 34th tallest structure in the UAE, the Middle East, and the world, respectively. ADNOC Headquarters is ranked the UAE’s 7th tallest building. It was also declared the 16th and 57th highest in the Middle East and the world, respectively.

The GCC and the tallest buildings and construction projects (2)

Saudi Arabia construction projects and Skyscrapers

How tall are the tallest buildings in KSA?

The Burj Khalifa’s record was expected to be broken soon by

Jeddah tower in Saudi Arabia

. However, the project is on hold since early 2019 and the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has further delayed the resumption of works. The

Jeddah tower project

was previously called "Kingdom Tower". The currently planned height of the building is 1,000 metres only. The tower will be the tallest in the world, reaching one kilometre into the clouds when completed.

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It is in line with the kingdom’s Vision 2030 initiative to reduce its reliance on oil by diversifying its economy. Saudi Arabia is already home to the world’s fourth-largest building, the

Abraj al-Bait clock tower hotel in Makkah

. The Diamond Tower in Jeddah is 338 metres tall with 93 floors. The first 10 floors will be used as car parking. Design works are ongoing and design completion is expected by Q1 2024.

Reports suggest that the

giga-project "Neom"

will also be home to skyscrapers up to 500 metres tall. These will cover an area of dozens of kilometres horizontally, housing residential, retail and commercial spaces. Designers have reportedly been working on half-a-mile structures, and there will be towers more than 800 metres, outsizing the Burj Khalifa.

The GCC and the tallest buildings and construction projects (3)

Kuwait construction projects and the tallest buildings

What are the tallest building projects in Kuwait?


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Mubarak Al Kabeer project

, which is on hold, involves the construction of 250 storeys, 1,001 metres tall building as the centrepiece of the new Madinat Al Hareer (City of Silk) development at Subiya peninsula in Kuwait. The kilometre-high structure would anchor the planned 700,000-residential community of Madinat Hareer. The project will consist of residential units, commercial units and dining facilities. A mosque and cathedral will be constructed at the top of the tower.

A podium will be built to connect the tower with 27 other

buildings in Silk City

. The Pentominium Tower project in Dubai Marina, which is also on hold, entails the construction of a 120-storey mixed-use tower in Dubai Marina. Pentominium was nominated for CNBC International Property Awards for the esteemed 'Best Property in the World' category. Foster + Partners has created a supertall skyscraper for the National Bank of Kuwait Headquarters in Kuwait City. The 300-meter-high skyscraper has a rounded form that culminates in a pointed peak.

The tower is the second tallest building in the country and is officially a supertall skyscraper (over 300 metres tall). It stands alongside the country's tallest building, the 412-metre-high Al Hamra Tower, in the city's Sharq financial district.

The GCC and the tallest buildings and construction projects (4)

GCC region’s major upcoming and planned tall towers

  1. Mubarak Al Kabeer, Concept stage, 250 floors, Kuwait
  2. Jeddah Tower, On hold, 200 floors, Saudi Arabia
  3. Skyscraper Tower (formerly known as Meydan Entisar Tower), On Hold, 123 floors, UAE
  4. Pentominium Tower in Dubai Marina, On Hold, 120 floors, UAE
  5. Marina 106 Tower in Dubai Marina, On Hold, 106 floors, UAE
  6. Marina 101 (Dream Tower) at Dubai Marina, Construction, 101 floors, UAE
  7. LT Tower in Business Bay, Concept Stage, 100 floors, UAE
  8. Diamond Tower in Jeddah, Design stage, 93 floors, Saudi Arabia
  9. Mixed Use Tower for Galleria Investments in Sheikh Zayed Road, Tender for Construction, 83 floors, UAE
  10. DMCC BURJ 2020 - Uptown Tower 1, Construction, 78 floors, UAE
  11. Opera District - Grande Tower, Construction, 78 floors, UAE
  12. Opera District - IL Primo, Construction, 77 floors, UAE
  13. Cavalli Tower in Dubai Marina, Tender for Construction, 70 floors, UAE
  14. Regalia in Business Bay, Construction, 69 floors, UAE
  15. One Za'abeel Along World Trade Centre Roundabout (One Zabeel), Construction, 67 floors, UAE
  16. Ciel Tower in Dubai Marina, 67 floors, UAE
  17. Opera District - The Address Residences, 65 floors, UAE
  18. Adventz Tower in Downtown Dubai, Tender for Construction, 64 floors, UAE
  19. Dubai Creek Harbour - The Grand, Construction, 63 floors, UAE
  20. Wasl Tower Along Sheikh Zayed Road, Construction, 63 floors, UAE
  21. Aqua Raffles Jeddah, Construction, 59 floors, Saudi Arabia
  22. Burj Al Mana Tower in Dafna, Construction, 57 floors, Qatar
  23. Masic Tower in Jeddah, Design stage, 55 floors, Saudi Arabia
  24. Tuwaiq Tower in Riyadh, Construction, 52 floors, Saudi Arabia
  25. Wafra Tower at Bahrain Bay, Design stage, 49 floors, Bahrain

Source: Ventures ONSITE Projects Intelligence Platform:

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