Wonder what the most expensive buildings in the world are? Join us as we detail the top ten of them. Architects have a penchant for masterpieces. Think Taj Mahal, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Eiffel Tower, Colosseum, and the list goes on. These awe-inspiring structures help architects to benchmark their skills and innovation and be remembered forever. How’s that for motivation?
10 Most Expensive Buildings in the world
With some stunning structures scattered across the globe, which are the most expensive of them all? Let’s discuss the top ten, one at a time.
1. Masjid al-Haram
Located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Masjid al-Haram is worth a staggering $100 billion. It’s not just the world’s most expensive structure but also the largest mosque on earth. The premises cover 99 acres, which can fit in over 4,000,000 pilgrims during the Hajj.
The mosque is also identified as the Great Mosque of Mecca surrounding the Kaaba in Mecca. Mind you, and all Muslims require performing a pilgrimage (Hajj) to this city. That speaks for the kind of footfall the mosque receives all year round.
Built-in 638 AD, the Great Mosque has undergone many major renovations and expansions through the years. Here’re the specifications of the most expensive object ever built.
- The Ka’bah, Islam’s holiest shrines, is a cuboid-shaped structure at the Great Mosque’s heart. It serves as the focal point for Islamic prayers and ceremonies.
- The Kaaba features the holy Black Stone in a silver encasement, which plays a role in the pilgrimage.
- Next to the Kaaba, kept in a crystal dome, is the Station of Abraham. It’s a square-shaped rock featuring an imprint of Abraham’s foot.
- Just in the vicinity are Safa and Marwah. These hills have a legend associated with them. Hagar, in a lookout for water, frantically ran between them but in vain. Hagar was the wife of the prophet Abraham.
- When Hagar failed to find water, the Zamzam Well sprang miraculously within the confines of the Great Mosque.
2. Abraj Al Bait
A complex of 7 skyscrapers in Mecca, Abraj Al Bait is currently valued at $16 billion, making it one of the most expensive buildings in the world. The hotel took $15 billion to build. Located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the complex is extended over 34 acres of land.
At the heart of the premises is the Makkah Royal Clock Tower. It features the biggest clock face on the planet. The complex was created after demolishing the 18th-century Ottoman stronghold, Ajyad Fortress.
- Sitting pretty on top of the structure is a four-faced clock, which visitors could spot from well over 25 km.
- Each clock face is lighted up with a staggering 2 million LED lights.
- An Arabic script reads, “God is the greatest” on the northern and southern sides.
- The script above the west and east faces read: “There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of God.”
- On the top of the clock is a 128-metre spire with a 23-metre-high golden crescent.
3. Marina Bay Sands
It’s the priciest standalone casino property on the planet, valued at US$6.88 billion. Call it an integrated resort built by the Singaporean affiliate of Las Vegas Sands Corporation. The resort is a vantage point for the panoramic views of Marina Bay.
- This is a 2,561-room hotel with a 120,000-sq-meter convention exhibition centre and a massive 74,000 sq meter mall.
- The complex houses the following fixtures:
- Two spacious theatres
- Multiple restaurants
- A skating Rink
- Sky Park
- A couple of Floating Crystal Pavilions
- An Infinity Swimming Pool
- A one-hectare long roof terrace is Sands SkyPark, connecting the three towers with the world’s longest elevated swimming pool.
- Adjacent to the main blocks, an Art-Science Museum resembles a lotus.
- The Shoppes is Marina Bay Sands’ major retail centre, including stores like Ralph Lauren, Dior, Dunhill, Vertu, Miu Miu, Salvatore Ferragamo, Montblanc, Saint Laurent Paris, Blancpain, Chanel, Cartier, Gucci, Prada, Hermès, Chopard, Emporio Armani, Valentino, Vera Wang Bride, Hermès, and Herve Leger.
- The Sands Theatre seats 2,155 people.
- There are two crystal pavilions anchored by the Apple Store.
4. Apple Park
Cupertino Based, Apple is the world’s biggest and the most recognisable brand. Its new headquarters is among the most expensive buildings in the world. The premises accounted for a whopping $5 billion.
- A huge chunk (80%) of the premise includes green space featuring drought-tolerant plantations exclusive to this region.
- The centre courtyard of the main building also has an artificial pond.
- Wellness centre
- Research and development facility
- Care clinics
- Transportation – Bus, Vehicles, Cycling
- Apple Park Visitor Center
5. Resorts World Sentosa
It might not be the largest building in the world, but it’s certainly among the priciest ones. Genting Singapore shelled out $4.93 billion to erect this integrated resort. It has an idyllic location, nestled on Sentosa Island, Singapore.
Singapore has two casinos, and one is situated at Resorts World Sentosa. Also, the premises feature:
- SEA Aquarium
- Adventure Cove Water Park
- Universal Studios Theme Park
- Six hotels are offering a total of 1,840 well-appointed rooms.
- The casino is located beneath Crockfords Tower, having an area of 15,000 sq.m.
- Fine dining facilities are readily available to the delight of foodies.
- Various shows like Crane Dance, Martial Combat etc.
6. The Cosmopolitan
Located in Las Vegas, United States, The Cosmopolitan accounted for $3.9 billion in construction costs in 2009. Presently, the art-themed hotel is worth $4.4 billion, which qualifies it to be among the most expensive buildings in the world.
In 2013, Gogobot ranked the Blackstone Group-owned hotel as “The Best Hotel in the World.” The structure is home to two enormous towers with 3,027-rooms. From a 3,200-seat theatre to a wellness center and gym, the hotel accommodates it all and more.
- In 2012, Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub was ranked the USA’s highest-earning nightclub.
- The casino is the vantage point for some breathtaking locales on the Las Vegas Strip.
- The variety of pools is amazing, featuring a separate pool for relaxing, a day club and a nightclub.
- P3 Art Studio and CRSVR Sneaker Boutique are situated here.
7. One World Trade Center
One World Trade Center, nicknamed the Freedom Tower, is the centerpiece of the reconstructed World Trade Center complex in New York, United States. The structure draws its name from the erstwhile WTC, which was the site of the infamous 9/11. It vertically measures 1776 feet, which is a cherished symbolism for Americans. The structure accounted for $4.1 billion. The whopping costs involved make it one of the most expensive buildings in the world.
- Contemporary architecture makes it feast for the eyes.
- The centre spire of the skyscraper is inspired by earlier structures, such as the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building.
- The structure mimics the erstwhile Twin Towers that were razed to the ground. As far as construction is concerned, it’s a far cry from the Statue of Liberty.
- The structure features 94+ floors (05 underground) and 73 elevators.
8. Palace of the Parliament
The Palace of the Parliament is often referred to as the Republic’s House of People’s House. With an ideal location in Bucharest, the capital of Romania, it’s one of the priciest of all structures out there. The construction started way back in 1984, costing a total of $3.9 billion. The Palace is 84 metres tall and has an area of 365,000 sq metres.
The Palace of the Parliament is known for its ornate interior with 23 sections. It houses the Chamber of Deputies (Camera Deputaților) and the Senate (Senat). Besides, it has three museums and an international conference centre.
- Architectural style: Totalitarian, neoclassical
- The National Museum of Contemporary Art
- The Museum of Palace
- The Museum of Communist Totalitarianism
9. Emirates Palace
The Emirates Palace is an ultra-posh hotel that accounted for $3.8 billion. Situated in Abu Dhabi, it was initially operated by Kempinski. As ownership changed hands recently, the hotel is about to be renovated. Post-renovation, we could see the building moving up in the list of the most expensive buildings in the world.
The premises feature 394 residences, mostly with gold and marble furnishing.
- Two spa facilities
- Over 40 meeting rooms
- 1.3 km long beach
- A marina
- Two helicopter landing pads
- Ballroom that can accommodate 2500 people
- Multiple luxury retail outlets and international restaurants
10. Wynn Resort
A posh hotel and casino complex, Wynn Resort is worth $3.4 billion as of 2021. It is located exactly where the old Desert Inn Hotel was in Las Vegas. Scattered across 215 acres, the resort is 614-foot high with 45 floors.
The resort is based on the theme “Imperfect Dreams, Life Imitating Art”. The Condé Nast Traveller Gold List puts Wynn Resort among the world’s best hotels.
- Attractions: Lake of Dreams, Wynn Golf Club
- Won Forbes Award by achieving five-star ratings across all popular categories, including hotel, restaurant, and spa.
- The first high-rise hotel with an automatic window washing system.
- Houses some of the world’s top shopping boutiques.
From super-tall skyscrapers to lavish casino resorts, each of these architectural wonders involved loads of investment. In this article, we celebrate the spirit that led to creating some remarkable structures despite massive cost overruns.
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