Have you ever wondered which are the most expensive buildings in the world? That is a difficult question to answer. Depending on how you measure cost, different buildings could be the most expensive.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the most expensive buildings in the world and determine which one takes the top spot. Some people might say the Palace of Versailles is the most costly building in the world, due to the maintenance costs of roughly $14.5 million. However, we’re focusing on those buildings that cost the most to build in recent times.
The Most Expensive Buildings in the World
Sure, your home may be the most expensive thing you own. But on a global scale, it’s probably not even close to the priciest building out there.
From entire cities to massive sports stadiums, some structures come with an astronomical price tag. Curious to see which buildings made the list of most expensive ever built? Read on to find out.
13. Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates – $1.5 billion
Certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s tallest building, at 828 m (2,717 feet) high, the Burj Khalifa was completed in 2010. This imposing structure houses offices, residences, hotels, and the At The Top observation deck, and includes a number of luxury amenities such as an outdoor pool and a spa.
The building’s construction required over 22 million man-hours. It is estimated that the building will use about 10% less energy than a typical skyscraper of its size due to the solar panels installed on its roof.
Despite the costly construction costs, the Burj Khalifa is nevertheless not in the top 10 most expensive buildings worldwide. There wasn’t an existing urban area there so access was not difficult and labour costs are relatively low in the UAE.
12. Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – $3 billion
The five star Emirates Palace is one of the most expensive hotels ever built. Spread over 850,000 square meters, this huge property was built at a cost of over $3 billion and opened in 2005.
The palace features 302 bedrooms and 92 suites, as well as a private beach, marina, and helipad. In addition to its opulent accommodations, the Emirates Palace is also home to a number of prestigious restaurants and lounges, including Hakkasan Abu Dhabi and Martabaan by Hemant Oberoi.
Operated by Mandarin Oriental, the Emirates Palace features grandiose architecture, with gold leaf-adorned ceilings, marble staircases, and intricate mosaics. No expense was spared in the construction of this opulent hotel.
11. Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea – $3.11 billion
This 123 story skyscraper is the tallest building in South Korea, at 555 meters. The Lotte World Tower is also currently the world’s sixth tallest building.
It was completed in 2017 at a cost of $3.11 billion. The building is home to a variety of businesses and amenities, including offices, retail space, residences, a hotel, and an observatory deck.
Head to Seoul Sky on the 117th to 123rd floors via the Sky Shuttle elevator for the cafes and terraces. At 478 meters high, the Sky Deck holds the Guinness World Record for being the highest glass floor observation deck in the world.
10. One World Trade Center, NYC, United States – $3.8 billion
The Freedom Tower, as this New York skyscraper is also known, was built on the Manhattan site of the World Trade Center, also known as the Twin Towers, that was destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attack.
The 94 story skyscraper stands at a symbolic 1,776 feet, making it the tallest building in the United States. The structure cost an estimated $3.8 billion to construct and is one of the most expensive buildings in the world.
Despite its hefty price tag, One World Trade Center has become a symbol of hope and resilience. Visitors can learn about the history of the site and the people who lost their lives on at the free 9/11 Memorial Museum. The tower also houses an observatory deck that offer breathtaking views of New York City and beyond.
9. Palace of the People, Bucharest, Romania – $4 billion
Also known as the Palace of the Parliament, this monolithic structure in Bucharest is the most expensive administrative building in the world. Electricity, heating and lighting costs more than $6 million per year.
Commissioned by Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, the People’s Palace was completed in 1997. Covering an area of over 3.9 million square feet, it is 70% empty.
The palace houses numerous government offices, as well as the Parliament of Romania. It is also a tourist attraction, with visitors having access to 5% of the gigantic building.
8. The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, United States – $4.1 billion
Boasting a casino, movie theater, night club, spa and three pools, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is located on the Las Vegas Strip. It features 3,027 rooms spread across two glass-tower skyscrapers.
The construction cost of this luxury hotel was over $4 billion and it was completed in 2010. The Chandelier Bar contains more than 2 million glass beads.
Thanks to its prime location and impressive amenities, the Cosmopolitan has been ranked as one of the best hotels in Las Vegas and continues to be a popular choice for both leisure and business travelers.
7. Wynn Palace, Macau – $4.2 billion
This Wynn resort is located on reclaimed land in Cotai, Macau. Costing a staggering $4.2 billion to construct, the Wynn Palace was completed in 2016.
This luxury casino and resort features one of the largest collections of art in Macau, with many floral sculptures on display throughout the property. There are currently 1,706 luxury suites, a spa, the Wynn Palace Esplanade shopping mall, and a Performance Lake with a state of the art sound and lighting system.
Wynn Palace is currently undergoing an expansion which will include a new 650 room hotel, gardens, a food court and a theater.
6. Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore – $4.93 billion
This expensive site encompasses the Universal Studios Singapore theme park, a marina, retail stores, a casino and the S.E.A. Aquarium. The building was completed in 2010, at a cost of $4.93 billion.
Located on the island of Sentosa, off the southern coast of Singapore, the integrated resort includes six hotels with 1,800 rooms. It is owned by Genting Singapore.
Resorts World Sentosa is one of the largest employers in Singapore, with around 15,000 employees. Sentosa Island attracts over 18 million visitors each year.
5. Apple Park, California, United States – $5 billion
Situated in Cupertino, California, this building complex features a massive ring-shaped main building, seven cafes, 9,000 trees, the 1,000-seat Steve Jobs Auditorium and a 100,000 square foot fitness center. Apple Park cost an estimated $5 billion to build and houses more than 12,000 employees.
Designed by world-renowned architect Norman Foster, the circular main building is made of glass and steel. There is a visitor center that is open to the public.
The campus is completely powered by renewable energy. While the cost of construction is certainly staggering, Apple Park is likely to be a major asset for the company for many years to come.
4. SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, United States – $5.5 billion
SoFi Stadium is a sports stadium and entertainment complex currently hosting the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers.
Located in Inglewood, California, the stadium seats 70,000 fans. It features a retractable roof and a sliding glass door that allows for an open-air experience. Under the same roof canopy, there is also a 6,000-seat performing arts venue, which will be used for concerts and other events.
In addition to its sporting and entertainment facilities, SoFi Stadium also includes The Kinsey African American Art and History Collection. With its numerous amenities and cutting-edge design, SoFi Stadium is truly a one-of-a-kind facility.
3. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore – $5.7 billion
The Marina Bay Sands is a luxury resort complex located in Singapore that includes a hotel, casino, mall, convention center, theater, museum, and two floating pavilions.
Spread over 15.5 hectares, it has three towers and the 340 meter long SkyPark on top. A fourth tower with 1000 additional hotel rooms is planned for 2026.
The rooftop infinity pool is one of its most famous features and offers stunning views of Singapore’s skyline. The SkyPark Observation Deck on the 56th floor is another popular viewpoint.
2. Abraj Al-Bait, Saudi Arabia – $16 billion
Located just meters away from the Great Mosque of Mecca, Abraj Al-Bait Towers is a complex of seven hotels.
The site also includes The Clock Towers Shopping Center, apartment buildings, offices and a prayer hall. The tallest tower in the complex is the Makkah Royal Clock Tower. It houses the largest clock face in the world.
The construction of this building was overseen by the Saudi Arabian government. It was designed to accommodate the large number of pilgrims who visit Mecca each year for the Hajj.
1. Masjid Al-Haram, Saudi Arabia – $100 billion
Built on the most sacred site in Islam, Masjid Al-Haram is the focal point for the Hajj. This annual pilgrimage is undertaken by all able-bodied Muslims at least once in their life.
The Great Mosque of Mecca was originally built in the 7th century. Since then, it has been extended twice and is currently in its third phase of expansion.
The Expansion Project of The Great Mosque of Mecca will take the capacity to around 2.5 million worshippers. A new water reservoir is also nearing completion.
In Conclusion: The Most Expensive Building in the World
As you can see from this list of expensive buildings around the world, some structures come with an exorbitant price tag. From entire cities to massive sports stadiums to luxury resorts costing billions of dollars, these are some of the most expensive structures ever built.
So, which one of these buildings is the most expensive? It depends on how you measure the cost. If you consider the cost of construction of an entire new building today, then Abraj Al-Bait is the most expensive building in the world.
However, if you consider the total costs including the annual cost of maintenance, then the the Palace of the People in Bucharest is a strong candidate for the most expensive building. Whichever way you look at it, these are some of the most expensive buildings in the world!
Do you know of any other expensive buildings? Let us know in the comments below!