Unsurprisingly, the United Arab Emirates has built much of the Arab world's most expensive buildings in its attempt to develop and grow as quickly as possible. Surprisingly, the most expensive building on the planet does not belong to the UAE. However, it was built in an Arab country.
Here are seven of the most expensive buildings in the Arab World, including the most expensive around the globe:
7. National Museum of Qatar (Doha, Qatar)
The estimated cost of the National Museum of Qatar stands at $434 million. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel to look like a desert rose, a mineral that crystallizes in a unique rosette growth pattern under certain conditions, the museum opened its doors on March 28, 2019.
In and around the structure, visitors can experience a 112,000-square-meter landscape park, 539 conical discs that act as petals cast in glass fiber-reinforced concrete, 114 fountain sculptures in a 900-meter long lagoon, a multi-curved roof mirroring a large jigsaw puzzle, and so much more.
6. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah (Dubai, UAE)
The iconic sail-shaped Burj Al Arab, located in Dubai, was opened in 1999 and remains to this day one of the most, if not the most, extravagant hotels in the world.
The $1 billion hotel stands at 321 meters high and was built on a manmade island at the edge of the Arabian Gulf. The hotel offers its customers 201 luxurious duplex suites with costs starting at approximately $1,000/night and reaching $24,000/night. The hotel operates nine world-class restaurants and bars, private beach access, five swimming pools, and a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce.
5. Grand Egyptian Museum (Giza, Egypt)
The Grand Egyptian Museum, located in Egypt, is a short two-kilometer trek from the Giza pyramids and is expected to open by the end of 2019. The $1.1 billion structure will host over 100,000 pieces of ancient Egyptian artifacts, about 3,500 of which belong to King Tutankhamen.
Its massive size of 5.2 million square feet is meant to make it the world's largest museum dedicated to one civilization. According to the museum's director-general, Tarek Tawfik it will "be the museum of the 21st century."
"All means of modern technology have been taken into consideration in order to make this an unforgettable experience for the visitor, but at the same time provide the best possible environment for the artifacts," Tawfik said.
4. Burj Khalifa (Dubai, UAE)
Burj Khalifa is still the world's record holder for "Tallest Building in the World," standing at 828 meters in height with 160 habitable floors as well as observation decks and explorations of the building. Located in UAE's ever-famous city of Dubai, the $1.5 billion tower holds seven world records in total.
After Burj Khalifa's inauguration in 2010, Dubai's Emaar Properties - one of the world's most valuable and admired real estate development companies - released in a statement that "90 percent of the building had already been sold."
The building features 170,000 square meters of residential space, including the Armani Residences and the Armani Hotel Dubai.
3. Princess Tower (Dubai, UAE)
The 101-storey, 414-meter, $2.17 billion Princess Tower is located in Dubai Marina and was completed in 2012. It was the tallest residential building in the world up until 2015.
Residents in the building have access to gyms, fitness clubs, and swimming pools, and are surrounded by five-star hotels, restaurants, and resorts. The tower is situated close to prominent areas such as Palm Jumeirah and Mall of Emirates.
2. Emirates Palace Hotel (Abu Dhabi, UAE)
The world's second most expensive hotel ever built and the second seven-star hotel in the world (alongside Burj Al Arab) is the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It is not surprising that it cost $3 billion to build.
The hotel opened in 2005 and offers 394 luxury rooms and suites, six of which were designated for royalty. It features more than 1,000 Swarovski crystal chandeliers and a 22-carat gold leaf-covered (and 60-meter high) dome — casually the largest in the world. In addition, its customers have access to a private beach, a 1,000-hectare park, 12 restaurants, 24-hour butler service, and boutiques.
1. Abraj Al Bait (Mecca, Saudi Arabia)
Mekkah Royal Clock Hotel Tower, or Abraj Al Bait, is the third tallest building in the world and costs a whopping $15 billion. It is located in the holy Saudi city of Mecca, just 50 meters away from the Kaaba. It is surrounded by the Masjid Al-Haram (the Grand Mosque).
Abraj Al Bait is composed of seven towers in total with the main one standing at 601 meters tall. With120 floors, it is considered to be the world's tallest clock tower and hotel.
The government-owned structure is mainly used as a hotel but also includes a shopping mall, an Islamic museum, and private residences.