5 Iconic Skyscrapers in Dubai Soaring Above 100 Floors

Skyscrapers are exceptionally tall buildings with multiple floors, often used for commercial or residential purposes. They are generally defined as being higher than 150 meters or 40-50 stories tall. Skyscrapers allow for efficient use of limited land area in crowded cities, especially when land values are high. The term “skyscraper” first came into use in the late 19th century, as new technologies enabled the construction of taller buildings than previously possible.

Some key features of modern skyscrapers include:

  • Steel or reinforced concrete framing, allowing support for great heights
  • Fast elevators enabling people to easily access upper floors
  • Innovative architecture and design features
  • Advanced systems for electricity, plumbing, heating and cooling
  • Open floor plans allowing flexibility in office layouts

Dubai has become known for its iconic super-tall skyscrapers, including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. These towering structures have come to symbolize Dubai’s economic ambitions and desire to establish itself as a global city.

Iconic Skyscraper #1: Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is undoubtedly Dubai’s most iconic skyscraper and the undisputed centerpiece of its world-famous skyline. At 828 meters (2,717 feet) and with 163 floors, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world by a wide margin.

Construction began on the super-tall structure in 2004, in the midst of a Dubai real estate boom. It was commissioned by leading developer Emaar Properties as the centerpiece of their 500-acre Downtown Dubai mega-project. After six years of intensive construction, the Burj Khalifa was officially inaugurated in 2010, setting multiple world records.

The building’s design incorporates cultural influences and features from traditional Islamic architecture. The triple-lobed footprint was inspired by the desert flower Hymenocallis while the tower’s tiered shape resembles the spiral minaret of the Great Mosque of Samarra. These culturally-inspired elements combine with cutting-edge engineering to create an instantly recognizable global icon.

Iconic Skyscraper #2: Marina 101

Marina 101 is an upcoming mixed-use skyscraper located in Dubai Marina, one of Dubai’s most prominent waterfront developments. When completed in 2022, Marina 101 will stand at 425 meters tall with 101 floors above ground, making it one of the tallest residential towers in Dubai.

Developed by Select Group and designed by National Engineering Bureau, Marina 101 will comprise 785 luxury apartments along with a 5-star hotel with 200 rooms. Residents will have access to an array of amenities spread over nine floors, including infinity pools, gyms, spas, restaurants and lounges.

Marina 101 is significant as it pushes the boundaries for super-tall luxury living in Dubai while also advancing sustainable construction. The tower will incorporate energy-efficient glazing, solar panels, water recycling systems and waste management solutions. Upon completion, Marina 101 is expected to become an iconic landmark on Dubai’s continually evolving skyline.

Iconic Skyscraper #3: Princess Tower

The Princess Tower is a 101-story skyscraper located in Dubai Marina, developed by Tameer Holding Investment and constructed by Arabtec. When completed in 2012, the Princess Tower claimed the titles of world’s tallest residential building and tallest building in Dubai at 414 meters (1,358 feet) tall.

The Princess Tower has a slender, curved shape with over 700 luxury apartments inside, ranging from one to eight bedrooms. Residents have access to a range of amenities spread over nine floors, including infinity pools, gyms, spas, cafes and entertainment spaces. The building also incorporates sustainable features like solar panels and water recycling systems.

With its gleaming façade and distinctive curved form, the Princess Tower has become a standout icon on Dubai’s crowded skyline. It advanced Dubai’s credentials as a pioneer in luxury high-rise living thanks to its ambitious height and high-end amenities.

Iconic Skyscraper #4: 23 Marina

23 Marina is an 88-story skyscraper located in Dubai Marina, developed by Emaar Properties and designed by architect Khatib & Alami. Completed in 2012, 23 Marina stands at 392 meters (1,286 feet) tall, making it one of the tallest residential towers in Dubai.

23 Marina features a distinctive “wave” design consisting of four towers linked by bridges, intended to evoke images of sailboats within Dubai Marina’s oceanfront setting. The curved glass façade glitters in the sun, while at night the tower illuminates vibrantly with color-changing LED lights.

As a pioneering super-tall residential development, 23 Marina expanded the boundaries for high-rise living in Dubai while bringing striking aesthetics to the Marina skyline. The tower has been featured extensively in media as a prime example of Dubai’s futuristic architecture and attraction for luxury seekers.

Iconic Skyscraper #5: Damac Heights

Damac Heights is a mixed-use luxury skyscraper located in Dubai Marina, developed by Damac Properties. Completed in 2019, it stands at 335 meters (1,099 feet) tall with 83 floors, making it one of Dubai’s tallest residential towers.

Damac Heights incorporates several innovative features that set it apart, including:

  • Indoor snow park and ski slope spanning 1,000 square meters
  • Sky pool and spa located 300 meters above ground
  • Fully automated car lift and car parking systems
  • Luxury retail podium with designer brands like Versace Home
  • High-tech home automation, biometric entry and CCTV security
  • Extensive luxury amenities like private theaters, gyms, pools and more

These cutting-edge features cater to the ultra-wealthy and position Damac Heights as one of Dubai’s most exclusive addresses. The skyscraper advances Dubai’s reputation for engineering audacious luxury living experiences.


Dubai’s awe-inspiring skyline symbolizes the emirate’s ambitious vision of establishing itself as an international hub for tourism, business and luxury living. While the Burj Khalifa retains the title of Dubai’s most iconic skyscraper for its record-shattering height, newer towers like Marina 101 continue to push the boundaries of engineering and architectural creativity. Ongoing skyscraper projects will guarantee Dubai’s skyline remains a visually stunning marvel, showcasing human potential to overcome limitations through technology and design innovation. The soaring towers stand as monuments to both Dubai’s pioneering spirit and mankind’s eternal quest to build bigger and bolder structures than ever before.

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