The priciest buildings on the planet. Wonder which world-famous buildings cost the most money to construct? From super-tall skyscrapers to impossibly lavish casino resorts, we reveal the 30 most expensive buildings ever, adjusted for inflation.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai: $1.7 billion (£1.2bn)
Standing at a stomach-churning 2,722 feet (830m) high, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is hands down the tallest structure on the planet, but it isn’t even the most expensive building in Dubai. Completed in 2009 at a cost of $1.5 billion (£1.1bn), Burj Khalifa is only the 30th most pricey edifice in the world.
Seat of the European Central Bank, Frankfurt: $1.7 billion (£1.2bn)
Plagued by a series of construction problems and delays, the new Seat of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt went massively over-budget, with the total cost of the skyscraper complex hitting $1.6 billion (£1.2bn) upon its completion in 2013.
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur: $1.8 billion (£1.3bn)
Kuala Lumpur’s spectacular twin towers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004. Designed by Argentine architect Cesar Pelli, the duo cost around $1.2 billion (£863m) to construct during the late 1990s.
Wembley Stadium, London: $1.8 billion (£1.3bn)
The first stadium in the world with a price tag in excess of $1 billion (£719m), Wembley Stadium in North London cost a total of $1.5 billion (£1.1bn) to build. Completed in 2006, the iconic home of English soccer seats 90,000 spectators and is crowned by a prominent arch.
Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong: $1.9 billion (£1.4bn)
The Bank of China Tower is one of Hong Kong’s most recognizable buildings and at 1,033.5 feet (315 metres) high, the first super-tall skyscraper to be built outside the US. Eye-watering at the time, the construction bill for the building totaled $1 billion (£719m) in 1990.
Kyoto Station, Kyoto: $2 billion (£1.4bn)
Kyoto’s eponymous terminus comprises a 15-story building that houses everything from a hotel to a department store. Still, the world’s most expensive railway station, which was completed in 1997 at a cost of $1.3 billion (£935m), is only Japan’s second-largest after Nagoya Station.
The Palazzo, Las Vegas: $2.1 billion (£1.5bn)
The Palazzo casino resort in Las Vegas is the largest hotel in the world, the second biggest building in the Western Hemisphere and Sin City’s tallest structure. Completed in 2007, the opulent resort set back investors a cool $1.8 billion (£1.3bn).
Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide: $2.1 billion (£1.5bn)
Major hospitals don’t come cheap, but the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia is by far the priciest ever built. The 800-bed mega hospital, the biggest Down Under, opened its doors in September, 17 months behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over-budget.
Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City: $2.3 billion (£1.7bn)
Once described by Donald Trump as “the eighth wonder of the world”, the Taj Mahal hotel and casino in Atlantic City cost $1.2 billion (£930m) to build in 1990. The blingy 120,000 square foot complex eventually became unprofitable and shut for good in October 2016, but has since reopened as the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Parliament House, Canberra: $2.3 billion (£1.7bn)
Australia’s current parliament building was built in 1988 at a cost of $1.1 billion (£793m). The modern structure, which is designed in the shape of two boomerangs and topped by an imposing flagpole, contains as many as 4,700 rooms.
Tapei 101, Tapei: $2.3 million (£1.7bn)
Tapei 101 was the world’s tallest building from 2004 to 2009, when it was usurped by Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. The postmodern skyscraper, which effortlessly blends traditional and contemporary styles, cost $1.8 billion (£1.3bn) to build.
Antilia, Mumbai: $2.3 billion (£1.7bn)
The most expensive private residence on the planet, Antilia is the Mumbai home of billionaire Mukesh Ambani. The super-ostentatious 27-story tower was completed in 2010, and is thought to have set its owner back a massive $2 billion (£1.4bn).
200 West Street, New York: $2.4 billion (£1.7bn)
Investment bank Goldman Sachs’s global headquarters was never going to be a budget affair, and the investment company was the envy of Wall Street when its sumptuous $2.1 billion (£1.5bn) head office opened in its doors in 2010.
Bellagio, Las Vegas: $2.4 billion (£1.7bn)
The total construction bill for MGM’s Bellagio casino resort in Las Vegas came to $1.6 billion (£1.2bn) in 1998, which equates to around $2.4 billion (£1.7bn) in today’s money. The resort boasts 3,950 rooms and acres of gaming space.
Princess Tower, Dubai: $2.4 billion (£1.7bn)
Dubai’s most pricey building and its second tallest structure after the Burj Khalifa, the Princess Tower is also the tallest residential building in the world. The $2.2 billion (£1.6bn) tower was completed in 2012.
Shanghai Tower, Shanghai: $2.5 billion (£1.8bn)
Standing 2,073 feet (632 metres) high, Shanghai’s twisty tower boasts all sorts of superlatives, from the world’s fastest lifts to the highest observation deck on the planet. It opened in 2014, having cost $2.4 billion (£1.7bn).
Yankee Stadium, New York: $2.6 billion (£1.9bn)
The replacement Yankee Stadium in New York cost $2.3 billion (£1.7bn) to construct in 2009, making it the most expensive stadium ever built. Controversially, a hefty $1.2 billion (£863m) of public money helped fund the project.
The Shard, London: $2.6 billion (£1.9bn)
Renzo Piano’s 1,016 feet (310m) masterpiece has been the EU’s tallest building since its completion in 2012. The cost of the entire development, which included revamping areas around London Bridge Station, totaled around $2.4 billion (£1.7bn).
City of Dreams, Macao: $2.7 billion (£2bn)
The City of Dreams is the second largest resort and casino complex in Macao. Opening to the public in 2009, the slick complex, which features a gigantic aquarium and bubble fountain among other attractions, cost $2.4 billion (£1.7bn) to build.
Venetian Macao, Macao: $3 billion (£2.2bn)
Staying in Macao, next up is the autonomous territory’s largest resort and casino complex, the $2.4 billion (£1.7bn) Venetian Macao. Situated opposite the City of Dreams, the 39-story tower, which is modeled on its counterpart in Las Vegas, was completed in 2005.
Istana Nurul Iman Palace, Brunei: $3.3 billion (£2.4bn)
Built in 1984 at a cost of $1.4 billion (£1bn), the Sultan of Brunei’s eye-opening home is the largest palace in the world that is still in use as a royal residence. The complex contains a total of 1,788 rooms, including a banqueting hall that can seat 5,000 guests.
Wynn Resort, Las Vegas, $3.4 billion (£2.4bn)
One of the swankiest hotel and casino complexes in Las Vegas, the Wynn resort launched in 2005. The construction bill for this luxury 2,716-room complex hit $2.7 billion (£1.9bn), around $3.4 billion (£2.4bn) in today’s money.
Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi: $3.8 billion (£2.7bn)
A hotel rather than a royal residence, the Emirates Palace in Dubai is as regal as they come. Completed in 2005 at a cost of $3 billion (£2.2bn), the Kempinski-operated hotel has a total of 394 residences, not to mention two spas, a cavernous ballroom, and scores of shops and restaurants.
Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest: $3.9 billion (£2.8bn)
Thousands of workers died and swathes of Bucharest were destroyed to make way for Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu’s monstrous Palace of the Parliament, which sprawls over tens of acres. The construction of the building, which began in 1984, cost a total of $3.9 billion (£2.8bn) in today’s money.
One World Trade Center, New York: $4.1 billion (£2.9bn)
One World Trade Center is the principal building in the rebuilt World Trade complex in New York. Standing a symbolic 1,776 feet (541m) tall, the skyscraper was completed in 2012 at a cost of $3.8 billion (£2.7bn), which is $4.1 billion (£2.9bn) today, and is now the tallest building in the Americas
The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas: $4.4 billion (£3.2bn)
The 3,027-room Cosmopolitan cost an eye-watering $3.9 billion (£2.8bn) to build in 2009. The art-themed hotel and casino comprises two high-rise towers and houses everything from a 3,200-seat theater to a gargantuan spa and fitness center.
Apple Park, Cupertino: $5 billion (£3.6bn)
Apple is the richest company in the world with more spare cash than many developing countries, so it’s only natural the firm would pump billions into its shiny new HQ in Cupertino, California. The campus, which opened last April, cost an estimated $5 billion (£3.6bn) in total.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore: $6.2 billion (£4.5bn)
Singapore’s sensational Marina Bay Sands complex wows with the world’s most awesome infinity pool, the largest atrium casino ever built, a 2,561-room luxury hotel, and a lot more besides. The landmark complex was completed in 2010 at a cost of $5.5 billion (£4bn).
Abraj Al Bait, Mecca: $16 billion (£11.5bn)
Towering over Mecca, the Abraj Al Bait is a complex of seven skyscrapers that were built in 2012 at a cost of $15 billion (£10.8bn) to house pilgrims performing the Hajj. The complex is spread out over 34 acres and features the world’s largest clock face.
Masjid al-Haram, Mecca: $100 billion (£72.1bn)
Islam’s most sacred site and the largest mosque in the world, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which covers 99 acres and can accommodate up to four million people during the Hajj, is estimated to have cost a colossal $100 billion (£72.1bn) in total.