When you decide that the relics, historical artifacts and building of the ancient European countries are no longer interesting, another exceptionally interesting place is the Middle East.
The Middle Eastern region is comprised of countries rich in history and abundance in oil wealth. The rush of civilization led to several ambitious architectural projects that turned the Middle East to a cocktail of wonders.
The ancient and modern display of supremacy has culminated into interest in the ancient ruins of Baalbek and the lost city of Petra, as much as the interest has been extended to modern marvels competing and complementing the ancient structures. These modern marvels include the likes of Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the National Museum of Qatar, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, and so on.
Below are the top 10 architectural wonders of the Middle East.
1. Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE
There is no way one will talk about the architectural wonders of the Middle East without mentioning the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The 828-meter, 163-floor skyscraper is the world’s tallest building and the most iconic structure in the Middle East. A lot is to be said about the Burj Khalifa, especially the $1.5 billion it costs to build it, but the building remains one of the most popular tourist attraction in Dubai. A visit to Dubai is never complete without a courtesy visit to the Burj Khalifa. The masterpiece was designed by Adrian Smith, who is also behind the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia.
2. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE
A sight of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi gives meaning to a person’s entire appreciation of arts and architecture. The sprawling building achieves its palatial outlook through 82 white marble domes and four 107 meters high minarets. It is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the third largest mosque in the world with its capability to accommodate 40,000 worshipers. The masterpiece is the reality of a dream nurtured by the former ruler of Abu Dhabi; Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
3. Burj Al Arab, Dubai, UAE
Launched in December 1999, Burj Al Arab in Dubai is the only 7-star hotel in the world. The ultra luxurious hotel costs $1 billion USD to build, and it houses 202 expensive suites including the two-storey “Royal Suite” which is listed as one of the most expensive hotel suites in the world. Burj Al Arab was designed by Tom Wright, and the hotel features a sky view bar, an underwater restaurant, and an outdoor tennis court.
4. National Museum of Qatar, Doha
Designed by famous French architect, Jean Nouvel, the National Museum of Qatar is a museum located in Doha and was opened to the public on 28th of March 2019. The marvelous design was said to be inspired by the Desert Rose which grows around the original twentieth century palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani who was once the Emir of Qatar.
5. King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, Riyadh, KSA
The astonishing architectural masterpiece known as King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre in Riyadh is designed by no one other than the brilliant genius behind several other architectural masterpieces; Zaha Hadid. It was opened in 2013 to serve as a hub for research into the energy challenges facing the planet. The quintet, made in “hexagonal prismatic honeycomb structures” occupies 70,000 square meters of land and has been rated as one of the best sights to behold in the Middle East.
6. Kingdom Centre, Riyadh, KSA
Developed by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, and designed by Ellerbe Becket and Omrania, the Kingdom Centre in Riyadh is a 41-storey, 302.3 meters high skyscraper being used as apartments, a hotel and a shopping mall. The Kingdom Centre is not just an architectural masterpiece to Saudi Arabia, it is also a symbol of national importance –apparently, its significance transcends Saudi Arabia to the rest of the Middle East.
7. Bahrain World Trade Centre, Manama
Another award winning structure on the list is the Bahrain World Trade Centre in Manama. The amazing building consists of twin towers, which won the 2006 LEAF Award for Best Use of technology within a large Scheme. It also won the Arab Construction World for Sustainable Design award. The wonder was created by the multi-national construction firm, Atkins.
8. Abraj Al Bait Towers, Mecca, KSA
When talking about architectural wonders in the Middle East and one makes an intellectual journey to Saudi Arabia, one might be tempted to opt for the Kingdom Centre in Riyadh above others as it is literally the pride of the nation. However, the structure known as Abraj Al-Bait Tower in Mecca is in front of the Kaaba and the main tower is larger than London’s Elizabeth Tower. There is an observation deck beneath the clock and a prayer room that can accommodate about 10,000 people. The tower was built over the ruins of the 18th-century Ottoman Ajyad Fortress.
9. Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi, UAE
If you want the definition of masterpiece, just whisper, Ferrari world. This magnificent piece of art and work is located in Abu Dhabi, right in the middle of the United Arab Emirates, one of the most revered countries in the Middle East. The wonder comes in red color, triangular shape, and size as seven football fields amalgamated wonderfully. It is the second largest indoor theme park in the world and houses the world’s largest Ferrari logo.
10. Cayan Tower, Dubai, UAE
Cayan Tower is the highest spiraling tower in the world and has no single pillar holding it. The 80-story masterpiece is 306 meters high and has a 75-storey structure. The groundbreaking project took seven years and $272 million dollars to complete. It was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, a firm remarkable for designing luxury apartments.