There’s such a vast world waiting to be explored, and there’s no tour more thrilling than a tour of Asia’s most expensive buildings ever built. When this much money is involved, no expense is spared; every building is the cream of the crop, the best of the best, because the amount of money being exchanged could expect no less.
If you’re on a trip through Asia, make sure to stop at each of these unique structures to witness some of the most impressive work that Asian architecture has to offer.
10 Taipei 101, Taipei, Taiwan
While the original building was known as the Taipei World Financial Center, the supertall skyscraper Taipei 101, designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners, cost $1,760,000,000, and was actually classified as the world’s tallest building from the time the building opened in 2004 until the Burj Khalifa was opened in 2010 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. With record-breaking elevators, a Platinum rating under the LEED certification system, and fireworks displays every New Year’s Eve, Taipei 101 kicks off the list like a welcoming party.
9 Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Coming in at $3,000,000,000, the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates is a luxury hotel that took four years to construct before it was opened in November of 2005. Designed by John Elliott of WATG Architects, in collaboration with Reza Rahmanian of HDC Architects, the Emirates Palace is meant to evoke the Arabian Desert with its appearance, its colors meant to reflect the many shades that shifting sands would make in the Arabian Desert. The grand dome harkens back to tried and true Islamic architecture while also being inspired by a fun rhythm that makes the building impressive as an attraction in its own right.
8 Lotte World Tower, Seoul, South Korea
The sixth tallest building in the world and the tallest building in South Korea are the same building: number eight on the list, Lotte World Tower in Seoul, South Korea. At 1,821 feet tall and with a price tag of $3,400,000,000, the Lotte World Tower has been in progress since the first design plans were made in 1989. The groundbreaking finally happened in 2009, and the whopping building opened officially on April 2, 2017, with a fireworks show to show itself off. The Lotte World Tower is now a landmark of Seoul, and one finds it impossible to imagine Seoul without its gentle curves and pale glass.
7 City of Dreams, Cotai, Macau, China
Moving on to China, we have the City of Dreams, a resort and casino that was built by, and still is owned and managed by, Melco Crown Entertainment. There are four towers that make up this $2,400,000,000 structure: the Hard Rock Hotel, the Crown Towers Hotel, and the Grand Hyatt Macau, which consists of two tours. Not only that, but the City of Dreams has an aquarium, a bubble fountain, a Dancing Water Theater, a mega-casino, an ultimate gaming space, and over twenty restaurants and bars. This place is only at number nine, and it’s clearly not messing around.
6 Venetian Macau, Cotai, Macau, China
Across the street from the City of Dreams is the Venetian Macau, another luxury resort and casino that serves as the sister casino resort to The Venetian Las Vegas. Modeled after Venice, Italy, the Venetian Macau is a $4,200,000,000 building with thirty-nine stories and a 546,000 square foot casino. The casino is divided into four different themed areas: Golden Fish, Imperial House, Red Dragon, and Phoenix. There’s even a club: the Paiza Club, which comes with its own entrance, lobby, reception, and guest elevators. Designers Aedas and HKS, Inc. were not only responsible for the design, but also for the coordination and the implementation of this project on site.
5 Resorts World Sentosa, Sentosa, Singapore
The Resorts World Sentosa, on the island of Sentosa, off the southern coast of Singapore, not only comes with a $4,930,000,000 price tag, but it also comes with over one hundred and twenty acres of land to its name. The Resorts World Sentosa truly is an entire world of resorts, featuring one of Singapore’s casinos (there are a total of two), an aquarium, a water park, and a Universal Studios theme park. This center for fun and frivolity was officially opened in December of 2012 by the Prime Minister.
4 Wynn Palace, Cotai, Macau, China
At a current $4,000,000,000 and a projected $6,000,000,000, the Wynn Palace is well on its way to absolute opulence. Just this July, a $2,000,000,000 expansion project on the Wynn Palace was announced, which would skyrocket the Wynn Palace up this list, whereas now it sits snugly in the middle of the list. The Wynn Palace boasts a performance lake that spans eight acres; convention spaces; countless restaurants, shops, and entertainment spaces; and SkyCab gondolas for transportation. Meant to evoke a floral theme, the Wynn Palace is in the process of moving its way up this list.
3 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, Singapore
At a jaw-dropping $8,000,000,000, the Marina Bay Sands is a resort in Singapore that opened in 2010 as the world’s most expensive standalone casino property at the time. For such a maddeningly high price tag, the Marina Bay Sands delivers on content: this place has a hotel, a convention center, the world’s largest atrium casino, a SkyPark with an infinity swimming pool, and two floating Crystal Pavilions. In addition to all of that, there’s a mall, a museum, seven restaurants from seven different celebrity chefs, two separate theaters, and exhibits on art and science throughout the resort.
2 Abraj Al-Bait, Mecca, Saudi Arabia
With leaps and bounds comes the Abraj Al-Bait, a $15,000,000,000 property owned by the government and consisting of a total seven skyscrapers. Not just any skyscrapers, either; these skyscrapers are massive hotels, created in an attempt to modernize Mecca for the modern-day pilgrims making their way to Saudi Arabia. The Abraj Al-Bait features a Clock Tower Museum at the top of its Makkah Royal Clock Tower, the hotel’s central tower that boasts the world’s largest clock face, an interesting and intriguing claim to fame. The Abraj Al-Bait also holds the title of third largest building in the entire world.
1 Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām, Mecca, Saudi Arabia
At a truly insane $100,000,000,000, the Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām, also known as the Great Mosque of Mecca or the Haram Mosque, is the mosque that surrounds the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. This is the site of pilgrimage, which makes sense as to why the building would cost so much money. It’s the largest mosque in the entire world and houses not only the Kaaba, but also the Black Stone, the Safa Hill, the Marwa Hill, the Maqam Ibrahim, and the Zamzam Well. It is open every minute of every day, and is currently under the control of the King of Saudi Arabia.