Architecture in the Middle East

Through traveling to New York City to the Rockefeller Center and to San Francisco to see the Golden Gate Bridge I have developed a particular interest in architecture. Growing up in a small, country town I wasn’t exposed to any big cities until towards the end of my high school years. After looking at different buildings throughout the United States I began to think of the different buildings that are throughout the world, particularly in the Middle East.

The Middle East has a vast amount of beautiful architecture including:

 Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Burj Khalifa at Day

According to Riyadh, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, towering at 830 meters high. Inside the structure there is an observation deck which is on the 124th floor, which is also the tallest observation deck in the world. The building also holds a fitness center, fine dining restaurants and residences. It is also home to one of the tallest bars in the world called Atmosphere Bar and Lounge which is located on the 122nd floor of the building.  The construction of the building began in January of 2004 and wasn’t completed til around 2010. Burj Khalifa is also part of a complex called downtown Dubai which includes the largest shopping mall in the world and several residences. As you can see, this building and the surrounding complex is breaking just about every world record in the game.

Bank Muscat, Muscat, Oman

omanproscons-webAnother fascinating building that is located in the Middle East is the Bank Muscat Headquarters. The bank is one of Oman’s largest banks and it was built to feel very modern, bright, and colorful.It was designed and engineered by Atkins and holds about 2,000 employees. It is designed to seem more like a hip college campus rather than a bank to encourage more people to do their banking there. The outside of the bank is covered in geometrical flowers allowing an abundance of natural light to stream in along with keeping the building cool. The bank is about 32,5000 square feet and cost about $57.2 million to build. Construction began in 2009 and the building was opened in 2011.

King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

This building was designed by an Iraqi architect, Zaha Hadid to be a center that is focuses on global energy, productivity, and energy efficiency. It was developed by Aramaco which is the largest energy company in the world.  It was also designed to be very easy to build on to and expand as time passes. Over  the entire building is a huge, steel cover that covers all areas even the courtyards to protect people from heat. It cost around $11.5 billion to build and began construction in 2009 similarly to Bank Muscat and it covers approximately 65,000 square meters.


As you can see, the Middle East has many fascinating architectural structures that are very modernized and different than most buildings within the United States. It is mind blowing that such buildings are able to be built. Do you think that the architecture in the United States lives up to the architecture of the Middle East? As my life goes on I hope to one day experience these beautiful buildings in person and continue to see such enchanting buildings built.


2 thoughts on “Architecture in the Middle East

  1. I can’t imagine ever seeing building as architecturally advanced as these. They look more like a sculpture of art rather than a building. I wonder why the Middle East has always been interested in constructing buildings like these. I’m definitely putting it on my bucket list to see the Burj Khalifa and drink at the 122nd story bar.

  2. It’s amazing to see the architecture of different countries and analyze how they differ. All three of these buildings are gorgeous and so different from any building or structure in the US. My sister is an architecture major, so listening to her go on and on about buildings all of the time has made me think more about how and why they were built. I think each of these buildings accurately resemble the culture around them as well as the purpose for why they were built, such as buildings like the Empire State Building to in America. There is no denying that they are beautiful and I would love to see them in person one day.

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