When it comes to architectural wonders, two buildings that have been truly exceptional in the skyscraper world are Dubai’s Burj Khalifa and New York City’s Empire State Building. These landmarks are so iconic that they have captivated the world’s imagination and become identities of their respective cities. In this article, we will explore exciting histories, architectural elements, as well as cultural significance of both structures. So hang on tight as we dig into battle between two architectural behemoths: Burj Khalifa vs Empire State Building.

Location as well as Environment

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa 2

Location in Dubai, UAE: Burj Khalifa is situated at Downtown Dubai’s heart which forms part of a huge development with residential, commercial and entertainment facilities.

Urban landscape as well as the surroundings: The vicinity has lavish hotels, artificial lakes and dancing fountains that make it look like a city of the future.

Impact on the skyline: Dubai’s skyline has been taken over by the Burj Khalifa making it to become a global symbol of contemporary aspiration.

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Location in New York City, USA: In Manhattan’s Midtown area, there are many skyscrapers cluster surrounding the Empire State Building that is one of icons for this city.

Urban landscape and surroundings: It is surrounded by historic sites, busy streets and vibrant neighborhoods.

Impact on the skyline: For many years, the Empire State Building stood out within New York City’s skyline before becoming another among an ever-growing amazing skyscraper jungle.

A brief history of the Burj Khalifa

It was built under the name of United Arab Emirates President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2010. Being a creation of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill- a reputable architect company- this incomparable building is 828 meters (2,717 feet) tall with 163 storeys. Dubai aimed at diversifying its economy by constructing the structure thereby making it known globally. The Burj Khalifa holds several records such as being the tallest building ever constructed on earth, having the most floors and highest occupied floor in any skyscraper.

A brief history of the Empire State Building

Empire State Building is located within Manhattan city in New York whose story dates back to 1930s. It was designed by Shreve Lamb & Harmon which completed it in 1931.It stood at an overall height including its antenna at 443.2 meters (1,454 ft.) for nearly four decades as world’s highest building. This building came up during Great Depression hence became an icon of hope and progress during such tough times.

Architectural features of the Burj Khalifa

The architectural masterpiece called Burj Khalifa has unique traits that distinguish it from other buildings today. A central core tapers towards its top hence resembling a sleek modern flower. The façade of the edifice consists of reflective glass panes, which do not only improve its aesthetic sense but also increase energy efficiency by lessening heat gain. Moreover, the Burj Khalifa has been built to resist high winds and earthquakes through well-engineered structural elements.

Architectural features of the Empire State Building

The Empire State Building displays Art Deco style which was common during 1930s. This building’s designer added setbacks that gave it a step-like shape. On its outside walls are several details such as decorative motifs and sculptures reflecting such era’s essence. Its vibrant night illumination is among the most prominent aspects of the Empire State Building that changes according to each year’s celebrations and events.

Height comparison: Burj Khalifa vs Empire State Building

In terms of visitor experience, there are significant differences between the Burj Khalifa and the Empire State Building. The Burj Khalifa can be explored in many ways, including taking a walk around the perimeter of its walls, or even spending time to go up to its peak. In contrast, visitors at the Empire State Building are restricted to specific floors from where they can access observation decks.

Structural differences: Burj Khalifa vs Empire State Building

Structurally, there is a huge difference between the two buildings. The Burj Khalifa uses a bundled tube system where its central core is surrounded by several interconnected tubes. This construction allows the building to distribute loads equally and efficiently making it very stable. On the other hand, the Empire State Building utilizes steel-frame which was an engineering marvel during its time of construction. Use of steel enabled large open floor plans to be created and contributed to strength/stability of the edifice.

Observation decks: Burj Khalifa vs Empire State Building

The Burj Khalifa and Empire State Building offer spectacular roof decks that afford visitors panoramic views over their respective cities. Known as At the Top, the observation deck on the 148th floor of Burj Khalifa offers visitors an opportunity for a bird’s eye view of Dubai’s stunning skyline. Empire State Building Observatory is situated on 86th floors from where you get unprecedented views of New York City including Central Park and Statue of Liberty among others

Purpose and Function

Burj Khalifa

  • Primary functions: The Burj Khalifa is a mixed-use development, housing residential apartments, luxurious hotels, corporate offices, and observation decks.
  • Symbolic significance: It embodies Dubai’s aspirations for progress and technological advancement.
  • Economic impact on Dubai: The Burj Khalifa has been a catalyst for tourism and economic growth, attracting businesses and investments to the region.

Empire State Building

  • Historical significance and initial purpose: Initially intended as office space, the Empire State Building’s construction provided much-needed jobs during the Great Depression.
  • Current functions: Today, the building houses office spaces, tourist attractions like observation decks, and broadcast antennas.
  • Economic impact on New York City: The Empire State Building remains a major tourist draw and a valuable commercial property, contributing significantly to the city’s economy.

Cultural and historical significance: Burj Khalifa vs Empire State Building

Both buildings have considerable cultural/historical significance in their cities respectively. In essence, Dubai has become a global financial hub, tourist destination and technological center symbolized by Burj Khalifa because it embodies everything futuristic about this city. Conversely, the identity & history of New York City are deeply rooted in this magnificent structure while featuring innumerable films/art works thus solidifying itself as a cultural icon that shows resilience/tenacity demonstrated by this city.

Sustainability and environmental impact: Burj Khalifa vs Empire State Building

In an era where sustainability is an essential factor in the architectural design process; both structures have taken measures to reduce negative environmental impact. For instance, ‘Burj Khalifa’ employs various energy saving devices such as high performance glass facade, efficient cooling system and condensate collection system for irrigation.

The landmark has received numerous green building accolades, including the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certificate. On the other hand, there has been a comprehensive energy retrofit at Empire State Building that lowers its power consumption by 38%. It is also LEED Gold certified which confirms its commitment to sustainability.

Visitor experience: Burj Khalifa vs Empire State Building

A visit to Burj Khalifa vs Empire State Building is a one of a kind experience that enables one to see the architectural wonders of these giants. While at Burj Khalifa, prior to ascent to an observation deck, visitors can enjoy multimedia presentations on Dubai’s history. On its respective ground floor, the empire state building offers an interactive museum that gives insights about the construction process as well as the structure’s significance in history. Both structures cater for different budgets and offer various ticket options such as fast track and exclusive experiences for those seeking a truly memorable visit.


Is the Empire State Building bigger than Burj Khalifa?

The Dubai Burj Khalifa has more stories than the New York City’s Empire State Building, and it is also twice as high as this building.

Is the Burj Khalifa twice as tall as Empire State Building?

More than two times taller than the Empire State Building, the Burj measures up to 828 meters (2716 ft 6 in), an almost threefold increase of the size of the Eiffel Tower.

Is there any building bigger than Burj Khalifa?

Construction is already in progress for Jeddah Tower, also known as Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia that will surpass Burj Khalifa when it is completed.


In the architectural battle of titans, Burj Khalifa vs Empire State Building both come out on top. The Burj Khalifa is breathtaking in terms of its staggering height and modern design, while the Empire State Building is mesmerizing because of its classical beauty and historical importance. These two well-known structures are still making people amazed and astonished by their magnificence that shows the creativity abilities of man and his great architectural prowess. Therefore, if you ever go to Dubai or NYC check them out yourself so you can get a first-hand experience of their grandeur.