Don’t miss out on these marvelous, modern buildings in the Middle East - MENA startups, innovation, and tech news

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Don’t miss out on these marvelous, modern buildings in the Middle East
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Don’t miss out on these marvelous, modern buildings in the Middle East

In the first decade of the 21st century, the Gulf region, especially Dubaibecame an architectural playground with project agreements for insanely expensive and fanciful projects lined up almost every week. When the world financial crisis hit,plans for megaprojects were temporarily shelved.  Now, project design and financing in the Middle East have once again picked up.

Here’s a list of 10 stunning modern architectural wonders in the Middle East:

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  1. Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar

Resembling cubes stacked on top of one another, the Museum of Islamic Art houses one of the largest Islamic art in the world. Pritzker prize-winning architect I.M. Pei, who was 91 at the time, came out of retirement and traveled across the Middle East for about 6 months to gain inspiration for designing this futuristic building. Its construction began in 2005 and ended in 2008. The result is an approximate 46,450-square meter structure on its own little island in Doha, Qatar.

Total Cost:$47.7 million

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  1. King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC) in Riyadh, is an institution purpose-built to serve as a hub for independent research into global energy economics. It is fitting the Zaha Hadid-designed KAPSARC’s ‘hexagonal prismatic honeycomb structures’, the 70,000 square-meter campus comprises five buildings, reminiscent of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.

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  1. Cayan Tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The 80-story Cayan Tower looks like an urban twister frozen in time. The building has no pillars, lending it an impossible sense of light and space. It stands at 1,005 feet and is the world’s 138th tallest building. Its construction began in 2006 and ended in 2013.

Total Cost: $272 million

  1. Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

From a distance, it appears that the Burj Khalifa will tear a hole in the sky. The Burj Khalifa currently holds the record for the world’s highest building at 2,716.5 feet (828 meters) tall. It is also the tallest free-standing structure in the world and has the highest occupied floor for any skyscraper. Its construction took off in January 2004 and the building was officially opened in 2010.

Total Cost: $1.5 billion

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  1. World Trade Center in Bahrain

When it comes to impressive structures, the tiny kingdom of Bahrain does not lag behind. Made of two towers that are linked by three sky bridges, the World Trade Center is the first skyscraper in the world to have wind turbines incorporated into its design. The sail-shaped building generates electricity using wind. Construction began in 2004 and took 4 years to complete.

Total Cost: $150 million

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  1. Bank Muscat in Muscat, Oman

Oman’s largest bank, Bank Muscat, has a stunning headquarters which is a blend of modern and Islamic architectural influences. Award-winning engineering and design consultancy Atkins designed the building. Decorative white screens wrap the building. A geometric floral pattern permits natural light to enter while keeping the building cool. The 32,500-squaremeter office building took two years to construct, beginning in early 2009.

Total Cost: $57.2 million

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  1. Abraj Al-Bait Towers in Mecca, Saudi Arabia

The Abraj al-Bait Towers is located near the Masjid al-Haram in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca. The project, a part of Mecca’s fabric, complete with the inscription ‘God is the greatest’ inscribed above the clock, is funded by the Saudi Ministry of Religious Endowments. Construction of the 600-meter-high, 120-floor clock tower complex started in 2004 and was completed in 2012.

Total Cost: $15 billion

  1. Al Hamra Tower in Kuwait City, Kuwait

It is the tallest building in Kuwait, and thethirty-sixth tallest building in the world, standing at 1358 feet (414 meters) high. The tallest carved concrete skyscraper in the world, the Al Hamra Tower was designed by architectural firms Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Ramshir and Callison. Construction of the skyscraper started in 2005 and ended in 2011.

Total Cost: $500 million

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  1. The National Museum of Qatar in Doha, Qatar

The French architect Jean Nouvel designed the building who said that the distinctive large flat discs that make up the roof, were inspired by the desert rose crystal, which can be found in Qatar. Located on a 1.5 million square feet site at the south end of Doha’s Corniche, the museum site includes Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani’s Palace, the heart of the Qatari national identity. The museum was originally scheduled to open in 2016, but its opening was pushed back to March 2019.

Total Cost: $400 million

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  1. The Louvre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates,

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is an intergovernmental project between the UAE and France. The contemporary style building is designed by the same architect Jean Nouvel, who masterminded the National Museum in Qatar. With 8,000 square meters of galleries,it is nearly 24,000 square meters in size, making it the largest art museum in the Arabian Peninsula. Construction began in 2006 and ended in 2017.

Total Cost: $108 million

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