World's 10 Most Expensive Buildings

By: Stuart Smith
Venetian 40story, $2.4 billion anchor for 7 resort hotels which are under construction on Cotai Strip in Macau. Getty Images / kenny photography

As a species, humans tend to be quite competitive. There are competitions for just about any activity you can think of. Our competitive nature influences the way we approach many varied activities, and architecture is no exception. Although a skyscraper’s height is perhaps the most competitive aspect in the construction industry, expenses should not be overlooked. The following is a list of the world’s 10 most expensive buildings (costs are adjusted for inflation).


10. Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

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The Bellagio rose from the ashes of what was once The Dunes Hotel and Casino. Taking its name and theme from the Italian town of Bellagio, the 33-floor structure has 935 rooms. It’s well known for The Fountains of Bellagio, which delight visitors with dancing water that’s set to music. The Bellagio cost $2.29 billion when it was completed in 1998.

9. Antilla, Mumbai, India

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This one is a bit of a stand-out among its competitors because it is actually a personal residence. Named for the mythical island of Antilla, the structure is owned by the chairman of Reliance Industries, Mr. Mukesh Ambani. It is said to be the largest private home in the world, and was finished in 2010 at a cost of $2.53 billion.

8. City of Dreams, Macau, China

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Another testament to the success of the gambling industry, the City of Dreams Casino stands 538 feet tall and features more than 500 gaming tables and 1500 machines. It was completed at a cost of $2.75 billion in 2009.

7. Venetian Macau, Macau, China

Venetian 40story, $2.4 billion anchor for 7 resort hotels which are under construction on Cotai Strip in Macau.
Getty Images / kenny photography

Not far from the City of Dreams stands Venetian Macau. This casino is owned by the Las Vegas Sands and boasts the title of the largest casino on earth. It features over 800 gaming tables and 3,400 slot machines. When it was completed in 2007, the total cost was $2.97 billion.


6. Wynn Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

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Finished during 2005, the Wynn has appeared in a number of films and TV programs set in Las Vegas. The resort occupies 215 acres, and its 614-foot, the 45-floor structure bears owner Steve Wynn’s signature logo. It cost $3.26 billion to build.

5. One World Trade Center, New York, USA

World Trade Center with majestic Freedom Tower in the center as seen from Hudson river.
Getty Images / Sir Francis Canker Photography © 2015

Also known as the Freedom Tower, it was constructed as a tribute to the people and property that was destroyed by the September 11, 2001 attacks. Officially completed in May of 2013 when the antenna was installed to bring it to a symbolic height of 1,776 feet, the building cost $3.8 billion.

4. The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

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Another Las Vegas mega-casino and hotel, The Cosmopolitan encompasses two high-rise buildings that contain 3,000 hotel rooms, casinos, restaurants, and stores. The hotel was awarded the “Best Hotel in the World” by GogoBot in 2013. Construction was completed in 2010 at a cost of $4.16 billion.

3. Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, UAE

luxury emirates palace abu dhabi.
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Truly an exquisite luxury hotel, the Emirates Palace sits on a private beach surrounded by 210 acres of gardens. The architecture includes 114 unique and decorative domes. The ambitious project was completed in 2005 and cost $4.46 billion.

2. Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

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Located on the island of Sentosa off Singapore’s southern coast, Resort World Sentosa features a casino, theme park, and Marine Life Park which boasts the largest oceanarium in the world. With a footprint that measures an impressive 121 acres, the complex was finished during 2010 at a cost of $5.38 billion.


1. Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Singapore countdown 2012 at marina bay with laser lights.
Getty Images / © copyright Ng Han Boon

The world’s most expensive building is also the world’s most expensive casino. With a cost of $5.5 billion, the structure’s most striking feature is probably the 1,100-foot SkyPark which sets atop the three buildings that make up the resort and is able to accommodate nearly 4,000 people. The total cost of the complex was $6 billion when it was completed in 2010.