LONDON

Reuters

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the “vainest” skyscrapers in the world, a report measuring the extent of spires and other height-boosting additions to the top of buildings said on Thursday.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) said unusable space at the top of the UAE’s 19 tallest buildings was an average 19 percent of their total height, a measure it called the “vanity height”.

The building with the largest vanity height is the 828-meter Burj Khalifa in Dubai, of which 29 percent or 244 meters is unusable - which would rank on its own as the 11th tallest building in Europe, the CTBUH said. The top three was completed by the Zifeng Tower in Nanjing, China, and the Bank of America Tower in New York. China and the United States were also second and third respectively for the average figure across all of their tall buildings. Developers typically get higher rents on upper floors, but in developing economies where land and labor is cheaper they can more readily use tall buildings to spark nearby development and make wider schemes viable, said Steve Watts, a tall buildings expert at construction consultancy Alinea.