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The world’s tallest skycrapers

Reaching for the sky, these buildings and towers compete for the world's attention.

One World Trade Center rises above the lower Manhattan skyline in New York, on Sept. 4, 2013. The building measures 1,368 feet without its decorative spire which adds 408 feet making it 1776 feet tall.

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the official arbiters of all things architectural, said on Nov. 13 that the 408-foot antenna atop 1 WTC counts toward the building's full height, making it the tallest building in the United States.

Mark Lennihan / AP

Shown at the left of Pudong's Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai, China, the Oriental Pearl Television Tower is the third tallest tower in China. Reaching 1,535 feet, it contains 14 floors and was completed in 1995.

Feng Li / Getty Images AsiaPac

A view of the second tallest building the world, Taipei 101, from Elephant Mountain in Taipei. It stands 1,667 feet and contains 61 elevators that connect 101 floors.

© Pichi Chuang / Reuters / X02348

When completed in 1998, Malaysia's Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur were the world's tallest buildings. They served as a backdrop for the 1999 film "Entrapment."

Saeed Khan / AFP

The Tokyo Skytree, the world's tallest broadcasting tower at 2,080 feet, was completed in 2012, becoming the second-tallest structure in the world. It contains two observatories, one that includes a section of glass flooring to give visitors a straight-down view.

Kyodo / X01481

Reaching 2,723 feet, the Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest . skyscraper. The Dubai structure contains 900 apartments, 304 hotel rooms and almost 3,000 parking spaces.

Mohammed Salem / X01571

The television tower in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou reaches 1,968.5 feet with its antenna -- 1,506.6 feet without it.

Afp / AFP

The KK100 Development building is the tallest in Shenzhen, once a small Chinese fishing village and now one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. The building, completed in 2011, reaches 1,449 feet and contains 100 floors.

Peter Parks / AFP

At 1,815 feet, the CN Tower is the fourth-tallest freestanding structure in the world. It was completed way back in 1976 and remains a highlight of Toronto's skyline.

© Fred Thornhill / Reuters / X02272

Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago reaches a height of 1,389 feet. It contains 98 floors with 27 elevators. Elevators can reach a speed of nearly 18 mph.

© Jeff Haynes / Reuters / X02430

The Mecca Royal Clock Tower Hotel in Saudi Arabia holds several records, including tallest hotel (1,972 feet), largest floor area (16.15 million square feet) and largest clock face (141 feet in diameter). The hotel is also known as Abraj Al-Bait Towers.

Fayez Nureldine / AFP

The Shard, towering over St. Thomas Street in London, is Western Europe’s tallest building at 1,004 feet. It includes offices, a five-star hotel and three floors of restaurants. When completed in 2013, the top levels will offer the public 360-degree views of the city.

Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images Europe

Tehran's Milad Tower, shown here during a sandstorm, is the world's sixth-tallest freestanding tower at 1,427 feet.

© Raheb Homavandi / Reuters / X01475

The tallest building in China, the Shanghai World Financial Center (1,622 feet) includes offices, hotel rooms, observation decks and shops. The Park Hyatt Shanghai occupies the 79th to the 93rd floors, making it the second-highest hotel in the world.

© Ho New / Reuters / X80001

The Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) in Chicago is the tallest in North America, reaching 1,451 feet (wtih antennae, 1,729 feet). It was the tallest in the world until 1996.

Tim Sloan / AFP

A ferry makes its way across Victoria harbor in front of the International Finance Centre in Hong Kong. The 88-floor building reaches 1,352 feet, making it just the second tallest in Hong Kong.

Mike Clarke / AFP

Window washers keep busy at the Zifeng Tower in Nanjing, China. The third-tallest building in China reaches 1,476 feet and includes 66 floors.

© Aly Song / Reuters / X01793

The world's highest swimming pool and bar (called Ozone) can be found on the 118th floor of the International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong. The 1,588-foot building inclues a Ritz-Carlton hotel, which has its main lobby on the 103rd floor.

© Siu Chiu / Reuters / X02605