While skyscrapers are typically used as commercial office space, high-rise dwellings are starting to dominate city skylines with Dubai at the forefront of this growing trend.

Emporis, an international provider of building data, has revealed that the Persian Gulf city is also home to seven of the 10 tallest residential buildings in the world.

“The desire for recognition and prestige, plus the demonstration of economic growth are the most significant factors leading to the boom in construction, particularly in the United Arab Emirates, of such gigantic apartment palaces,” said Emporis.

The trend is being driven by population growth and an increasing desire for inner-city living around the world. At staggering new heights, architects and developers can vie for the tallest building recognition and capitalise on valuable land while offering premium views to residents in some of the most coveted locations across the globe.

Princess Tower, Dubai: World's Tallest Residential Tower

Princess Tower, Dubai: World’s Tallest Residential Tower

Emporis listed Dubai’s Princess Tower, designed by designed by Eng. Adnan Saffarini, as the world’s tallest residential building.

Princess Tower rises up an impressive 414 metres and has officially held the title of the world’s tallest residential building since May 2012 according to Guinness World Records.

Located in the highly-sought-after Dubai Marina district, the Princess Tower overlooks the artificial island Palm Jumeriah and features 100 above ground levels, an underground car park and a retail component.

In second place is the 395-metre 23 Marina building by KEO International Consultants, followed by the 380-metre Elite Residence, developed by the same architect as the Princess Tower.

23 Marina, Dubai

23 Marina, Dubai

In fourth place is The Torch, which rises 337 metres. Emporis noted the top four tallest residential buildings are in the Dubai Marina district and only a 15-minute walk from each other.

Australia breaks Dubai’s reign on the list with its Gold Coast Q1 tower in fifth position. At 322 metres tall and housing 527 residential apartments, Q1 is recognised as Australia’s and the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest residential building. The design of Q1 ws inspired by the spirit and lifestyle of Australia with a sculptural shape that reflects elements of the Olympic torch and the iconic Sydney Opera House.

Q1 was a collaborative architectural effort between The Buchan Group and Sunland Group and features a two-storey observation deck and a steel spire that can be seen from up to 200 kilometres away and is illuminated at night.

Q1, Gold Coast, Australia

Q1, Gold Coast, Australia

“The prerequisites for building giant residential palaces that dwarf all around them are particularly ideal in the Gulf Region,” explained Emporis of Dubai’s list domination. “Firstly there are sufficient providers of capital for major projects of this kind, and secondly, urban planning is not tied to preserving a distinctive existing skyline – meaning that such gigantic development projects can be given the green light.”

ten tallest residential buildings

Ten Tallest Residential Buildings

Emporis believes Dubai’s stranglehold atop the list of the world’s tallest residential buildings could be threatened as other cities around the world adopt sky-high living.

In Mumbai, India, the 442-metre World One skyscraper is expected to be completed in 2015 and will overtake Princess Tower in height. In Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Diamond Tower is projected to come in at 432 metres.

With the desire for urban living on the rise, cities are becoming denser, spaces are smaller, and venturing upward looks to be the way of future living.