what could ever top an awe-inspiring structure like the burj khalifa? well, maybe dubai pearl. although this isn’t a competitive attempt to erect the world’s tallest building, it’s the size and striking shape that make it stand out. designed by german schweger association architects, the mixed-use complex boasts a staggering 20 million sq.ft. spread over several high-rise towers and costs eur 2.6 billion [approx. usd 3.5 billion]. the complex features top-end apartments and penthouses for 9,000 residents, a business center, a 2,000-seat theater and no less than six five-star hotels [including vegas blockbusters mgm grand and bellaggio, and the newly established baccarat]. construction of the dubai pearl started in 2008 and its completion is scheduled for 2013. location: sheikh zayed road [al sufouh].