Muslim influence on the development of skyscrapers started over 500 years ago. The 16th-century city of Shibam in Yemen is the oldest skyscraper-city in the world. This is the earliest example of urban planning based on the principle of vertical construction. Shibam was made up of over 500 tower houses, each one rising 5 to 11 storeys. The city had the first high-rise mudbrick buildings, with some over 30m tall. These remain the tallest mudbrick buildings in the world. The tallest building in the city is the mudbrick minaret which stands at 53 m tall. Although some have been refurbished the majority of the buildings date back 500 years, an incredible feat considering the technology available at the time.

Bangladeshi Muslim engineer Fazlur Khan, considered the Einstein of structural engineering and the greatest architectural engineer of the second half of the 20th century produced designs of structural systems that remain fundamental to all high-rise skyscrapers, which he employed in his constructions for the John Hancock Center and Sears Tower. The Sears Tower remained the world's tallest building until 2007, when the Burj Dubai surpassed it. Another innovation in skyscraper design and construction developed by Fazlur Khan was the concept of X-bracing which reduced the lateral load on the building by transferring the load into the exterior columns. This reduces the need for interior columns thus creating more floor space.

Burj Dubai in UAE is the tallest skyscraper in the world presently, dominating all height-related ranking criteria, bringing the tallest skyscrapers back to Arabia.