SHANGHAI: The world's highest observation deck - 474 m - situated at the Shanghai World Financial Center (SWFC) will open to the public tomorrow.
The newly opened SWFC is 492 m tall, 71 m taller than the nearby Jin Mao Tower.
It has 101 floors with a gross floor area of 381,600 sq m. The building houses offices, a hotel, shopping malls, restaurants, and a media center.
Observation decks are on floors 94, 97 and 100.
Most visitors, no doubt, will head for floor 100. It commands a panoramic view of the downtown area of Shanghai and the Huangpu River. The fee for the observation decks will be between 100 yuan ($15) and 150 yuan per head.
The SWFC estimates the annual number of visitors will be 3 million.
The city has two other observation decks, one at the Oriental Pearl Tower (OPT) and the other at Jinmao Tower. Market analysts believe the three will be in fierce competition with each other.
An OPT official said Jinmao Tower's observation deck when it opened had an impact on the number of visitors to OPT and SWFC will be the same.
However, he was confident OPT "will be able to compete because we provide more than a view of the city - cruises, entertainment and a museum".
Lei Hua, a tourist guide based in Nanjing, told China Daily that visiting skyscraper observation decks was a top choice of tourists.
"Although they have to pay extra, three out of four clients opt for it," she said.
Xia Weili, deputy general manager of the Jin Mao Tower tourism department said Jinmao receives 7,000 to 8,000 visitors daily.
"We once received 15,000 visitors in day," Xia said.
She is very optimistic about the market. "The three of us provide different views of Shanghai."
Yao Weirong, director of Shanghai Sightseeing Bus Center told China Daily the company includes the observation decks of Jinmao Tower and the Oriental Pearl Tower in its one-day tour.
"We are looking forward to adding the SWFC on our must-do list soon," Yao said.