It is a mixed-use skyscraper, consisting of offices, hotels, conference rooms, observation decks, and ground-floor shopping malls. Park Hyatt Shanghai is the tower's hotel component, comprising 174 rooms and suites occupying the 79th to the 93rd floors, which at the time of completion was the highest hotel in the world. It is now the third-highest hotel in the world after the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, which occupies floors 102 to 108 of the International Commerce Centre.
On 14 September 2007, the skyscraper was topped out and is 492 metres (1,614.2 ft), making it the 9th tallest building in the world and the fourth tallest structure in Mainland China. The SWFC opened to the public on 28 August 2008, with its observation deckopening on 30 August. The observation deck offers views from 474 m (1,555 ft) above ground level.
The SWFC has been lauded for its design, and in 2008 it was named by architects as the year's best-completed skyscraper. In 2013, the SWFC was exceeded in height by the adjacent Shanghai Tower, which is China's tallest structure as of 2017. Together, the Shanghai World Financial Center, Shanghai Tower and Jin Mao Tower form the world's first adjacent grouping of three supertall skyscrapers.