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14 July 2024

Last word in luxury

By Adrian Murphy



With the world’s tallest building and a shopping mall bigger than 50 football pitches, an address in Downtown Burj Dubai is arguably one of the most attractive on the planet. And the $73 billion (Dh277bn) development is prime real estate for investors who are looking to make substantial returns in a city that is experiencing a building boom, say the experts.


The one-square-kilometre complex, once complete, is expected to have a population of 100,000 living in its high-rise apartments and luxury hotels – with thousands more working in its offices and service industries.


A one-bedroom property in Downtown Burj Dubai today has a market price upwards of Dh1.7 million and in November a one-bedroom apartment in the 160-room Armani Hotel was sold for a record Dh10m.


Mahendran Yadav, managing partner of Emirates Homes Real Estate, which has more than 20 properties for sale in the development, said premiums for properties in Burj Dubai now stood at 100 per cent and more. “One bedroom apartments with an original price of Dh2.4 to Dh2.6m in 2005 are now going for Dh5m,” he said. “This is one of the world’s top locations and there will always be demand.


“Commercial property is being sold at up to Dh4,000 per square foot. This is in part due to its proximity to the Dubai Financial Market.”


Downtown Burj Dubai is located along Sheikh Zayed Road and will have its own Metro station, which, according to the Roads and Transport Authority, will be up and running as part of the Red Line in September 2009.


Deepti Gehani, property consultant for Desire Homes, which has more than 50 properties for sale ranging from Dh1.25m for a studio on the Boulevard to Dh5m for a three-bedroom Dubai Mall apartment, said the price depended heavily on the property and view.


“If you are in or near Burj Dubai then it will be more. We are looking at prices ranging from Dh1,800 to Dh4,800 per sq ft,” he said. “The premium depends on the time of purchase and people who have bought six months ago are getting between 20 to 25 per cent premium on full property value.


“In my opinion, Downtown Burj Dubai is the best area to invest and when completed will be the most prestigious square kilometre of property on the planet.”


Downtown is an American term for central business district and Downtown Burj Dubai will have millions of square metres of office space, although it is not yet clear which companies will be relocating to this new business hub.


Burj Dubai Square, which is already completed, will be a key part of Emaar’s thrust into the business community and will provide one million sq ft of office space.


The area will be a mix of large and small companies with “global players” already confirmed according to Emaar, which is to open up its own Emaar Malls Group offices there.


In September, Burj Dubai was recognised as the world’s tallest freestanding structure at 556m, overtaking the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, which stands at 553.3m. It is now also taller than the world’s tallest building, surpassing the Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan at 509.2m, completed in 2004.


The final height of Burj Dubai has not yet been officially disclosed, but according to its developers, the final elevation will be above 700m. On websites the final height has been estimated as reaching 818m, but only time will tell.




Sunny Rahbar, co-founder and director of The Third Line art gallery in Al Quoz, has lived on the 9th floor of The Residence since May.


“I really love living here. There is a mixed community of young families and professionals and there are people moving in all the time. I bought it ready-to-move-in, so it was more expensive than off-plan. But I think it has gone up 20 per cent, or Dh300,000. I’m hoping by 2009 it will go up by 100 per cent.


“We live in a construction site but it is probably the best construction site. I sit on the balcony and look at the Burj in awe and you notice something different all the time, like when they start putting water in the lake or the cladding on the outside.


“Now we are enjoying the downtown area and often I will meet up with friends or other residents for lunch or in the evening at one of the restaurants.”