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15 July 2024

Billionaire Indians spending millions for Burj Khalifa address

By Parag Deulgaonkar

Indians are among top buyers in Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest residential tower and have invested Dh18 billion in Dubai’s real estate market last year.

Among those we know is BR Shetty, a UAE-based industrialist, who paid Dh45 million in 2005, to buy the entire 100th floor. Singapore-based Indian-origin businessman BK Modi, Danube Chairman Rizwan Sajan and Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty are among publicly known names who own apartments here. The list also includes a number of India-based industrialists.

So what drives them to buy in the 828-meter skyscraper?

“It’s all about the address, the affluence… and so I decided to buy here though I hardly stay for a few days here,” Modi told Emirates 24|7.

The businessman, who keeps investing in property, owns over 40 apartments in iconic towers across the world.

While BBC quoted Shetty, saying, "It is an iconic landmark known for its magnificent architecture and world-class comforts. To be able to own a piece of this one-of-a-kind structure is an absolute privilege and a matter of great pride. The view is spellbinding to say the least. You can see all of Dubai and its architectural beauty."

We reported that the costliest apartment deal of 2014, valued at Dh60 million, was transacted in Burj Khalifa. In fact, the number of investors buying apartments through home loans in the tower had doubled in the first nine months of 2014 compared to the same period last year.

Real estate agents say there has been a substantial increase in number of senior management level employees buying apartments.

“We are witnessing an increase in demand from people of senior management level… these people are taking loans and using their housing allowances to pay their equated monthly installments. They are living in it as a status symbol, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous,” a real estate agent with a top brokerage firm had told this website.

According to Reidin.com, the average selling price for registered transactions with Dubai Land Department stand at Dh3,650 per square feet in the first nine months of 2014 compared to Dh3,500 per square feet same period last year. The highest price paid was Dh5,285 per square feet.

India ranked 16th on a list of nations with the most ultra-high-net worth people, a 2014 report by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management said. Wealth Insight, a global firm that tracks the world’s uber-wealthy, expects the number of millionaires to grow to 358,057 in 2018 from 156,000 in 2013 with combined wealth of India’s affluent is expected to grow by around 44% between 2014 and 2018 to reach $2 trillion.

The 2,717-feet (828-metre) Burj Khalifa has 900 studio, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments, while there are 144 private Armani Residences. It currently houses the higher observation deck in the world (148th floor, 555 meters from the ground).

Emaar Chairman Mohamed Alabbar told Emirates 24|7 in 2014 that the company is not going to replicate its successful Downtown Dubai model anywhere in the emirate, ruling out plans to build a tower higher than Burj Khalifa.