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Abu Dhabi: With annual rates starting at Dh110,000 for the lease of apartments in Abu Dhabi’s tallest tower, Burj Mohammad Bin Rashid, demand is strong from residents of various nationalities, according to Talal Al Dhiyebi, executive director of asset management at Aldar Properties.
Aldar is the developer behind the 92-storey tower — formerly known as World Trade Centre (WTC) — which was inaugurated on November 3.
“Demand into the second week continues to be strong for all units in the tower, and whilst we will not hit 50 per cent [sales] in the second week, people are still seeing World Trade Centre as a great location to live and enjoy a true city centre lifestyle in an iconic building at the heart of the city,” Al Dhiyebi told Gulf News.
On November 13, Aldar announced that 50 per cent of the tower’s residential units were rented — one week since the launch of the tower.
Al Dhiyebi said that investors include Emiratis, European, and North American young professionals, young couples, and families.
Meanwhile, Mathew Green, head of research at CBRE, a global real estate adviser, attributed high demand to strong market performance whereby there is an appetite from investors that is not met with enough supply.
“It’s a prime building in a fantastic location in the heart of Abu Dhabi, so we expect to have relatively premium rates attached. The leasing market has been exceptionally strong over the course of 2014 ever since the removal of the rent cap at the end of last year, which has obviously spurred on significant growth right across the market of about 13 per cent since the start of the year,” he told Gulf News.
Green added that being the tallest tower in Abu Dhabi brings along a status that attracts investors.
“Given the location of this development and the connectivity to the mixed use component of this project, I think you’ll always see strong demand for that. If you look right across that area of town, it will always be popular. I think that is a product that is undersupplied,” he said.
The tower’s proximity to WTC mall is also set to benefit the mall, increasing its footfall, according to Aldar’s Al Dhiyebi. The area also houses the Central Souq, along with various small stores that would benefit from having increased residents in the area.
Al Dhiyebi said that having nearly 500 people moving into the tower should impact retail, and food and beverage outlets in the mall.
However, CBRE’s Green questioned whether one tower’s residents are enough to drive positive impact to retailers.
“Obviously as the tower starts to be fully absorbed, that will have a knock on impact for the surrounding retail, but at the end of the day, it’s only one tower. During the day, you expect most of the people living in it not to be there. It can make a difference but I don’t think it will be fundamental,” he said.
The tower comprises of 474 units over 92 floors, with direct access to WTC Mall, the Souq, and WTC Offices.