Dubai’s skyscrapers can aim still higher

Dubai SkyscrapersImage Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Even with the sharp spikes they experienced at the tail end of last year and in January, average values in Dubai’s high-rises have a lot to climb before they can take on the likes of Hong Kong or Tokyo.

Dubai was ranked 18th in the latest Skyscraper Index compiled by the consultancy Knight Frank, which was released late yesterday. Its high-rises had an average prime capital value of $620 a square foot compared with the Hong Kong’s $6,330 a square foot. Second placed Tokyo had capital values a sharp 50 per cent lower than in Hong Kong, at $4,180. (These are based on asking values for the top floors of a high-rise.)

Based on current estimates, among the costliest high-rise abodes would be in Burj Khalifa (around Dh4,000 per square foot), the Cayan (Dh2,400 per square foot), Index Tower (Dh2,400 per square foot) and 23 Marina (Dh1,700 plus per square foot). In Abu Dhabi, Sky Tower looms over the rest with an estimated Dh1,630 a square foot, according to Global Capital Partners’ data.

Europe trend

London high-rises came out on top in Europe, according to the Knight Frank study, with capital values more than double those in Paris or Frankfurt. The most notable gain was in San Francisco, which shot ahead of four Asian cities to be ranked fifth in the index and a dramatic improvement on the ninth position at the time of the previous repot last spring. The acceleration was driven by the rapid growth in California’s tech sector, according to the consultancy.

With key sectors back on the ascendant from a growth point-of-view, office high-rises are not exactly hurting when it comes to occupancy. Here, there seems to a pattern from past upturns.

“Worth noting is recent evidence of hi-tech companies moving into skyscrapers,” said James Roberts, head of commercial research at Knight Frank. “There are past examples of new industries during their ascendance phase choosing to take tower space for their offices, as an arriviste statement.”

“Examples include the 1931 Chrysler Building, during the inter-war boom for motoring, and the Pan Am Building in the 1960s, when air travel was first becoming a mass market. As the digital technology revolution continues, skyscrapers could offer a quick way of delivering large blocks of office space to keep pace with rapid headcount growth for such firms.”

Adding to this, Robin Teh, Country Manager - UAE, Chestertons Mena. said: “Currently, investors have a lot of choice within the residential and commercial sectors right from low-rise buildings to several high-rises across various master-developments. As far as the skyscrapers are concerned, we have not seen any significant price appreciation within these properties over the last three months.”

Skyscraper Index
Average values
City Prime Capital Value ($ per sq ft)*
Hong Kong 6,330
Tokyo 4,180
New York (Manhattan) 2,980
London (City) 2,400
San Francisco 2,260
Singapore 2,000
Sydney 1,740
Shanghai 1,670
Beijing 1,600
Los Angeles 1,230
Seoul 1,210
Paris (La Défense) 1,170
Frankfurt 1,170
Moscow 1,140
Chicago 950
Mumbai 780
Madrid 720
Dubai 620
Kuala Lumpur 598
Source: Knight Frank

You may also like this: Top 15 super skyscrapers in Dubai

Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor, gulfnews.comGN


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