Dubai Fountain has paid for itself 10-fold, says Emaar chief

Properties overlooking $180m Downtown Dubai attraction have been sold at a premium - Alabbar
Dubai Fountain has paid for itself 10-fold, says Emaar chief
By Staff writer
Sat 28 Feb 2015 02:08 AM

A premium added to the price of properties overlooking Dubai Fountain has paid for the popular Downtown Dubai attraction 10 times over, according to the chairman of Emaar Properties.

In an interview with Nigerian press, Mohamed Alabbar revealed that the $180 million cost of Dubai Fountain had been recouped by the developer 10-fold through the sale of nearby homes.

“We installed our fountain for $180 million. Do you think I can charge people for it? No I can’t. But we discovered that every building we built with a view of the fountain, we make more money from the building than from the fountain probably ten times or more. I never knew that.”

Emaar first unveiled plans for Dubai Fountain in 2008 with the aim to replicate the spectacle of the fountain at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. It is the world's tallest performing fountain.

It has proved to be the star attraction of Emaar's multi-billion Downtown Dubai development with thousands of people watching its music and lights show every day.

Alabbar's comments are backed up by figures from Luxhabitat, Dubai’s luxury real estate brokerage, which conducted an analysis on properties above AED5 million ($1.36 million) sold in 2014. The results revealed that over 40 percent of these apartments last year were in the Downtown Dubai area.

It added that despite smaller sized apartments and higher prices per square feet, Downtown Dubai remains an attractive location for investors and end-users.

Its analysis said apartments at the Burj Khalifa, which overlook Dubai Fountain, emerged as the top-selling units above AED5 million in 2014.

Wafa Ghannam, manager, Better Homes Business Bay Branch, confirmed the premium put on Dubai Fountain apartments. He said: "The prices for apartments facing the fountain are higher than an apartment with a standard view of the overall community; client feedback is consistently that they are willing to pay the higher rates to secure a fountain view.

"In many cases, tenants and/or buyers with the right budgets list the fountain view as part of their key search criteria, rather than an add-on when approaching our agents. In addition, it can be noisy for tenants living in apartments with fountain views, particularly the Souk Al Bahar area, and yet, the majority of our clients still choose the fountain view over the quieter community view."

In 2013, Emaar launched a new tourism attraction - a boat trip around the 30-acre Burj Lake, giving visitors the opportunity to navigate the lake, which is home to the Dubai Fountain.

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