By Anil Bhoyrul
Eager buyers bring blankets, food and drink as they wait to snap up units in development.
More than 300 people spent Friday night queuing up outside Emaar Properties' Burj Dubai sales centre, desperate to grab several new units in the developer's flagship project.
In unprecedented scenes, some buyers are thought to have paid nearly 8 million dirhams ($2.18 million) for one bedroom apartments in the Burj itself, and over 2 million dirhams for one bedroom apartments in Downtown Burj Dubai.
Emaar announced on Thursday it would be hosting a sales event for an "exclusive collection" of high-end homes drawn from various residential projects in Downtown Burj Dubai.
Residential projects included The Old Town, The Residences, South Ridge, Burj Dubai Lake Hotel & Serviced Apartments and The Dubai Mall Hotel & Serviced Apartments, some of which are ready to move into immediately.
The units officially went on sale at 9am on Saturday morning. However, by 3am queues had already built up, with many eager buyers bringing blankets, food and drink with them. Many were armed with cheque books and passports, keen to snap up anything they could.
"It got busy very early. The rumours have been going around of units going for 3,000 dirhams per square foot, which is very high but most people still think the price is going to rise a lot more as the Burj Dubai nears completion," said Robert Macnair, branch manager of property consultants Sherwoods.
"Many of these properties have gone up 25% in value within the last three months alone.”
Downtown Burj Dubai is being marketed as "a city within a city", and will include 30,000 homes, nine hotels, 6.2 acres of parkland, 19 residential towers, the Dubai Mall, and a 30-acre manmade lake.
The Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world, will be the centrepiece of the $20 billion development.