Dubai skyscrapers among 'most competitive in the world'

Knight Frank research ranks emirate 18th in terms of skyscaper rents
Dubai skyscrapers among 'most competitive in the world'
By Sarah Townsend
Thu 28 Sep 2017 10:45 AM

Tall buildings in Dubai command some of the most competitive rents in the world, a new study from Knight Frank shows.

Dubai’s skyscraper’s rents are on average $44 per square foot placing the emirate in 18th place in Knight Frank’s ranking contained in its Global Cities Report this week.

The report, which examines the rental performance of commercial buildings over 30 storeys, shows that Hong Kong’s skyscrapers continue to command the highest rents in the world at $304 per sq ft, followed by New York and Tokyo at $162 per sq ft and $140 per sq ft, respectively.

San Francisco, where rents have risen to $117 per sq ft, completes the top five, ahead of London which registers at $110 per sq ft.

Meanwhile, Toronto’s skyscrapers are experiencing the highest rental growth, rising 11.9 percent in the first half of the year to $58 per sq ft, Knight Frank’s analysis shows.

In comparison to many of the cities on the list, Dubai’s $44/sq ft average is highly competitive, and, what’s more rental rates remained flat in Dubai over the same period, at 0 percent.

Matthew Dadd, partner in commercial agency at Knight Frank, said that Dubai occupiers were much more likely to look at quality and location than pay a premium for tall buildings. “Given the range of striking skyscrapers which Dubai has to offer we do not see a premium paid for higher floors in skyscrapers,” he said.

“Occupiers’ priorities are focused on the efficiency of the floor plates as well as the amenities, vertical transportation and location of the building.”

Meanwhile, demand for tall residential properties in Dubai is also holding up. In a blog post to mark publication of the cities report, Maria Morris, partner, residential sales, at Knight Frank UAE, said that overseas buyers are still targeting Dubai – 136 different nationalities in 2016 – because of the city’s “well-placed strategic location”.

“A third of the world’s population is accessible within a four-hour flight of Dubai and two-thirds within eight hours, making the city a well-placed strategic hub for regional and global investors,” she wrote.

“Regulations introduced since 2013, aimed at deterring speculation and reducing market volatility, have heightened Dubai’s profile as a favoured destination for both regional and international property investors.”

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