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Sat 15 Mar 2014 10:35 AM

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UAE cities dwarfed in global skyscraper rents index

Dubai ranked 16th in Knight Frank's analysis of world's most expensive upper-storey commercial rents

UAE cities dwarfed in global skyscraper rents index

Dubai might have the world's largest skyscraper but when it comes to high-rise rents, the emirate is dwarfed by the likes of Hong Kong and New York, according to a new report.

According to Knight Frank’s Skyscraper Index, Asian skyscrapers dominate a list of the most expensive high rise office space in the world, with Hong Kong and Tokyo ranked first and second. 

The new Knight Frank Skyscraper Index bases the commercial value of a skyscraper on an analysis of the capital value of upper-storey floor space.

Upper floors typically command premium pricing in the leasing market, achieving what are referred to as ‘nose bleed’ rents in Manhattan.

Hong Kong boasted by far the highest rents in the world at $69,222 per sq m, with Tokyo ($42,283) and Manhattan ($25,740) making up the top three positions.

By contrast, Dubai, which hosts the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, ranked 16th in the list, commanding top rents of $6,896 per sq m.

Abu Dhabi ranked 18th with rents reaching $6,251 per sq m, the Knight Frank list showed.

“Skyscrapers continue to capture our imagination. New buildings dominate newspaper headlines, and those with viewing galleries become popular tourist attractions. Island-based cities tend to embrace the tower to maximise space,” said James Roberts, the head of commercial research at Knight Frank.

“While Hong Kong and Tokyo are too far ahead to lose first and second place, I see some competition amongst Manhattan, London and Singapore in the coming year.

“In London there is renewed confidence thanks to better than expected economic growth and rising rents in the office market, and I suspect London could overtake Singapore.

“Given the economic uncertainty in emerging markets, in 2014 we will probably see some of the Asian cities slide down the table, and more western cities on the rise.”

Manhattan was the highest placed North American city, while London topped the European league.

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