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Burj Khalifa broke its sales record in 2021 – and is set to do it again

Inside the Burj Khalifa
Inside the Burj Khalifa. Residents of the tower got a five percent reduction in service charge in 2021
  • The most expensive apartment in the skyscraper went for $6.4m
  • More than 50 units were sold in the first half of 2022
  • Demand is rising from people relocating to Dubai as well as investors

The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, recorded its highest residential sales in volume and value last year – and is on track to break that record in 2022.

Data from property consultancy Knight Frank and real estate analytics portal REIDIN shows that the volume of residential transactions at the Dubai skyscraper hit 106 in 2021, up 73.8 percent from the 61 units sold in 2020.

The tower’s most expensive unit sale was also recorded in 2021. The price paid was AED23.5 million ($6.4 million), compared to AED10.6 million for the biggest sale in 2020.

Sales “across the property market in Dubai” rose during the coronavirus pandemic, said Scott McGeachy, Business Bay branch manager at agent Betterhomes.

He told AGBI: “Both home buyers and investors took advantage of the low property prices, resulting in a surge in sales. Specifically, with the Burj Khalifa, prices per square foot were at an all-time low, and it saw a reduction in service fees.”

McGeachy added that the tower’s service fee had been reduced by five percent, because a reserve of service charge and funds had built up.

To date, Burj Khalifa buyers have comprised “a real mix of nationalities from Europeans to Indian, Chinese and Iranian,” he said.  

Before the pandemic, Burj Khalifa residential transactions had grown steadily from 32 in 2018 to 37 in 2019.

Knight Frank and REIDIN report that 54 units were sold in the first half of this year, putting Burj Khalifa on course to surpass the 106 record set in 2021.

Apartment interior, Burj Khalifa
An apartment interior at the Burj Khalifa Residences

Price rises outstrip the rest of Dubai

Property price increases at the Burj Khalifa have outperformed the rest of Dubai.

Faisal Durrani, head of Middle East research at Knight Frank, told AGBI: “Apartments on the world’s most recognisable island [Palm Jumeirah] have registered price rises of 26.2 percent in the last 12 months, with Downtown following closely behind at 24.8 percent.

“The Burj Khalifa has seen values grow by 89 percent over the same period, albeit this is a very small proportion of total city sales.”

Durrani added: “All three locations have benefited from the surge in international HNWI [high-net-worth individuals] demand for luxury homes in Dubai, which is sustaining tremendous price growth. 

“This demand continues to intensify against a backdrop of a very limited supply of premium properties.

“The extraordinary growth in house prices in Dubai over the last 12 months is best reflected in the fact that prices are up 6.3 percent since the onset of the pandemic, with villas leading the charge, registering growth of over 31 percent.

“These figures are for the mainstream market, but it is the very top end of the market that has experienced the sharpest rises.”

Knight Frank forecasts that another 100,000 units will enter the Dubai market by the end of 2025, with more than 50,000 homes due to be completed during the remainder of 2022. 

However, just 25 percent of the homes expected by 2025 are forecast to be villas.

Office Building, Building, High Rise
High net worth individuals from abroad are relocating to Dubai and are especially keen on the Burj Khalifa

Betterhomes expects the trend of buyers relocating to Dubai to continue, alongside interest from investors.

“That indication is still strong as there’s a lot of international buyers still registering with us and looking for homes, rather than just investment properties,” said McGeachy.

“Many buyers are relocating to Dubai as it is a very safe and positive place to live.

“We are witnessing a rise in investors, as Dubai is still a relatively affordable city with signs of significant capital appreciation compared to other major cities in the world, as well as being a tax haven.”