DUBAI // The long-awaited public sale of a new residential project in the heart of Downtown Dubai opened yesterday, with hundreds of people waiting overnight for the chance to buy.
Demand for Emaar's The Address The BVLD tower was so great that property agencies paid labourers to stand in line two days before the launch.
More than 500 people were outside Emaar Square 3 from 6am.
As Emaar opened its doors a few hours later, the labourers were replaced by the buyers themselves.
"We had four or five people waiting in the line since [Friday]," said Dev Pancholi, a real-estate agent. "As the launch started, the actual buyers have taken the place of the people in line and are now inside looking at the different properties available to them."
Demand is huge because investors are dealing directly with Emaar and because of the location of the project, he said.
"Downtown is a prestigious area and overall it's a good location to invest in," Mr Pancholi said. "The vast majority of our clients are buying to live in the apartments while a few will rent them out."
He said that many people were left frustrated after queuing. They had been given tokens by the developer that, in theory, would have given them an order to go into the sales office and buy the apartments they were looking for.
"After all the waiting yesterday the tokens they gave us were invalid today and it was just on a first-come, first-served basis," Mr Pancholi said. "It was a complete waste of time waiting in line."
The development features a 63-floor tower with serviced studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments, and four-bedroom penthouses. Prices are expected to be about Dh25,000 per square metre.
Zeeshan Ali, also a property agent, said it was an opportunity investors felt they could not pass up.
"If you have the money then this is a very good investment," he said.
Mr Ali added that by about midday, many of the larger two and three-bedroom apartments facing the fountain had already sold out.
"Apparently Emaar was only allowing one apartment sale per passport. The other apartments are still very attractive though."
A Lebanese buyer, who did not wish to be identified, said he was hoping to buy a studio or one-bedroom flat.
"The key thing is that the apartments will be serviced to a standard like The Address hotel," he said. "I'm looking at it as a long-term investment for 10 to 20 years as opposed to selling in the short term."
He said he expected many buyers to rent out the apartments.