x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Emaar's exclusive Address in Dubai is hotter than Bieber

They sold out even quicker than Justin Bieber tickets. In scenes reminiscent of the boom days in Dubai property, crowds queued - some for days - to get their hands on Emaar Properties' 542 serviced apartments that went on sale on Saturday.

People paid to stand in lines waited for two days to collect a token for an opportunity to purchase property from Emaar. Mike Young / The National
People paid to stand in lines waited for two days to collect a token for an opportunity to purchase property from Emaar. Mike Young / The National

They sold out even quicker than Justin Bieber tickets.

In scenes reminiscent of the boom days in Dubai property, crowds queued - some for days - to get their hands on Emaar Properties' 542 serviced apartments that went on sale on Saturday.

People sitting at the front of the queue at the Emaar Sales Centre in Downtown Dubai, braving Friday's 40°C heat, came from around the world.

Observers complained of scuffles breaking out, pushing and shoving in the queue, which by 8.30am on Saturday morning, snaked 110 metres down the road and was at some points four or five people deep. Some even complained investors were paying people to take their spot in the queue.

Their one aim: to get to the front of the queue quickly enough to get their hands on one of Dubai's glitziest addresses - The Address The BLVD. The 63-storey tower, which will be located close to the Dubai Mall, is set to be Downtown Dubai's second-tallest building. When completed in 2015, it will offer spectacular views of Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Fountain and the Arabian Gulf.

When the doors finally opened, business was brisk. Within just a few hours, the developer was forced to announce it had sold out.

"The strong response to the launch of The Address The BLVD is an indication of the robust demand for premium developments in established lifestyle communities," Ahmad Al Matrooshi, the managing director of Emaar, said yesterday as the company announced the sales figures.

"The sell-out of the serviced residences that were offered for sale demonstrates the strong investor confidence in the development credentials of Emaar, while underlining the positive growth trends witnessed in Dubai's real estate sector."

Although the developer did not say how much the apartments had fetched, market sources said the price averaged Dh2,500 (US$680) a square foot - a discount from average selling prices for serviced apartments in the area that usually go for about Dh2,700 per sq ft.

However, local agents were keen to point out the scenes on Saturday did not herald a return to the Dubai property bubble.

"The bubble is not back," said Mario Volpi, the sales and leasing manager at Cluttons in Dubai.

"These serviced apartments were competitively priced and in an area for which there is a lot of pent-up demand.

"Nonetheless, as the market starts to recover we think that the Government and developers should crack down on property speculators and stop them from doing things like flipping properties [selling them on almost immediately at vastly increased prices] so that we do not see the same sort of market patten as we did in 2008," he added.

Tickets for the US pop star Bieber's concert at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai on May 4 were still on sale last night.

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