Dubai skyscraper rents leapfrog counterparts in Seoul and Madrid

Rents for Dubai’s tallest office towers have overtaken those of Seoul in South Korea and Madrid in Spain over the past six months.

According to a Knight Frank index, Dubai skyscrapers were the 16th most expensive in the world – two places higher than when measured by the same index six months earlier.

It found that prime rents at Dubai towers in March 2015 fetched an average of US$43.50 per square foot per year– unchanged from the level recorded in September 2014.

However, that was still enough for it to leapfrog average prime skyscraper rents for both Seoul and Madrid, which both slipped down the table.

“A high-quality office environment is an essential part of building a business. With the economy improving, firms want offices that provide an inspiring place to work and demonstrate they value their employees,” said William Neill, a partner for commercial leasing at Knight Frank Dubai.

“Today the rent paid on an office workstation is usually less than the fee paid to a headhunter to replace a person who leaves. So companies want to use their offices as a way to make staff feel they are valued and important. You achieve that when you put workers in the building that appear as the backdrop during the stock market report on the evening news.”

The figures, which rank the world’s cities for centres of office and apartment blocks measuring more than 350ft in height, found that New York was the biggest climber with prime office tower rents up 20 per cent to reach $150 per sq ft per year, outperforming Hong Kong, the leading Asian skyscraper city.

However, Hong Kong still boasts the world’s highest skyscraper office rents at $250.50 per sq ft per year.

And the number of super-tall skyscrapers has also rocketed over the past decade, growing from 19 towers in the world measuring more than 1,000ft in 2009 to 79 today, of which 28 per cent are in the UAE and 40 per cent are in China.

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