The Downtown is the location for the Sky View tower, with Address being the hotel operator. Emaar has in the recent past sold some of its other hospitality-focussed assets as well. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A European fund has bought the Sky View tower in Downtown Dubai for Dh750 million plus from Emaar, further confirming increased buyer activity in UAE’s commercial real estate assets. The Sky View also features an Address hotel as well as residential apartments with prices from Dh1.5 million.

This is also one of the biggest deals in the UAE’s property space in recent months, suggesting that buyers are on the lookout for fairly valued real estate deals. Property prices for commercial and residential assets have reset significantly over the last two years, and more so after the pandemic struck.

The consultancy Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty acted as advisor in the high-profile transaction. A spokesperson at the company declined comment on the name of the European fund or further details about the deal. Official confirmation is awaited.

Emaar had in late 2018 sold five of its hotel properties to ADNH (Abu Dhabi National Hotels) in a Dh2.2 billion deal.

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Keep the Address

It is believed that the Address will remain the operator of the hotel component at Sky View. There are 169 hotel rooms and 551 apartments along with a floating sky bridge and 70-metre Infinity pool. The construction side of things was completed in December 2019.

While one-bedroom units are from Dh1.5 million, a five-bedroom penthouse at Sky View carries a tag of Dh11 million. The Downtown Dubai had done fairly well in generating buyer interest through the second-half of last year. Property values remain under pressure but didn’t see the kind of declines some other locations experienced during the period.

“European funds are looking at Dubai’s Triple A hospitality assets since prices, yields and visitors are all aligned for an investor,” said an industry source.

Aldar tees off

In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties closed the year with a Dh180 million deal to sell the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, which includes a Marriott-operated hotel, to an unnamed investor.

“Nearly one billion dirhams from two deals is proof that buyer interest in UAE property is still very much there,” said an industry source. “What’s significant about the Sky View deal is that an overseas fund bought in. That’s a major shot of confidence.”

Two-way flows

It’s not just happening in one direction. Local developer-investors are retaining their commitments to the UK and European property, with Damac recently confirming that it will be raising its stake in its Nine Elms project in London.

And there was Gulf Islamic Investments confirming it’s on track with its first exposure as investor-developer in European real estate – via a super-luxury project in London’s Kensington locale. The 2 Lucan Place is “not only a landmark project for GII but represents a pivotal moment in our growth trajectory with enormous potential to further expand our footprint across the UK and Europe,” said Mohammed Al Hassan, co-CEO of GII.

With the Sky View deal now done and dusted, Dubai’s property market is getting some of that funding action as well.