Emaar Properties is selling observation decks of the world’s tallest skyscraper the Burj Khalifa, potentially raising one billion dollars for Dubai’s biggest developer amid a real estate downturn.
The property firm had appointed the Standard Chartered to advise it on the sale of the popular ‘At The Top’ tourist attraction. The Dubai government has a minority stake of 29.2% in Emaar. At over 828 meters, the Burj Khalifa is twice as tall as New York’s Empire State Building and nearly three times the height of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
At The Top is a popular tourist destination in Dubai, which attracted 15.92 million overnight visitors in 2018. The viewing decks make about $163 to $191 million a year. A financial official estimated they could be worth around one billion dollars.
The sales process began in November. Dubai is a regional hub for tourism, foreign trade, and business services, but has faced a slowing real estate market for most of the decade. It set up a real estate planning commission in September to regulate projects and avoid competition between semi-government and private firms.
Emaar has been divesting hospitality-related assets to finance existing operations and expansion, an industry official and a Dubai-based banker said. Earlier this year, Emaar hired Standard Chartered for the sale of its district cooling business, and last year for the disposal of five hospitality assets, which were sold to Abu Dhabi National Hotels.