The land department added Britons were the third most active buyers while UAE citizens came in fourth. Pakistani buyers rounded out the top five. - File photo

DUBAI: Iranian investors have snapped up property worth $128 million in the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, in the last six months, according to data from Dubai's government, using cash in many cases as Western sanctions crimp access to banks.

Iranians were the second-largest buyers of luxury apartments and commercial space in the Burj Khalifa, after Indian citizens, in the first half of the year, Dubai's land department said on Tuesday.

Apartments in the 828-metre building range from 2,600 UAE dirhams ($710) to 3,800 dirhams per square foot, according to real estate brokers. This is much cheaper than average prices in prime locations in London which could range anywhere between $3,000 to $6,000 per square feet.

Foreign investors bought real estate assets worth 28.3 billion dirhams in the first half of 2012, up 36 per cent over last year.

The land department said 358 Iranians had purchased the apartments over six months to June 30 as Dubai's property market shows signs of slowly stabilising after home prices slumped by more than 60 per cent from their peak in 2008.

“Iranians have problems getting finance, which is why they are mostly involved in cash buys,” said a Dubai-based real estate broker who declined to be identified.

“We have sold three floors on the Burj and this involved Iranian buyers.”

Economic sanctions aimed at curbing Tehran's disputed nuclear programme have cut off Iran's links to the international banking system, impacting its trade with Dubai.

In December, the US government pressured Dubai-based Noor Islamic Bank to stop channelling billions of dollars from Iranian oil sales through its accounts.

Dubai, 150 kilometres (100 miles) across the Gulf, has been a major trading hub for Iran for more than a century with an estimated 8,000 Iranian traders and trading firms registered in the emirate.

“Iranian investors have been in Dubai for a long time and have money here which can be easily invested,” Oliver Essex, a consultant with Powerhouse Properties, which specialises in Burj Khalifa property.

“Iranians usually buy property through their company due to sanctions.”

The land department added Britons were the third most active buyers while UAE citizens came in fourth. Pakistani buyers rounded out the top five.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (12)

Rev Eldrick Lal
August 7, 2012 3:46 pm
Who could decipher that Pakistani's are financial suffering! Folks, Pakistani’s have resources and capital and the only difference is that they want to spend huge finances in a foreign country, not in Pakistan due to the security measures and mafias.
August 7, 2012 3:47 pm
Can we have the names please, or should we guess...
Ahsan Mateen
August 7, 2012 5:04 pm
Good information on the Iranian investment, I don't understand where Pakistani people are discussed!
August 8, 2012 4:26 am
Where are "Pakistani Buyers " in this news.........??
August 9, 2012 10:09 am
What a misleading title!
Jam kamal
August 9, 2012 12:49 pm
Rightly said....where are pakistani? the headlines should have been Iranian top most buyer and Pakistanis at 5th.
world affairs
August 9, 2012 1:03 pm
change the heading of this article.
August 9, 2012 5:32 pm
a number of leading journalist have apartments in Burj with Kamran Khan topping the list......cheers
August 12, 2012 3:56 pm
Last paragraph :p
August 10, 2012 9:47 pm
Indians are the top buyers, and Iranians second... pak is not even anywhere. Change the misleading article
August 12, 2012 10:51 pm
Amer Rao
August 13, 2012 9:21 am
Fake news from UAE newspapers, thats why their Real Estate hit hard.
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