By Bradley Hope and Wayne Arnold

DUBAI // High-flying businessmen will be able to host their board meetings on the uppermost floors of the Burj Khalifa when the commercial space opens this year.

Emaar Properties has reserved 10 per cent of the space in the tower for its own use, including three floors at the top that it will rent out for events and meetings, the chairman Mohamed Alabbar said last week. Property brokers estimated such a space could rent for as much as Dh10,000 (US$2,722) an hour.

“At the top it’s very small space,” Mr Alabbar said. “So we’re going to lease it out for board meetings, for companies, for workshops, for Louis Vuitton doing their corporate board meeting in Dubai. It is the very top.”
The rooms, located at a height of roughly 570 metres, would be highly sought after by businesses looking to enhance their image and host events in an iconic building, said Ron Hinchey, a partner at the property consultancy Cluttons.

“It would be a marvellous place for a meeting,” he said. “A large international company could have a corporate event and build some publicity around it. It could be a venue for landmark board meetings.”

Making the Burj Khalifa, formerly known as Burj Dubai, accessible to the public and to businesses that do not rent or own space there would help the tower play a bigger role in promoting Dubai’s image, Mr Hinchey added.

“When you get these iconic buildings in cities, you try to introduce as many elements to people outside of the people who are leasing or owning space,” he said. “The buildings are not investments on their own, but it adds value to the city itself.”

Emaar has yet to release details about the floors, but commercial leasing brokers estimate that the space would quickly rise to the top position for event organisers and command premium rates.

“It would be in the top class of space for events,” said Porush Jhunjhunwala, the manager of commercial leasing at the estate agency Better Homes.

The rental rate would be likely to range between Dh5,000 and Dh10,000 an hour, depending on the final specifications, he said. Renting a conference room in one of Dubai’s five-star hotels would cost less than Dh5,000.

The main restriction for the event spaces would be their limited size. They are small because the building tapers as it rises higher.