By Kevin Brass

Nine months after Burj Khalifa opened with a massive fireworks and light show, 90 percent of the apartments in the world world’s tallest building are empty, a Dubai agent says.

With only about 75 of the 900 apartments in the tower occupied, asking rents in the tower have fallen almost 50 percent, Better Homes sales adviser Laura Adams told Gulf News. Studio apartments are now available for about $1,800 a month, down from $3,000, while two-bedroom units once priced at $7,100 a month now rent for about $4,300.

Interested parties “call every few days and go for a viewing,” apartment owner Imad Ben Khadra told a reporter for Time. “We got some offers [from prospective tenants], but nobody confirms.”

The Moroccan expatriate bought two 1,000-sq.-ft. one-bedroom apartments in 2008 for about $950,000 each, according to the report.

Another owner, Varun Chaudhary, told Time he is confident the market will return.

“These properties will recuperate faster than other properties because it’s an icon, because it’s only one in the world,” he says. “You just have to say ‘Burj Khalifa.’ That’s the address; you don’t have to explain. It’s a style statement in itself.”

Meanwhile, the chief executive of Nakheel, the developer subsidiary of Dubai World, says the emirate is ready to absorb the oversupply of residential property.

“The general oversupply will be cleared in three to five years and will be driven by the economic growth,”  Nakheel c.e.o. Chris O’Donnell told Arabian Business. “Things can happen to cause oversupply to be removed fairly quickly. Our view is based on what we are seeing in the market.”