Marina 101: Highest floors in Dubai’s second tallest tower to go on sale

Sheffield Holdings hopes to sell the most exclusive penthouses at level 100 for as much as Dh2,000 per square foot.

Marina 101 (fourth building from the left with crane at the top) has its top floor apartments for sale. Gilles Ledos / Bloomberg
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Stepping out of the rickety construction lift into an apartment on the 80th floor of Marina 101, one experiences a slight head rush – perhaps it’s the sight of the cars down below on Sheikh Zayed Road barely the size of ants, perhaps it’s the fact that the air conditioning has not yet been installed.

Whatever the cause, one thing is certain: these flats are a long way up.

When completed at the end of December, the 426-metre tall tower will be the second tallest tower in Dubai after Burj Khalifa.

“What you can see from here is the worst view we have to offer,” says Patrick El Khoury, the chief operating officer for Sheffield Holdings, the private company building the tower gazing out at the vertiginous view of Emirates Golf Club below and Burj Khalifa in the distance. “When you reach level 94 you get a complete sea view.”

The tower, which is set to overtake the nearby 414-metre Princess Tower as the tallest tower in Dubai Marina, will comprise a 300-room hotel on the first 33 floors, with another 45 floors of 420 one and two-bedroom hotel apartments above – most of which were already been sold off to investors before the global financial crisis.

But the top 20 floors of the tower, including some of the most expensive penthouses in Dubai, remain unsold with 60 three-bedroom apartments on levels 80 to 94 set to go on sale for the first time at Cityscape Global.

A quick nose around this comparatively modest 3,650 square foot apartment reveals a rotunda- style entrance hall complete with grand marble inlays and even whizzy electric curtains that you can open and close with a remote control.

Prices for these apartments start at Dh1,600 per square foot (equating to about Dh5.8 million) but increase rapidly the higher up the tower you ascend.

Sheffield Holdings hopes to sell the most exclusive penthouses at level 100 for as much as Dh2,000 per sq ft – equating to an eye-watering Dh30m for the 15,000 sq ft pads.

“Show me a property that is at level 100 that has the same components, we can compare it,” says Mr El Khoury. “The uniqueness of this property gives the right to ask for that kind of price per square foot. The wealthy people who will buy these units will often want to design the finishes themselves with their own swimming pools and private gardens.”


How does Marina 101’s height compare with other tall towers?

At 426 metres in height, Marina 101 will be the second tallest tower in Dubai behind Burj Khalifa, which is 828 metres high. According to the skyscraper database Emporis, that would be enough to make it the 15th tallest building in the world, pipping the 423-metre Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago.

When can people actually move in?

Launched in June 2006 with an original anticipated completion date of 2010, investors who bought off-plan apartments in the lower floors of the tower have been waiting a long time to get a return. Construction was hit by the global financial crisis. Nonetheless, Sheffield Holding says that the building is now 85 per cent complete and will be finished by the end of 2014 – although handover will come three to four months later, ­depending on clearances from the Dubai Land Department.

Who owns it?

Marina 101 has been developed by the developer Sheffield Holdings, which is owned by founder Abu Ali Malik Shroff. Most of the funding has come from off-plan sales and Mr Shroff’s private funds, Sheffield Holdings said.

What’s going to be at the top?

According to Mr El Khoury, the very top floor has been reserved for a restaurant offering panoramic views of the city. Previous reports suggested the venue could also be used as a nightclub.

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