Burj Khalifa: to live inside or view Dubai's towering giant from the outside?

Making up you mind can be a tall order for property buyers in the UAE

It is better to be on the outside looking in, or the inside looking out?

It sounds like a philosophy exam paper question that would lead to pages and pages of deep and meaningful explanations - plus a few smart-Alec responses consisting of three-word answers either way.

For property buyers in Downtown Dubai, it's a question that can gnaw away once etched into the mind as they try to decide how to invest millions of dirhams.

To home in closer on the decision that needs to be made, it is a question of whether to live in the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, or select a property that has a view of the striking structure from one of the plentiful luxury developments in its shadow.

Picking the view is like selecting a work of art to hang on your wall - it takes time and there are factors to consider.

Here, we've selected one property located in the 828m building, and one overlooking it.

Living in the Burj

The two-bedroom furnished Burj apartment in the slideshow at the top, is on the market for Dh5 million.

At 1,778 sq ft you are paying Dh2,812 per square foot - well above the February average of Dh2,023 per sq ft for Downtown, according to figures from Bayut.com. Prices in the area have fallen 8.43 per cent in the past year.

The address of course adds to the price here, though a quick look out of the floor-to-ceiling windows explains those extra dirhams pretty quickly.

The views take in the Dubai Fountains, the roof of the Dubai Mall and the Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is visible in the distance.

Its dark wood floor is pillar-free, unlike other units in the tower, so the views are uninterrupted. The crescent-shaped lounge-diner means you can see the twinkling lights of the surrounding skyscrapers from all angles, including from the kitchen, unless the huge rail of automated curtains are called into action. It's fair to say concentrating on the television while sat on the sofa wouldn't be easy with that panorama.

The city's top tower naturally comes with top amenities, such as indoor and outdoor pool and direct access to the mall an Armani Hotel.

Living close to the Burj

Residing in the world's tallest tower is quite a claim, but aside from bragging rights, there is a strong case for stepping to one side and parking your belongings, and money, on the other side of the fountains.

This Vida Residences Downtown duplex is a fine example of how you can appreciate the Burj without actually being inside it.

It is priced at Dh20m and comes with five bedrooms spread across 5,365 sq ft, so it comes in at Dh3,728 per sq ft which comfortably places it among the most expensive in the city for the space.

Located in the same tower as the Vida Downtown Hotel, residents have full access to the hotel's facilities and it takes little more than a casual stroll to get to the bright lights of Dubai Opera and Dubai Mall.

The apartment itself is a wonderfully cheerful affair, with the party piece being its triangular layout which creates a viewing point in the lounge from which the delights of Downtown can be taken in.

Extra drama is added by the sweeping staircase, at the top of which is another family lounge. It is this set up that sends it soaring into the Dh20m price bracket.

And, for the entrepreneurs out there, just think of the Airbnb potential on New Year's Eve when tens of thousands of dirhams could be raked in - even if you just let people use the four balconies on offer.

Q&A: Bipin Khanna and Lloyd Rosales-Cocks, private client advisers at LuxuryProperty.com

Do you find that buyers searching in the Downtown area gravitate towards units in the Burj or those that face it?

Well actually it really depends on the buyer and what they personally are looking for. Many people want a view of the Burj Khalifa, of course, but the Dubai Fountain is also important as well as proximity to the Dubai Mall.

Do they have any particular advantages over one another?

Both of these properties have their own unique features and although both are beautiful properties they aren't exactly the same. The advantage would really depend on whether you want to look at the Burj Khalifa from your home or whether you want to be living inside of it.

The property in the Vida Residences is actually a duplex penthouse with a view of the Burj and is in a bit of a dining hotspot on the Boulevard.

The apartment in the Burj Khalifa comes equipped with high end Roche Bobois furniture and gives you direct access to the Dubai Mall and the Armani Hotel.

Does the Burj still hold the lustre that it did in its early years for property buyers?

Living in the world's tallest building that is a globally iconic structure will always hold prestige for property buyers. Location is everything in real estate and this address is something that will stand the test of time.

Which offers better value when it comes to investment / resale?

Both options represent excellent value with the Burj Khalifa providing long-term security as an investment. The Vida property offers a higher potential ROI for investors looking for a greater cashflow.

What are the best buildings with views of the Burj?

Address Fountain Views - located just outside the main heart of Downtown so it can enjoy full panoramas of the Dubai Fountains.

Vida Residences - Perfect location on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard with direct access to some of Dubai's best restaurants.

Address SkyView - The newest addition to Downtown, featuring striking architecture and some of the city's most incredible views.

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