Will the Porsche Tower drive ‘signature’ boom?

After the rotating towers, comes the Porsche Tower. I’m not sure which one sends you into a bigger wheel spin. A tower inhabited exclusively by Porsche drivers. If anyone has a more vivid mental image of hell, can they please transcribe it and send it in on a postcard?

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By  Sean Cronin Published  August 5, 2006

|~||~||~|After the rotating towers, comes the Porsche Tower. I’m not sure which one sends you into a bigger wheel spin. A tower inhabited exclusively by Porsche drivers. If anyone has a more vivid mental image of hell, can they please transcribe it and send it in on a postcard? News reaches us of plans being prepared by the famous German sports car company to build a Porsche-branded skyscraper in Business Bay. Forget that every one of your neighbours could well be a middle-aged, pony-tailed, high-fiving male who likes to say ‘Ciao’. Or that the elevators can do nought to 60, in five seconds. Irrespective of what the tower ends up looking like, the branding of buildings in this way is an interesting development for Dubai — and obviously a great hook for the developer in selling prestige value to potential investors. Porsche already has a well-established design business that operates independently of the sports car brand, so the interiors and finishing on the building is likely to be out of the top drawer. It is also an interesting development for the local real estate sector and perhaps indicative of an awareness among developers that now more than ever, they need to differentiate their buildings from the pack to ensure that they stack up commercially by ultimately attracting enough tenants to produce a yield. To an extent, it may also be indicative of the faith of companies like Porsche in the longevity of Dubai’s ‘exclusive’ appeal. After all, you couldn’t really see them doing it in Benidorm or Blackpool. Most international property consultants operating in this market point to an over-supply of apartments in Dubai by the third quarter of next year, and while there is a current deficit of Grade A office space, that too is likely to turn into a surplus, albeit at a later stage. Unlike in other more mature property markets, the ‘location, location, location’ mantra does not necessarily determine where an investor should acquire property here. That’s because most of the locations are still building sites. It seems that some tower developers introducing new products at this late stage of what is effectively Dubai’s first significant development cycle, are choosing brand over location — the Trump tower is another example. It’s a good idea in an environment where luxury brands are appreciated in a big way. And I guess it’s an idea that’s adaptable. With the current focus on affordable housing, maybe it won’t be too long until we see a Lada Tower unveiled too.||**||

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