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Dubai seen retaining status as top MidEast city for office demand
Dubai is expected to consolidate its position as the top city for corporate occupiers in the the Middle East and North Africa over the next three years, according to a new report by real estate investment and advisory firm JLL.
Its first Occupier Sentiment Survey in the MENA region said while there is still growth in demand in Saudi Arabia and Egypt from companies servicing these local markets, Dubai remains the preferred location for regional operations.
Dana Williamson, head of agency at JLL MENA, said: The results of our survey reflect that Dubai has solidified its place as the preferred business and financial centre in the MENA region. Buildings that offer high quality amenities and facilities, good accessibility and public transportation options, and strong property management are becoming increasingly more popular.”
She added: “As the majority of corporations remain focused on more efficiently using existing space, offices are transforming to improve workplace productivity.
“Sustainable space has also emerged as an important trend, as corporates increasingly understand the impact green building features and specifications have on lowering operational costs.”
The report said the UAE’s macro-environment remains strong and conducive to corporate growth and investment, offering ease of doing business, a transparent real estate market, and global connectivity.
It added that Dubai’s diverse economy and strong private sector has minimised the influence of oil price fluctuations, allowing it to achieve stronger economic growth than the rest of the UAE in 2014-2015.
JLL said high quality amenities, sufficient parking, good accessibility and international standards of property management are increasingly significant factors that influence occupancy and rental levels, as office densities increase and flexible working becomes more common.
It said occupier expansion or relocation plans may increase in the future, as MENA markets witness the delivery of Grade A office space in the next couple of years.
“While many corporates have expressed a preference to refurbish their existing space not all existing locations are suitable for this, meaning there is still some demand for new locations driven by the flight to quality,” the report said.
The JLL report also said the real financial benefits of occupying more sustainable space, particularly through lower operational costs, are starting to be recognised by occupiers in the MENA region.
“There is an increased willingness to pay a rental premium for sustainable buildings, as occupiers focus more on total occupancy costs over the period of their lease, rather than just on the initial rent. In Dubai, the sustainability trend is apparent as more developers are now seeking LEED certification to differentiate their buildings from the rest of the market,” it added.
By Staff writer
Saturday, 13 June