UAE Entrepreneurs Lead The Growth Of The Flexible Office Sector
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The flexible office sector in Dubai is set to continue to increase rapidly over coming years, states a Dubai-based real estate consultancy JLL.
The sector currently accounts for less than 1% of total office stock, a figure that could increase to around 5% by 2022, according to JLL’s new report titled ‘Disruption or Distraction’. The report notes that the amount of flexible space in the 20 largest office markets grew by 30% in 2017 alone, leading flexible space operators to now target large established corporates, in addition to their traditional focus on freelancers and startups.
Dubai stands out in the MENA region, with 55 projects offering around 70,000sqm of flexible office space. However, this sector is still relatively small, accounting for less than 1% of the total office space in Dubai, compared to over 3% in key office markets across Europe.
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The flexible office market in Dubai is currently dominated by two types of operators, international serviced office operators, such as Regus, ServCorp and My office, that between them operating from 25 locations in Dubai supplying around 27,000sqm of space, and landlords, particularly hailing from free zone authorities.
Current barriers to further flex space adoption include concerns around brand dilution, cost, security and confidentiality. But similar risks are associated with non-adoption, around staff retention and attraction, as well as being perceived as stale, the report states.
However, the demand is expected to grow since the report states that flexible office space will account for 30% of some corporate portfolios by 2030.