Dubai Office Rents Are Rising Faster Than In NYC and London
Office rents in Dubai are rebounding for the first time in six years, rising faster than in New York or London as global banks and businesses expand into the financial hub known for its love of glitzy construction.
The rush for office space in the emirate is on show in skyscrapers like ICD Brookfield Place, which towers 928.5 feet (283 meters) over the financial district. The tower opened just as the pandemic spread globally, but roughly 90% of its 1.1 million square feet of office and retail space is now taken or under offer, with a long wait list for the rest.
Tenants include UBS Group AG, Israeli fintech firm Rapyd and Pernod Ricard SA, which relocated staff from Hong Kong.
Demand for space in the skyscraper and across Dubai is surging as the emirate attracts more wealth and expats due to its nimble response to the pandemic and relatively easy access to visas. Meanwhile, workers are returning to offices at a particularly high rate. A growing clutch of firms are also expanding in the sun-splashed business hub as they move offices from places like Hong Kong and Russia.
“The whole market is sort of lifting itself up,” said Rob Devereux, chief executive officer of ICD Brookfield, a joint venture between New York-based Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund, Investment Corporation of Dubai. “We’ve seen the return to the office much stronger than other jurisdictions” like the US and the UK, he said.
The turnaround in Dubai marks a significant shift in the city’s commercial real estate sector, which was one of the hardest hit during an oil-induced property slump in 2014.