UAE’s thriving commercial real estate industry contributes to world’s biggest office setup powerhouses, and home to thousands of startups, SMEs and MNCs that makes up its rich business community. Already an international business hub, UAE is also a growing cosmopolitan marketplace for workspace industry that has offers the most versatile office setup solutions in the world. According to Knight Frank’s Skyscraper Index, Dubai ranked as the most affordable locations for a skyscraper office with just around USD 43.50 per square foot against Hong Kong at USD 255.50, New York USD 153, Tokyo USD 125, London USD 122, Singapore USD 93.25, Beijing USD 67 and Mumbai USD 52 per square foot.
Dubai is one of the most desired destination to setup an office from financial, administrative and legal standpoints. Currently, Dubai is home to 138 out of the Fortune 500 companies with dedicated offices opened to cover the region.
An office space can be leased and set to a fully operational stage, thanks to UAE’s benchmark office space setup laws and incentivized leasing plans which allows any business to pay and movie in less than a day.
UAE ranks at the 21st spot of World Bank’s 2017 Ease of Doing Business Index report
Why/When is a Physical Office Space Required in UAE?
Business entities that plan on opening any form of company must abide by UAE’s business laws. Therefore, such companies are required to consolidate an office space as means of a legal presence to show eligibility for UAE trading license. Every form of jurisdiction offers a different set of rules for offices in UAE and is controlled by their respective judicial authorities. For instance, a foreign entity opening a branch office must file application with the Ministry of Economy and Commerce and the secure approval from the Department of Economic Development.
An office space is particularly crucial for companies that are transitioning from their initial startup stage and set on growing their reach and operations in the region. Under such cases, a physical space to spearhead operations, manage resources and efficiently allocate tasks face-to-face becomes imperative.
It also allows the business to invite its clientele and openly deal in a professional environment instead of settling terms on online channels.
Moreover, a physical work space allows the government officials to conduct routine inspections, monitor the company’s operations and ensure that all laws are adhered to.
Types of Office Space Options in UAE
Leasing an office deeply depends on the type of business and its legal jurisdiction, since each enterprise is unique and requires its own working style. The following 3 are the most common types of offices used in UAE.
- Mainland (Onshore) Office
One of the most popular forms of work space occupancies is Mainland (onshore) office. This requires the business entity to either own or lease property from a mix of options ranging from professional business centers, commercial and residential shells or even sublets offered by third parties. This form of occupancy allows a long-term tenancy of 3 to 5 years. Since the rates are mostly negotiable, the onetime upfront forgoes the overheads involved in monthly payments. Moreover, there are no minimum rental period restrictions and the both parties can negotiate on certain provisions as terms of the contract. Usually, a fair penalty is decided in case of early termination of the lease.
- Free Zone Office
Unlike mainland/onshore, free zone offices do not require notarizations or approvals from the government ministries, but instead are solely controlled by their respective free zone authority. Since different free zones offer specialized benefits for specific trading, the business activity, employee strength and visa eligibly significantly influence the type of work space the company is fit to rent. This helps determine the most suitable zone and the minimum amount of space the SME or Large Enterprise needs. Companies can choose from different tiered packages with preinstalled, customized or furnished space with remodeling options.
- Serviced Office
A serviced office is predominantly famous among businesses that look for a self-sustaining, full featured and ready to move in solution. Such offices offer monthly to daily payment plans with services including cleaning staff, dedicated receptionist, Wifi Internet, IT support, surveillance, security and secretarial services etc. The insides of the offices are high end fitted with all daily use office appliances, furniture and machinery. The pricing is mostly based on the number of features, location and infrastructure offered in the package. Serviced offices are a top choice among investors who need to operate outside of a free zone and are planning to keep their initial costs down.
How IBG Can Help
According to a latest report, office prices and rents in UAE will continue to decline in next 12 months, giving incentive to startups and SMEs in leasing offices spaces for the upcoming World Expo 2020
As UAE’s premier business setup agency, IBG Consulting works with the country’s best office space consultants who offer office space options in premium locations in Dubai, world-class infrastructure, affordable pricing, flexible payment plans in full featured and customizable packages for both mainland and Free zone business setups. We make sure that your workspace needs are met with the best quality of services in UAE and all across the world.