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“Space as a Service:” New report explores evolving trends in workplaces in the UAE

For occupiers, real estate is now a strategic priority in their business and the workplace represents a further strategic lever available to business leaders in their pursuit of competitive advantage.

Real estate decisions influence and reinforce an array of business priorities Knight Frank estimates that currently there are 38 institutional flexible working locations in the UAE, rather than traditional serviced offices, which they expect to increase further over the coming years “Growth will be underpinned by the easing of visa restrictions, which allows easier and lower cost company formation for start-ups" - Taimur Khan, Associate Partner, Development Consultancy and Research at Knight Frank Middle East

For occupiers, real estate is now a strategic priority in their business and the workplace represents a further strategic lever available to business leaders in their pursuit of competitive advantage.

Real estate decisions influence and reinforce an array of business priorities – from talent management, corporate and social responsibility, inclusion and diversity, to the transformation of corporate culture and brand or the restructuring of business models in light of rapid technological advances.

Therefore, occupiers failing to put their space at the heart of their strategic agenda is detrimental to their business.

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The (Y)our Space report, a Knight Frank flagship publication, identified five themes shaping the workplace environment:

  1. The productivity push
  2. Next wave technologies
  3. Changing corporate constitutions
  4. ‘Space as a service’
  5. Mobility and merger underpin occupier activity

Knight Frank Middle East has identified four trends that will be key in increasing demand and supply for flexible space in the UAE going forward:

  1. The productivity push
  2. Talent management
  3. Changes in regulations
  4. Flexible space and the GCC’s economic cycles

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Knight Frank estimates that currently there are 38 institutional flexible working locations in the UAE, rather than traditional serviced offices, which we expect to increase further over the coming years. 

“Growth will be underpinned by the easing of visa restrictions, which allows easier and lower cost company formation for start-ups. More so, we expect greater demand for flexible space as the regional economies open-up, which will only further entrench project led business practice and thus corporates’ desire for more flexible space across the region,” said Taimur Khan, Associate Partner, Development Consultancy and Research at Knight Frank Middle East.

Matthew Dadd, Partner, Commercial Agency & Occupier Solutions at Knight Frank stated ‘’Looking ahead, we expect the provision of flexible working space to increase in the UAE, both within occupiers own real estate space but by developers, landlords and operators as well.’’

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