Dubai And Abu Dhabi Office Sectors See Rent Increases In Q1

Dubai And Abu Dhabi Office Sectors See Rent Increases In Q1

Have you observed the development of job rents in Dubai and Abu Dhabi? This style is becoming a big problem for businesses. These two cities saw a quality increase in office sector rent in the first quarter of this year. The choice of office location continues to grow, affecting the cost of apartments in the Prime, Grade A, and Grade B markets.

Dubai And Abu Dhabi Office Sectors See Rent Increases In Q1

In Dubai, the office rental market remained very active in the first quarter of the year. The Dubai Land Department reported 46,850 rental registrations, a 35.8% increase from last year. This growth was largely driven by a 51.1% rise in new rental registrations, totaling 34,461. 

Renewed contracts also saw growth, with 12,389 registrations, marking a 6.1% increase from the previous year. This demand spans across various sectors, notably financial services, including hedge funds and asset management firms. Dubai’s market dynamics are drawing global corporations, making it a competitive location for office space.

Despite a shortage of supply, Free Zone areas continue to see significant market activity. Developers are fast-tracking future developments in both Free Zone and Non-Free Zone locations to meet the rising demand. The average occupancy rate in this market segment reached 91.3% in Q1 2024, up from 90.1% the previous year.

This higher occupancy rate and the limited availability of quality office space are driving up rental rates. In Q1 2024, the average rents for Prime, Grade A, Grade B, and Grade C offices increased by 7.6%, 17.9%, 21.6%, and 16.8%, respectively.

The rental rates per square foot per year are AED255 for Prime, AED192 for Grade A, AED162 for Grade B, and AED131 for Grade C. 

Abu Dhabi Office Sectors Highlights

The office sectors in Abu Dhabi also saw significant activity in the first quarter of 2024. A total of 10,475 rental contracts were registered, showing a 9.1% year-on-year growth. This was mainly due to a 21.2% increase in new rental registrations, while renewed contracts dropped by 5.1%.

The primary demand for office space in Abu Dhabi comes from government-linked entities, especially in on-shore locations. However, the limited availability of quality office space remains a challenge.

To address this, some entities are considering build-to-suit options, particularly in central business district (CBD) locations, to meet their future needs. 

The average occupancy rate for institutional-grade buildings reached 94% in Q1 2024, up from 92.5% the previous year. This increase in occupancy levels supports the growth in rental rates. In the year to Q1 2024, average rents for Prime, Grade A, and Grade B offices increased by 6.6%, 3.4%, and 9.7%, respectively.

High-quality assets, especially Prime and Grade A offices, are expected to continue outperforming the market due to the ongoing flight-to-quality trend and limited supply.

Dubai And Abu Dhabi Office Sectors See Rent Increases In Q1

Factors Driving Demand

Economic Growth

One of the main factors driving the demand for office space in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is the strong economic growth. The UAE’s economy has been growing steadily, attracting businesses from around the world. This growth is particularly evident in the financial services sector, where hedge funds and asset management firms are seeking office space.

Also Read: 5 Billion Man-Made Moon in Dubai Is It Real

Business-Friendly Environment

The UAE offers a business-friendly environment with various incentives for companies to set up operations. This includes tax benefits, ease of doing business, and a strategic location that serves as a gateway to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. These factors make Dubai and Abu Dhabi attractive destinations for global corporations.

Infrastructure Development

Both cities have seen significant infrastructure development in recent years. This includes improvements in transportation, telecommunications, and other essential services. These developments make it easier for businesses to operate and contribute to the growing demand for office space.

Challenges in the Market

The rising rental rates are a challenge for businesses looking to set up operations in these cities. As demand continues to outpace supply, rental rates are likely to keep increasing, making it more expensive for companies to secure office space.

With the growing demand for office space, competition for available units is becoming fierce. This competition is particularly intense in Free Zone areas, where many businesses prefer to set up due to the various benefits offered.

Future Developments

There is also a growing focus on sustainability in new office developments. Many developers are incorporating green building practices to create energy-efficient and environmentally friendly office spaces. This trend is likely to continue as businesses increasingly prioritize sustainability.

Another key trend in future office developments is the integration of technology. Smart office buildings with advanced technology features are becoming more popular. 

These buildings offer various benefits, such as improved energy efficiency, enhanced security, and better connectivity, making them attractive to businesses.

Dubai And Abu Dhabi Office Sectors See Rent Increases In Q1

Impact on Businesses

The rising rental rates in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have significant cost implications for businesses. Higher rents mean increased operating costs, which can impact profitability. Companies need to carefully consider these costs when planning their office space requirements.

Given the high competition for quality office space, businesses need to be strategic in their location choices. Selecting the right location can provide various benefits, such as proximity to clients, access to skilled labor, and better infrastructure. Companies need to weigh these factors when choosing their office space.

In the current market, businesses need to be flexible and adaptable. This includes being open to different types of office spaces and locations. For example, some companies are considering co-working spaces or temporary office solutions to meet their immediate needs while they search for permanent office space.


Dubai and Abu Dhabi are experiencing significant increases in office rents, driven by strong demand and a limited supply of quality office space. This trend is evident in the growth rates for Prime, Grade A, Grade B, and Grade C offices in both cities.

As businesses continue to seek quality office spaces, the competition for available units is likely to keep rental rates high. 

With few new developments on the horizon, the strong performance of the office sectors in both cities is expected to continue. Businesses need to be strategic in their approach to office space, considering factors such as location, cost, and flexibility to navigate this dynamic market.

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