Commercial space shortage in Dubai

DUBAI — There is an unsatisfied demand for commercial property in Dubai right now, estimated to be about 2 million square feet, said Nicholas Maclean, managing director, CB Richard Ellis Limited (CBRE) Middle East.

By Lucia Dore (Senior correspondent)

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Published: Mon 27 Mar 2006, 9:25 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 3:39 PM

Although this demand will be satisfied over the next two or three years, because of the volume of commercial property coming on stream, but there remains a potential risk of over supply, he said.

The government has forecast that Dubai's population will need to grow by 7.2 per cent per annum over the next few years to ensure this commercial space is filled. And this, he said, was "an ambitious target".

Maclean also said that developers should be building more single-use developments to meet the requirements of multinational companies that Dubai wishes to attract. He said international investors are looking for specifically designed buildings rather than the mixed-use developments favoured by the UAE investors. This was particularly true in the financial district, he said. He added however that developers like Emaar and Nakheel, have started to realise this and also commented that "mixed used developments are very different here than elsewhere".

Maclean was speaking to Khaleej Times after the announcement that CBRE, the world's largest property advisory practice, is partnering with Dubai International Capital (DIC), the investment arm of Dubai Holding, and a Abu Dhabi real estate company, The Developers.

He said the aim was for CBRE to be strong across the whole MENA region and in all aspects of the real estate market. "Our partnership with DIC and The Developers is part of our strategic move to broaden our activity base in the region," said Maclean.

Commenting on the partnership, chief executive officer of DIC, Sameer Al Ansari, described the venture as a "landmark partnership," and said: "We aim to play an important role in the development of the real estate industry in the UAE by offering lucrative investment opportunities to potential investors."

He added: "Together, we will be able to significantly raise the bar of the real estate industry." DIC was established in 2004 and primarily focuses on private equity.

Measured by 2005 revenue, CBRE is the world's largest commercial real estate services firm. It has offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and advises investors, both inside and outside the region, on investment opportunities and how to create a more diversified property portfolio.

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