Remote work in Dubai: Tenants, home owners look for office spaces in properties

The concept of home office demand surged in the real estate market post-Covid as developers adapted to shift in priorities


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Sun 9 Jun 2024, 2:51 PM

Last updated: Sun 9 Jun 2024, 10:13 PM

More homeowners and renters are prioritising a decently-sized workspace in their properties. According to a white paper released by Property Market, this trend has become more prevalent since the Covid pandemic.

"The biggest evolution across markets since Covid-19 is that all our properties have one or more workspaces. Lots of people still work from home," said Nina Klishevich, general manager of Dubai at Blueground, an operator of furnished, flexible midterm rentals.

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This trend is being noticed by other real estate agents as well. "The Covid-19 crisis has hastened the transition to remote work, elevating its prominence," said Adham Younis, CEO of D and B properties. "Although the concept of home offices remains relatively new, it's anticipated to exert a considerable influence on property values."

Nina Klishevich
Nina Klishevich

He added that the idea gained traction, especially after Dubai attracted talents worldwide during the pandemic.

"These individuals are in search of living spaces that cater to their work requirements, necessitating more than just a small corner in the house," he said. "This has reshaped preferences in the property market, emphasising the growing significance of home office spaces, particularly among the younger demographic."

Adham Younis
Adham Younis

Developers taking notice

According to industry experts, several property developers are already taking notice of this trend and making changes to their existing plans to incorporate this.

"Major developers are picking up on the potential interest in home offices," said Paul Kelly, Operations Director at Allsopp & Allsopp group. "While it may not be the top priority for all clients, developers such as Majid Al Futtaim have noted this trend and incorporated separate spaces for home offices. Recently, they revamped the villa designs in phases 2 and 3 of their Tilal Al Ghaf project, Harmony, to include larger study and office spaces."

Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly

Another development which has incorporated this new demand is the 25hours Heimat developed by East & West Properties. "This branded residential project incorporates home offices into its apartment layouts," said Adham. "Alongside workstations and communal areas within the building, this integration ensures that residents can effortlessly balance work and leisure."

Real estate agent Shabna Ibrahim said that many developers now have what the industry calls the "0.5 trend" in their properties. "This means that most properties will have what is called a half-bedroom," she said. "It is not big enough to be made into a bedroom and does not have a bathroom attached, but it can be easily converted into a home office or a study. It has become increasingly popular since the pandemic."

Other priorities

Despite its growing popularity, Paul said home offices are not yet a 'deal-breaker' for clients. "While a dedicated home office is rarely a deal breaker for homeowners and renters, some seek a well-equipped study or office area if it aligns with their preferences," he said. "This could be a small, separate room or a designated space within a larger room."

He said that residents increasingly opt for the "urban village" concept. "Many are looking for homes with open floor plans and seamless indoor-outdoor living spaces, opting for spacious properties," he said. "This aligns with the popular concept of urban villages, which are communities that offer a complete living experience by combining work, leisure, and essential services all within close proximity."

According to Adham, this shift in priorities since the pandemic is because more people are spending time indoors and are prioritising personal spaces. "There has been a growing emphasis on properties that offer ample outdoor areas such as garden spaces and terraces," he said. "These outdoor spaces have become coveted features as they provide residents with opportunities for fresh air, relaxation, and recreation."


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