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Eye of Riyadh
Business & Money | Wednesday 20 March, 2024 12:00 pm |

Dubai’s High End Commercial Real Estate Enjoys a Boon

While many armchair analysts proclaimed the office dead in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the commercial real estate sector in Dubai is now reaching new heights, with high-end space especially in demand as businesses seek to stand out from the crowd and woo employees back with a workplace environment worthy of the daily commute.


Emirates REIT (CEIC) PLC (“Emirates REIT”), the largest Shari’a compliant Real Estate Investment Trust’s (REIT) in the world, which is managed by Equitativa (Dubai) Limited, has first-hand experience of this trend.  Emirates REIT is seeing robust demand for commercial space at its flagship Index Tower in Dubai International Financial Centre. Occupancy at the impressive 80-storey building, which was designed by Foster & Partners, continued to increase in 2023, to reach 82% in the third quarter of the year. At the same time, rents also increased significantly.


“There is an interesting dynamic in the market, with strong demand for higher-end commercial leasing,” said Thierry Delvaux, CEO, Equitativa (Dubai) Limited. “A year ago, the market was driven more by companies seeking to take on or expand their office space – but with an eye on costs. Now we see greater optimism – and more focus on the value that businesses can gain by investing in a higher-class office: An impressive place to invite clients for meetings, closer proximity to major regional and international companies, and a happier and more motivated workforce.”


Delvaux added that commercial tenants at Index Tower value being in an iconic, recognizable tower, that can be accessed easily by car, taxi or metro. Since Dubai’s white-collar workers have returned to the office in earnest, Delvaux said that companies are more likely to put a premium on ease-of-access for their employees.


“Employers want their staff to spend more time in the office because they see the value of collaboration and teambuilding that comes with people working in the same space, but they also understand that their employees don’t want to spend 30-minutes trying to access parking or walking a long distance from the nearest metro station,” Delvaux added. “And when they reach the office, they value being in a space that is good for their well-being and makes them feel motivated. It might be difficult to measure, but these non-tangibles pay off very quickly for employers.”


5 Reasons Why Index Tower Stands Out from the Crowd in Dubai’s Competitive Commercial Real Estate Sector


More than 13 years after it opened its doors, Index Tower, the iconic 80-story mixed-use tower continues to impress. The tower, situated in Dubai International Financial Centre, is not just visually striking – it is also popular with those who work and live in it, thanks to innovative features that were designed to inspire and promote wellbeing, while maximizing sustainability. Here are five reasons behind the ongoing appeal of the tower and its ability to command strong rental levels with strong, growing occupancy.


  1.  Location, location, location

Index Tower is strategically located in DIFC, which is recognized globally as the Middle East’s financial hub. It is close to Sheikh Zayed Road, the main artery through the heart of the city, and just a few minutes’ walk from DIFC metro station, making it convenient for employees and visitors.


  1.  Iconic design

Index Tower is one of the most recognizable commercial edifices in the UAE. At 328m tall, the building has a commanding presence and is distinctive for its four A-frame concrete 'fins' that taper as they rise, creating “a slender profile that reveals the building's structural system and internal organisation” according to Foster & Partners. Not surprisingly, the building won the award for” Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa” presented by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in 2011.


  1.  Energy efficiency

With sustainability moving up the agenda, organisations are increasingly mindful of their energy consumption and carbon footprint. Index Tower’s compact, high-rise form and efficient design reduces the need for mechanical cooling systems and artificial lighting. Its east-to-west orientation reduces solar gain, which becomes a game changer in the hot summer months, while the building's concrete frame absorbs heat and limits its reliance on air conditioning. A system of sunshades shelters the interiors on the exposed south elevation.


  1.  Seamless functionality

Above all, companies want their office space to offer convenience and help boost productivity. Index Tower was designed to serve the needs of its residents, and this is reflected in the essential services and their thoughtful design. The twenty-five floors of office space are located at the base of the tower and are served by spacious elevators, designed to get workers and visitors to their destination quickly and unhindered, overcoming the type of rush-hour bottle necks experienced in many commercial towers. The building has five levels of parking to ensure that workers who want to drive to the office can access the building and park with ease.


  1.  First impressions count

When visiting any building, first impressions count, which is why Index Tower aims to impress from the moment visitors approach and enter the building’s commercial space. Entrance is via a dramatic four-storey atrium and the tower sits on a landscaped podium, which provides shaded pedestrian routes through the site and a range of places to eat, shop and socialise.




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