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A report from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) reveals that Business Bay is the fastest growing area in Dubai, accounting for 42% of the total new supply. Other commercial hot spots include the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) and Dubai Investments Park (DIP).
The area around the Expo 2020 site is also going to benefit the most from the additional demand for office space because of its proximity to the Al Maktoum International Airport and the Jebel Ali Free Zone. The Waldorf Astoria on Palm Island has now opened to the public, and 294 rooms are open at the second tower of the JW Marriot Marquis to cater to the influx of business and leisure tourists. A developer announced a new shopping mall project inside the International Media Production Zone to cater to nearby communities Jumeirah Golf Estates and Jumeirah Village. Other upcoming projects are the International City community center and the Wasl District.
In Abu Dhabi, JLL’s research shows that the key areas of focus for new office space are in free zones like Al Maryah Island, Global Marketplace Abu Dhabi, Masdar City, twofour54, Kizad and Abu Dhabi Airport Business City, formerly called Skycity. By the end of 2014, Yas Mall will be inaugurated together with the Capital Mall and 9712 BMC, whereas Nation Towers and the Al Shamkha Community Mall will fully open soon. A lot of retail spaces within mixed-use developments are due to open this year including retail spaces inside Al Reef Community, Saadiyat Beach and Marasy in Al Bateen. The newly-opened Novotel Al Bustan and Royal Rose in Abu Dhabi have added more rooms. The Capital Centre Rotana and the Southern Sun Abu Dhabi are set to open by the end of 2014.
Moving on to the Northern Emirates, according to Asteco’s research, office rental rates across the majority of areas in Sharjah saw marginal increases of 2% on average. Retail centers in various locations like Al Khan and Al Qasba are currently under development together with the expansion of Sharjah City Centre.
* Areas surrounding Expo 2020 site seeing office space demand
* Key commercial areas in Abu Dhabi are mostly those in free zones
* Rental rates across major Sharjah areas saw average 2% increase
Source: Urmila Santosh, Special to Properties, gulfnews.com
The writer is a freelancer