Shell and core versus fitted office in the UAE

Shell and core versus fitted office in the UAEImage Credit: Supplied

Commercial real estate developers have an invaluable role of providing foreign and local investors with buildings whose office space may range from partially finished units to fitted ones.

A shell and core office is a bare space with only walls and ceilings, primer paint, concrete floors with or without tiling, and no capped services or glazing installed. To meet business requirements, the occupier provides for the completion of the property itself.

The good thing about this setup is that you can decorate the walls and plaster it according to your business needs. Suspended ceiling can be installed and plastered, raised floors can be installed and floors can be tiled to your taste. Electric, plumbing, glazing, heating and air conditioning, pantry, toilets, carpeting, partitioning and other decorations can be customized as needed. A shell and core office can have common areas without the aesthetics required by the client.

Commercial addresses like the Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai World Trade Centre, Business Bay and Dubai Marina, which are positioned near Metro stations, have shell and core offices that can be rented at an average of Dh50 per sq.ft. and bought at Dh600 per sq.ft. Apart from the basics, buildings like these often have 24/7 security, atrium lobbies, dedicated car parking space, maintenance services and others.

On the other hand, fitted offices are completed properties with add-ons centering on internal finishing, internal doors, partitioning, and electrical and mechanical service installations. They have enhanced shell and core with raised floors, suspended ceilings, mechanical and electrical services, specific occupier specifications and upgrades, furniture fixtures, branding and decoration, and office equipment.

Fitted offices in business hubs such as Dubai's Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Burj Khalifa, and Abu Dhabi's Reem Island, and Corniche and Salam Streets can be leased at an average of Dh90 per sq.ft. and owned at Dh1,000 per sq.ft.

Handy Hints:

• A shell and core unit is customizable according to one's business

• A fitted space is ideal for firms that want to move in immediately

• Shell and core and fitted offices are available all over the emirates

Read about operating out of commercial villas in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Source: Cleofi-Krista Capili, Special to Properties

The writer is a freelancer

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