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Dubai, Damascus and Beirut top the region’s chart
According to a survey by Cushman and Wakefield, these cities are the most expensive locations to own or rent office space in the Middle East.
March 16, 2009 3:48 by Dana Moukhallati
Dubai, Damascus and Beirut are the region’s most expensive cities to own or rent office space in 2009, claims a survey by Cushman and Wakefield’s, a property consultant, title Office Space Around the World 2009.
Dubai is ranked fifth out of 57 countries, up three places from 2008; Damascus is ranked eighth (there are no previous rankings); and Beirut is ranked thirty-third, up four places.
The most expensive city in the world is Hong Kong with an average of $2,276 (AED8,360) per square foot.
Cushman and Wakefield’s surveyed 202 office locations in 57 countries and reports the most expensive occupancy costs world wide.
With an average of $1,526 (AED5,605) per square meter of office space, Dubai is considered to be cheaper than Hong Kong, Tokyo, London and Moscow.
Damascus’s average per square meter is $1,274 (AED4,680) , while Beirut’s average is $520 (AED1,910).
The global average per square meter of office space is $429 (AED1,576) and the regional average is $347 (AED1275).
“Dubai remained the most expensive location in the region and is now established as one of the most expensive office destinations in the world. However, the Dubai office market started to cool towards the end of 2008, with transaction volumes declining and a number of the largest development schemes being postponed or cancelled,” the report said.
As for Damascus, the report explains that the office market in the Syrian capital is “fairly immature and demand for office space is comfortably outstripping supply. With very few grade A buildings, rental levels are currently high.”
Likewise in Lebanon, a lack of Grade A office space inflated rental prices by 14 percent in 2008, in spite of the nation’s political problems, the report said.