Multinational companies are showing a strong interest in establishing a presence at Dubai World Central (DWC), the managing director of CB Richard Ellis Middle East said yesterday.
The global real estate consultancy has signed a contract with Dubai Aviation City Corporation to market and lease commercial space at DWC Office Park, which covers 2.3 million square feet.
Dubai World Central is being billed as the region's first "aerotropolis" and is home to Al Maktoum International Airport, which officially commenced general aviation operations earlier this year and will handle up to 120 million passengers once completed.
"This is a 25-year project that will form a fundamental part of Dubai's long-term infrastructure," said Nicholas Maclean, managing director of CBRE Middle East.
"We are particularly looking at occupiers who have an interest in the northern Gulf such as oil and gas operators. However, we have also seen a lot of interest from other key industries such as manufacturing, financial services and pharmaceuticals," he added.
Some companies have already moved into DWC's main headquarters, which covers 220,000 square feet, while many of the buildings inside the Office Park have also been completed to a shell-and-core finish.
Maclean said office accommodation next to the existing Dubai International Airport is full and that DWC offers companies the ideal opportunity to establish a presence next to a major logistics hub. But he also acknowledged that the problem of oversupply would worsen in the UAE over the next few years.
The latest report from Jones Lang LaSalle shows that office rental and sale prices have continued to decline in many parts of Dubai throughout 2011 as a result of the bleak economic conditions affecting corporates in Europe and the US.
"The lesson from the global financial crises of 2008-09 is that the Dubai market is closely tied to events in the broader global economy," said Craig Plumb, head of research for Jones Lang LaSalle Mena.
"Today, more than 120 local, regional and international firms have already commenced operations at Dubai World Central, and another 40 have signed commitments to establish a presence here," said Rashid Buqara'a, chief operating officer of Dubai Aviation City Corporation.