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Dubai office vacancies fall as new supply slows in 2016

Dubai’s office market saw the delivery of 129,000 square metre of gross leasable area (GLA) in 2016, bringing the total stock to 8.55 million square metres, according to a JLL report.

JLL’s Year in Review 2016 said the majority of these completions were in Business Bay and TECOM A & B, with about 10,300 square metres of office space completed in the final quarter of 2016.

Vacancy levels in the Dubai’s Central Business District fell, ending the year at 15 percent, but this reflects low levels of completions rather than strong tenant demand, JLL noted.

It added that 2017 is expected to witness the completion of approximately 300,000 square metres of office space, with 30 percent of the expected supply in Business Bay, 22 percent in the Greens and 20 percent in JLT, highlighting a shift away from the Central Business District to other areas in the city.

The report said the Abu Dhabi office market saw the completion of 214,000 square metres of space in 2016, bringing the total stock to 3.5 million square metres.

JLL added that a further 210,000 square metres of GLA is expected to enter the market in 2017, dominated by the delivery of ADIB on Airport Road, as well as Leaf and Omega towers on Reem Island.

Craig Plumb, head of research at JLL MENA, said: “While rents have been upheld, this is partly due to limited level of new supply, as demand and net absorption levels have declined in comparison to previous years, partly due to consolidations in the oil sector.

“In Dubai, vacancy levels in the CBD have fallen, ending the year at 15 percent, but once again this reflects low levels of completions rather than strong tenant demand. There is increased construction in areas such as Business Bay and Silicon Oasis, historically seen as secondary locations.”

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