Malls in the UAE and Gulf are increasingly become more than shopping and entertainment destinations. You can even have workspaces there. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: Feel like having your workplace – even a temporary one – at a shopping mall?

From August 2024, the City Centre Deira will have hybrid workplaces alongside its shops, cinemas, cafes and F&B joints, with the mall owner Majid Al Futtaim signing up with IWG, which owns the ‘Regus’ workspace brand.

Dubai will also host a second facility, via the Regus Me’aisem at City Centre Me’aisem. The 1,877 square metre centre is also scheduled to open August next.

In fact, five of Majid Al Futtaim’s malls in the region, including Mall of Egypt and City Centre Sohar, will offer these flexible workspaces, suited to the needs of single- or small project teams.

“Our partnership with IWG enables us to seamlessly blend work and leisure for our valued customers,” said Khalifa Bin Braik, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim – Asset Management. “Together, we are crafting innovative and flexible environments that empower individuals and businesses to thrive in the heart of our vibrant shopping destinations.”

The City Centre Deira facility will be a 1,180 square metre workspace and will open in August 2024.

Freelancer focus

Demand for co-working or hybrid workspaces in Dubai and Abu Dhabi has been through some sizeable growth spurt, in sync with the numbers of gig workers who are operating out of the UAE these days. Changes to residency visas allowing these freelancers to operate – and with minimal set up costs – have been a big part of that demand spike.

According to flexible workspace operators, the rise in usage has meant lease rates have firmed up and the renting periods have also gone up. This has meant shortages in available space, which is why Majid Al Futtaim’s plan to create new ones at City Centre Deira is seen as timely.

More to follow...