Some 7 million people are expected to be working in coworking spaces by the end of the year. Currently there are 15,000 coworking spaces in the world. In a recent report, Colliers said it expects a minimum of between 320,000 sq ft and 530,000 sq ft of space dedicated to this new subclass of office occupier around the world.
Dubai currently has 53 coworking locations, a 130 per cent rise since 2015. In total the city has more than 650,000 sq ft of flexible and coworking space. As Dubai’s commercial market continues to see reduced rents, there remains many opportunities for large spaces that landlords are struggling to lease. These spaces are now considered ideal for the coworking industry as they look to take advantage of spaces in the range of 7,000-50,000 sq ft within close proximity to transport, hotels and other amenities.
“The reason coworking spaces worldwide have been so successful stems from accommodating varied businesses: from start-ups and freelancers all the way up to multinational corporations,” the report said.
The report also noted how coworking operators “are quite different to the standard serviced office models that Dubai has been familiar with for the past 15 years”, as the newer concept focuses on promoting a fun and energetic lifestyle and a collaborative space.
“With changing demographics, work patterns, AI and cost economies, coworking and flexible workspaces are now key drivers in the global office market,” the report said.
Meanwhile, new initiatives, including Dubai Blink in Dafza, which allows global companies to acquire a virtual business licence without having a presence on the ground, are seen to complement the growth in demand for coworking spaces, according to Colliers.