The commercial market benefited as a result of both existing businesses relocating to more prestigious sites and the number of new company licenses reaching an all-time high in Q3 2022. The government’s efforts to boost the economy after a difficult time seem to be having notable success. For instance, the possibility to maintain full ownership of a company without the requirement to find a local partner has led to a rise in international investment.

With transactions up 133% and retail transacted value up 184% in Q3 2022, we experienced retail growth that was previously unheard of. This is because prominent retailers like Brands for Less (BFL), Forever 21, and many more have opened additional locations and expanded to serve a wider spectrum of customers.


Commercial Sales

Commercial real estate in Dubai saw a sharp increase in sales transactions in Q3 2022. Increased demand has impacted the market, with prices increasing as buyers look to acquire offices, retail and warehouses to meet their business demands. When comparing 2021 & 2022 Q3, transactions increased by 28%, with a 66% increase in the total value transacted. Various factors have contributed to the rise in demand. These include the new Green and Golden visas, a strong recovery from the pandemic, government initiatives to support businesses and increased business licence issuance. Innovative, strategic approaches by the government have certainly stimulated the economy in Dubai where we saw more than 45,600 new licenses issued in the first half (H1) of 2022 with a growth of 25% compared to H1 2021.

In Q3 2022, office transactions increased by 41% and the transacted value increased by 56% compared to Q3 2021 due to a rise in demand for spaces and a shortage of quality grade A spaces. With 254 units sold, Business Bay remained the most popular area followed by Jumeirah Lake Towers and Barsha Heights (Tecom), with 170 and 41 transactions respectively. International City, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Dubai Marina recorded moderate transactions.

Retail witnessed significant growth of 133% in transactions and a 184% increase in value transacted. This growth can be attributed to a buoyant and resilient economy amidst problems in Europe. Areas such as International City, Dubai Marina and Muhammad Bin Rashid City have been top choices for companies to start or expand their businesses. Many large and medium companies launched or expanded their retail footprint in Dubai.

The growth in all sectors of commercial real estate is a clear indication of a stronger business environment in the UAE, particularly in Dubai. We have seen a significant increase in demand for commercial properties compared to Q3 2021, with overall buyer leads increasing by 38%. Increased tourism and growth in new business licences, alongside more companies looking for larger or extended spaces, have led to an increase in buyer enquiries for warehouses and retail by 33% and 85% respectively. The demand for office spaces has also grown by 21% compared to Q3 2021. Going forward we anticipate further price growth as a result of increased demand for commercial properties.

Government decisions, laws and initiatives have enabled businesses to resume work at full capacity, leading to offices, retail, and warehouses witnessing a notable growth in sales by 25% overall compared to Q3 2021. At CRC, the sales of office spaces in Dubai increased by 15%. The top communities transacted for offices were Jumeirah Lake Tower, Business Bay and Barsha Heights.

COMMERCIAL LEASING

Numerous foreign businesses, including Meta, Optimizely, Rapyd, Folkart, Teneo, Directimo, and Pedersen & Partners, opened their operations following Expo 2020 to serve a significant regional market. In the upcoming quarters, we anticipate that rental prices will continue to rise as demand for commercial property leasing grows.

In the third quarter of 2022, leasing transactions at CRC increased by 3% compared to the same period in 2021. Transactions in retail spaces increased by 18%, while transactions in offices and warehouses remained unchanged. The top communities for retail transactions were Majan, Dubai Marina and Arjan, with higher demand recorded in Al Quoz, DIP, and Jebel Ali.

The overall tenant leads for commercial properties in Q3 2022 increased by 11% compared to Q3 2021. Office space enquiries increased by 28% in Q3 compared to the same period last year as businesses opted for larger offices to accommodate their growing companies and headcount. Prior to the completion of Uptown Tower later this year, DMCC has revealed that all of the office space has been pre-leased. As DMCC increases its presence in Dubai to meet its rapidly expanding roster of over 21,000 member companies, over 495,000 square feet of Grade A office space across 22 floors has been pre-leased.

The sector which topped Dubai’s commercial leasing market was IT, with many companies opening new offices and facilities in Dubai to expand their headcount. One of the biggest technological corporations in the world, Intel, will open its first artificial intelligence R&D facility at Dubai Internet City (DIC), highlighting the emirate’s desirability as a major location in the GCC for establishing innovation centres. F&B and Hospitality sectors are among the top business types that showed exponential growth in Dubai.