ICD Brookfield on Tuesday announced the signing of 11 new leases at ICD Brookfield Place totalling 72,000 sq ft by blue-chip companies, defying fears that Dubai’s office market might struggle during work-from-home trends driven by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The new tenants include UBS, the world’s largest wealth manager with focused investment bank and asset management divisions, and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing companies and a leading regional MRO provider.
Khalid Al Bakhit, chairman of ICD Brookfield, is confident that as the anxiety surrounding the pandemic subsides, vibrant physical workplaces will remain in demand
The recent leasing activity at Dubai’s 1.1 million sq ft office and retail complex signals economic confidence and a desire for companies to return to innovative workplaces, a statement said.
It added that ICD Brookfield Place, located in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), has seen an increasing demand for space and expects this to continue throughout the year.
“Tenants’ commitment to lease at ICD Brookfield Place for the long term is not only a strong endorsement of Dubai as a global city that attracts international organisations as a place to do business, but also of the wider region,” the statement added.
Rob Devereux, CEO of ICD Brookfield, said: “We’ve had fantastic leasing success at ICD Brookfield Place, endorsing the property as a vibrant place for people to work and visit.
“We have seen a growing interest amongst tenants for healthier buildings that enable them to maintain a competitive edge through their workplace environment, and operate in line with the highest environmental, health and safety standards. With its innovative design, efficient workspace, as well as being one of the greenest and smartest tech enabled buildings in Dubai, ICD Brookfield Place is making a name for itself and giving businesses a reason to return to the office.”
The demand for office space backs up comments made by Khalid Al Bakhit, chairman of ICD Brookfield, when he told Arabian Business he was confident about the longer-term prospects for the office market in the emirate.
Two-thirds of UAE workers say they are keen to return to the office full-time after coronavirus pandemic
He added that lower supply could offset a drop in demand for office space. “In light of the pandemic and its chilling effect on investors’ perception of office real estate, new groundbreakings are likely to be minimal, as construction lending inevitably tightens,” he said.
“We are confident that as the anxiety surrounding the pandemic subsides vibrant physical workplaces will remain in demand. In our view, companies value the power of in person collaboration in shaping a dynamic corporate culture, and their employees do too,” added Al Bakhit following the opening of the sprawling complex in September.
ICD Brookfield Place opened and welcomed its first wave of tenants, including Julius Baer, Natixis, Latham & Watkins, and Akin Gump.
ICD Brookfield is a joint venture partnership between Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), the principal investment arm of the Government of Dubai, and Brookfield Asset Management, a global alternative asset manager with approximately $575 billion of assets under management.