Innovation and flexibility increasingly important to Bahrain’s commercial office sector

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Commercial office stock is set to increase by 5% in 2019 – according to the global property consulting firm CBRE as part of its Q3 2019 Bahrain Market Snapshot. The snapshot reveals that Grade A and B Gross Leasable Area (GLA) has risen to 1.33 million square metres, with the majority of supply within these grades in the Capital – with Seef District accommodating 41%.

The country has been experiencing an imbalance in supply-demand since the global economic downturn almost a decade ago and CBRE predicts that this is set to continue.  However, this does provide positive news to tenants as CBRE data reveals that average monthly rents have remained stable year-on-year at BD6 per square metre. The quarterly Market Snapshot reveals that monthly prime commercial rents top out at BD10 per square metre.

Fitted commercial office space (sub 150 square metres) continues to be sought after by international corporates and local start-ups, demonstrating the success of recent Government initiatives to cultivate a business environment that enables entrepreneurs to flourish. CBRE also reports that serviced office operators are experiencing high demand and occupancy rates, which reflects current market needs.

A recent, and growing trend that CBRE predicts will continue in the short to medium term is an increase in the number of brands seeking co-working space in the Kingdom.  This follows a global move towards non-traditional office environments – with flexible working and wellness solutions becoming increasingly important to local and international corporates alike.

Heather Longden, Associate Director, CBRE Bahrain, commented, “Although we are continuing to witness subdued demand in commercial office space, there is definitely room for optimism, especially for developers and landlords that strive to meet the needs of the modern business community.  In the short to medium term it will be very important for developers and landlords alike to diversify their offerings and ensure they provide the most innovative workplace solutions to successfully attract new tenants whilst retaining existing valued tenants.”

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