Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), the licensing
authority for the Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) free zone, has seen a 67 percent
rise in the number of companies registered per month this year, the CEO of the
“Despite the regional unrest we have seen record numbers of
company registrations. Company registrations coming out Europe, Asia and the
rest of the world have actually gone up,” Malcolm Wall Morris, CEO of DMCC, told Arabian Business.
“We went from an average of 60 new companies a month in 2010
to 400 by the third week of April this year, so we have got an average of 100 a
month. That is significant.”
DMCC in April registered its 3,000 company, a move branded a
“milestone” by executive chairman Ahmed bin Sulayem.
More than 90 percent of the companies were new to Dubai,
with the majority – 25 percent – European-owned firms. Around 20 percent of
companies came from the Middle East and North Africa and 17.5 percent from
India and Asia.
JLT will have a total of around 58 towers completed by the
end of 2011, which will accommodate around 15,000 people and 8,000 employees.
Matthew Green, head of research at real estate consultants
CB Richard Ellis, said the main attraction of JLT was the low rental rates.
“The office rents are significantly lower than you can get
in the CBD (central business district) but the space is still high quality,”
Average rental rate for office space in JLT are AED40 to 60
per sq ft per annum, compared to AED130 to 150 per sq ft for office space along
Sheikh Zayed Road, CBRE data shows.
The low rental levels and increase in registered clients at
JLT has already been observed by real estate agents. In its May report,
consultants Landmark Advisory said “an increase in sales activity has occurred
in key locations such as Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Dubai Marina.”
Green, however, said the area continued to struggle with an
image problem that could deter blue chip clients or larger financial firms.
“The image at this point is not quite so good as the main
CBD area,” he said. “Some of the tenants we have spoken to say the road
infrastructure is a bit of an issue.”
Morris said DMCC hopes to address this issue by the end of
the year and has begun the “beautification” of the development. “In terms of the major works, in terms of
infrastructure, we should be pretty ready by the end of the year,” he said.
Andrew Elliott, senior sales and leasing consultant at
Better Homes commercial division, said this had already been observed by some
“We have seen a higher demand for properties and we’re definitely
noticing the occupancy rates of certain buildings filling. Now that the walkways
and lakes and surrounding greenery is being finished off, I believe it is
starting to have a positive feel of a community.”
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