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Sun 7 Jan 2007 04:00 AM

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Hundreds of companies wait for DMC office space

Up to 400 companies are on the waiting list to move into Dubai Media City, but some may have to wait until 2008 before space becomes available.

Up to 400 companies are on the waiting list to move into Dubai Media City, but some may have to wait until 2008 before space becomes available,

can reveal.

Mohamed Al Mulla, director of the DMC free zone, said demand from existing tenants and international companies for office accommodation had been "unexpected".

He also revealed that an additional 27 towers would be built at DMC by 2009, with work already started on eight of them.

"We had not foreseen that there would be such a huge demand, it was unexpected," he said. "On the waiting list you have a combination of things. There are people who are existing clients and are desperate to expand. You also have people who are international who we would really like to attract."

Al Mulla said the shortage of space was creating problems for DMC because it is unable to complete deals with international media companies looking to establish operations in the emirate.

"It's very frustrating, I find it an obstacle at this moment. I have been approached by international companies to go and visit them and finalise the negotiations but we try to just buy time until we have something available."

He said that larger companies were prepared to remain on the waiting list as long as they were kept informed of progress, but feared smaller companies eager to start operations may lose patience and seek space elsewhere.

"The good thing about international companies is that they themselves need time," he said. "I don't see that it will be a challenge with international brands, but smaller companies who are in a hurry to get things going, that might be a challenge."

Al Mulla claimed the situation would be resolved by 2008, when a number of new towers will have been constructed. But he predicted that the waiting list would remain at around 400 until that time.

"Dubai is a city that is known for the speed of its construction but it's still not fast enough to cater for the demand that we are currently witnessing. I see the number as staying at around 400 as we get new towers we will be able to move some of those people on the waiting into the towers. Then you will have other people coming into the waiting list again. So it might be increasing but only slightly. It will not drastically grow, neither is it going to drop."

To cater for smaller companies wanting to set up in DMC, Al Mulla said that a business centre had been created in Al Thuraya Tower for start-ups and an additional business centre will open next month.

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