Managing director MENA, Pringle Brandon, Steven Charlton

Multinationals to maximise Gulf office space

Multinationals based in the Gulf are looking to streamline their property portfolios, cut global overheads and create uniformity across all markets according to Pringle Brandon.

The office rental market in the UAE will continue to fall as supply outstrips demand, but the company has identified a number of trends that shape the US$8.6 billion regional interiors industry including sustainability and LEED design.

“Even though quality office rents in Dubai have dropped to an average of around AED1,400 per square metre outside of DIFC, clients are still demanding full utilisation of space,” said Steven Charlton, managing director MENA, Pringle Brandon.

“In response to this, we develop ways to allow end users to fit more team members into the same area whilst remaining ergonomically aware.

“We see ourselves at the very forefront of this thinking having undertaken density research for the British Council of Offices in 2009 and fully implemented it across all regions in which we operate.”

Sustainability is another area where Pringle Brandon is seeing increased demand.

“The whole concept of being sustainable has been with us for many years now, but we are finally seeing a growing appreciation for what this actually means in the Middle East, interest in how it can be successfully integrated into a designed environment without having major cost implications,” added Charlton.

The company has taken on three LEED projects in the region since opening its office here one year ago and is trying to change client opinion regarding green initiatives.

A third trend is the commercial arena.

“Over the years we have seen our clients grow into truly global businesses and consequently, invariably global procurement supersedes regional supply chain management. Standardisation sits very comfortably with globalisation and regional outposts have become a thing of the past. Many companies want to conform to an international brand identity and control design and costs centrally, which does present designers with creative challenges,” said Charlton.