What is the average cost of office space in Dubai?
The average cost outside the free zone is roughly 65-80AED per sq ft (17-21 USD). This price does not include charges from the government, authorities.
Office space in the free zone starts with the smallest offices sized at 65 sq meters, with licenses costing a minimum of 15,000AED (4000 USD) annually and office space costing roughly 135-139AED per sq ft (36-38 USD).
Office spaces though come with different parameters such as fitted, non-fitted, equipped and shareable services.
Prime examples of the types of choices you may have are to be located in a fast-growing free zone district of Dubai, the Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) with views of the lake and landscaped gardens. The office features may include panoramic views with full sunlight, stunning views, a central a/c system and light fittings along with 24hr security but no other fittings or equipment. All for a price of 56,000AED (15,200 USD) yearly, for a space of 69 sq meters.
Perhaps you prefer the fully fitted option in the Burj Khalifa district on a 24-story mid-rise commercial structure which provides free & unlimited parking spaces for employees and visitors. Free shuttle service to the metro station for employees until from 8am to 7pm. Other features may include wood furniture, marble finishes, smart access control systems and cameras, fully networked with half a dozen cabin rooms, admin and storage rooms, conference rooms all fully fitted to satisfy the needs of anyone working on the floor. The average price for such a working environment would be approximately 155,000AED (42,000 USD) yearly, for an office space of 144 sq meters.
What is the non-free zone and free zone?
Renting in the free zone can be more expensive as the zone gives you 100% foreign ownership of your company and completely controls your business. It also allows for repatriation of funds and profits, easy HR procedures concerning recruitment and an overall easier process of setting up a company.
Other benefits of a free zone are that there is an exemption from import and export duties, no currency restrictions, there’s a wide scope of activities that are licensable. Finally, there are modern and effective communications.
In the non-free zone, the Department of Economic Development will provide a license that allows a business to freely operate anywhere in Dubai however, 100% foreign ownership will not be granted. The business will require a 51% local partner with local laws applying when hiring staff.