Quarterly Report Qatar Q4 2021: Office Market Overview
The completion of Qatar Energy’s Headquarters increases office supply in West Bay
Office supply in Qatar has increased significantly in recent months, with the opening of Qatar Energy’s new headquarters at Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah District and Lusail’s Commercial Boulevard adding more than 300,000 sq m of space between the two developments.
Qatar Energy’s relocation to their new West Bay HQ, from their other office locations commenced in Q4 2021 and will continue throughout the next year.
The gross leasable area of office accommodation in Qatar has now reached approximately. 5.3 million sq m. Cushman and Wakefield estimate that more than 1.4 million sq m of office space is currently available to lease. This may increase once leases expire on buildings that we expect to be vacated due to government and hydrocarbon sector relocations.
The completion of office buildings in Energy City and Commercial Boulevard has resulted in leasable office supply in
Lusail surpassing 800,000 sq m in Q4. We estimate that approximately 55% of this space is either occupied or reserved; however, a number of agreements are in place with public bodies and financial institutions, which will boost occupancy rates in Lusail in 2022.
Public sector bodies, financial institutions, and oil & gas sector companies continue to drive new demand for offices. In October, Qatar Chamber announced the acquisition of a building in Commercial Boulevard comprising 17,000 sq m of leasable area. There has also been an increase in demand from the financial services sector. QFC reported an increase of 282 new firms to its platform in 2021 – an increase of 28%. 65 office buildings across Doha are now QFC-designated locations.
Qatar Free Zone Authority is also gaining traction in attracting international companies to Qatar, generating requirements for both office and light-industrial property. 44 companies are now registered with QFZA, including Google, BM Cyber, D4A, Invent Solutions, Thales, and Macellan.
Prime office rents in West Bay now range from QAR 100 to QAR 130 per sqm per month exclusive of service charges. Office spaces leased as ‘shell and core’ can be secured for less than QAR 80 per sq m per month.
Office suites in Lusail usually command rents of between QAR 80 and QAR 120 per sq m per month reflecting current vacancy rate and the efforts to attract new tenants to the district.
Office rents in districts such as Old Salata and Al Sadd now range from QAR 50 to QAR 80 per sq m per month. Landlords are finding it increasingly difficult to secure corporate occupiers in older buildings, with significant rent-free incentives available in secondary locations to attract new tenants.