Qatar - Lusail downtown could potentially become Qatar’s de facto financial district in the future, according to Cushman and Wakefield Qatar (CWQ).

Highlighting that financial sector companies have started committing to Lusail relocations; CWQ said office activity in 2022 was driven by the government sector and the oil and gas sector.

Most activity over the past 12 months has occurred in Lusail, it said, adding the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), QNB and the Qatar Central Bank would take up occupation of Lusail Towers on completion.

In February, the QFC (Qatar Financial Centre) acquired more than 6,000sq m of office space in Lusail Boulevard, joining Qatar Chamber, which is due to relocate to the same street shortly.

"These upcoming office relocations could potentially see the Lusail downtown area become Qatar’s de facto financial district in the coming years," CWQ said, adding the expanding supply of office accommodation in Lusail has surpassed 800,000sq m.

Highlighting that Msheireb Downtown Doha is also gaining recognition as a commercial destination; it said Msheireb Properties has secured several commercial office lettings in the first quarter of 2023 with international companies from the oil and gas and financial services sectors.

"There are also several other transactions in the pipeline, which are expected to complete during the second quarter of 2023," the CWQ report said.

The supply of purpose-built office accommodation in Qatar has now reached approximately 5.3mn sq m. The Al Dafna/West Bay district has the largest concentration of supply with approximately 1.8mn sq m of gross leasable area.

The buoyant oil and gas sector has spurred expansion and relocation activity in the past year, it said, adding as a result, three office deals over 3,000sq m have been confirmed in West Bay and The Pearl-Qatar.

Following the Covid-19-related downturn in office activity in 2020 and 2021, office leasing transactions increased significantly in 2022; however, it has been relatively subdued in the first quarter of 2023.

While increasingly attractive lease terms are available for shell-and-core space, demand is weak due to the requirements for tenants to undertake costly internal fit-outs, CWQ noted.

Grade A stock is now typically available to lease for between QR100 and QR120 per sq m per month, exclusive of service charges. Office spaces leased as 'shell and core' can be secured for QR55–60 per sq m per month in some of Doha’s main office districts.



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