Kuwait tops the ranking as the most expensive office location in the Middle East and Africa

Cushman & Wakefield have released their Emerging Markets report this week.

It said the strength of commodity prices globally and the opening up of new markets for areas of production was leading to ‘sustained levels of interest’ from corporates wanting to locate in Africa and the Middle East.

Most of the international corporate demand is coming from the mining, oil and gas sectors, and in the case of Africa its telecommunications sector.

While Kuwait topped the poll with grade A office rents of $743/sq m (£390.59/sq m), the Angolan capital of Luanda came second with rents of $607/sq m (£319.10/sq m) and the Iranian capital of Tehran was third with rents of $559/sq m (£293.86/sq m). The rest of the top ten list included cities Dubai, Algiers, Doha, Maputo, Lagos, Tripoli and Muscat.

Cushman said Kuwait’s position was boosted because of its use as a base for many companies operating in Iraq while Luanda is the main centre of Angola’s oil and diamond mining.

It highlighted certain countries as the ‘beacons of development and modernity’ and included in that category the Arab Gulf states of Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates, and South Africa and Israel.

Michael Creamer, Cushman & Wakefield’s head of client solutions in Europe, said: ‘It is still too early to view many parts of the Middle East and Africa as emerging areas of real estate opportunity…in general this is the last region in the world to open up to the forces of globalisation whether to international business or investment.’

The report looks at 22 markets in Africa and 13 in the Middle East. The region accounts for 17% of the world’s population but only 6% of its economic output.