Older office buildings in Abu Dhabi are facing rising vacancy rates as new, higher quality options become available and businesses downsize because of the economic downturn.

A prime example is the Blue Tower, an older building on Sheikh Khalifa Street that is home to financial companies and law firms. Nearly half the building could be empty this year as tenants reduce their size or move out, according to a flyer advertising available space.

'New buildings are coming up thick and fast,' said Piers Barttelot, a national director at the property consultancy Jones Lang Lasalle in Abu Dhabi. 'At the same time, there is some consolidation and downsizing from companies. It’s putting pressure on the market.'

The National