Office rents in CBD down 50 per cent

CBD slash

FALLING TREND: Monthly office rent in CBD has dropped to OMR3 per sqm. MUSCAT: It was once the beating commercial heart of Oman, but a new report suggests that the capital’s Central Business District’s (CBD’s) popularity is fading as more and more big firms relocate.

Real-estate agents revealed that office rents in CBD have nearly halved during the recent years. With the National Bank of Oman’s headquarters being relocated to Azaiba very soon, Bank Muscat’s headquarters having shifted to Seeb and many other offices shifting to Al Khuwair and Ghubrah in the recent years, real-estate companies in CBD are desperately looking for tenants.

A new report reveals that rents have fallen sharply in almost all locations, with CBD being affected more than the others. “Occupancy is even more of a problem than in the residential segment with owners suffering long periods of vacancy. Rents in CBD are OMR3 per square metre (sqm) per month and sometimes even lower,” Sudhakar Reddy, chief executive of- ficer, Al Habib & Co LLC said, after releasing the Property Report in October 2017.

He attributed this to the banks moving away from the CBD. “As a large number of banks moved away from CBD, the office rents dropped considerably,” Reddy said. The office rent in CBD, which was around OMR5 to OMR6 per sqm per month a few years back has now dropped to OMR3.