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Optimising efficiency Furnished and virtual office space solutions offer a complete support package to help run the business smoothly

Sadiq Shaban

F

urnished and virtual office is a parlance for the modern day off-site live communication and address services that allow users to cut down on the usual office costs of an office

space. These offices offer the same standards of a professional business image as real offices in addition to helping a business to be highly cost-effective. No matter what your priorities are, setting up a brand new business or expanding an existing enterprise into new markets and territories isn’t easy. That is

where a virtual office comes in. It effectively combines home and office besides retaining the image of a traditional, high-cost office. Many top-notch firms offer a comprehensive range of virtual office services in the UAE. The solutions not only empower the businesses to work from any location in the world but can also choose to operate from any lucrative UAE address and get its own dedicated local telephone/ fax number and postal address in the country. Apart from other key facilities most of these firms provide professional receptionists to answer phone calls on behalf of the company and can also direct emails. Some of them have a virtual office phone answering service that bridges the gap between a business and its clients. Setting up virtual offices has other benefits too. It allows companies to establish a local pres-

Furnished and virtual office space solutions in the UAE offer a range of individual services and a complete support package to help run the business smoothly

ence, optimise on a six-day working week, without having to pay exorbitant rentals for a permanent facility. Needless to say it makes economic sense for many foreign firms, with business operations in the UAE, to have a local address. Apart from other facilities, the firms can utilise a provider with multiple locations to establish a professional presence in its desired growth markets. In the modern day and age virtual offices have come to symbolise how a lot of businesses are going to cut costs in a world of economic uncertainty. It encompasses all the functions of a real office: From arranging a business meeting space (include an on-demand use on hourly, daily or weekly basis) of conference rooms and offices for meetings to the advantage of having a business address that closes the gap between a virtual office and an established brand. Furnished and virtual office space solutions in the UAE offer a range of individual services and a complete support package to help run the business smoothly. However, the law of the land has to be adhered to while setting up any such venture in the country. As per the Dubai Economic Department, it is illegal for any company to use a virtual office to register business in the UAE, excluding the free zones. Therefore, firms that wish to do so are required to follow a due process, furnish documentation and get a Dubai Trade Licence first. —sadiq@khaleejtimes.com


thursday, april 18, 2013 | ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT | khaleej times

BUSINESS SPACES THAT FIT EVERY VISION. Whether you’re starting your business big or small, DMCC Business Centres in the JLT Free Zone offer you the most flexible office solutions. As a JLT Free Zone company, you can hand pick your space and services to suit your company's needs. Hit the ground running without excessive overheads or any delay and as your business grows, so can your space. We provide the infrastructure and support you need located across a selection of our 65 towers in the heart of new Dubai.

PART TIME FLEXI DESK

FULL TIME FLEXI DESK

FULL TIME LARGE FLEXI DESK

Use of the desk for up to 16 hours a month. Free access to the Wi-Fi facility, free mail box (receiving only), free electricity, water, AC and maintenance.

Unlimited use of the desk. Free access to the Wi-Fi facility, free mail box (receiving only), free electricity, water, AC and maintenance.

A large office to be shared by two companies, each having one desk. Free access to the Wi-Fi facility, free mail box (receiving only), free electricity, water, AC and maintenance.

SMALL PRIVATE FLEXI OFFICE

MEDIUM PRIVATE FLEXI OFFICE

LARGE PRIVATE FLEXI OFFICE

An 80 to 100 sq.ft. private unit. Free access to the Wi-Fi facility, free mail box (receiving only), free electricity, water, AC and maintenance.

A 170 to 190 sq.ft. private unit. Free access to the Wi-Fi facility, free mail box (receiving only), free electricity, water, AC and maintenance.

A 200 to 500 sq.ft. private unit. Free access to the Wi-Fi facility, free mail box (receiving only), free electricity, water, AC, maintenance and a charged phone line.

For more information, please call 800-DMCC or visit www.jlt.ae.


serviced and virtual offices

khaleej times | ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT | thursday, april 18, 2013

Servcorp

JLT Free Zone – DMCC

Quality business solutions Virtual offices will soon become a norm rather than an exception, according to Laudy Lahdo, General Manager for Servcorp in the Middle East and Turkey

Business space for every need There are over 55,000 people living and working in the JLT community today across 64 residential, commercial and mixed-use towers A Government of Dubai initiative, the Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) Free Zone was established in 2002 under the authority of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) to promote the flow of trade through the emirate. Today, it is one of the largest mixed-use free zone developments in Dubai, offering innovative products and value-added services, all within a well-balanced regulatory framework. Spread over 200 hectares of landscaped gardens, the JLT Free Zone is home to over 6,300 companies across a broad range of sectors. From multinationals to startups, an average 200 companies from across the globe choose to set up its businesses at the JLT Free Zone every month. In addition to being the licensing authority for the JLT Free Zone, DMCC is also the master developer of the JLT community. With its perfect location at the heart of Dubai between two metro stations and a mere five-minute

walk from Dubai’s pristine shoreline, JLT is a prime residential development as well. There are over 55,000 people living and working in the community today across 64 residential, commercial and mixed-use towers. Licensed member companies can operate out of leased or purchased property either in JLT’s 64 luxury towers or its specialised Jewellery and Gemplex facility. Property is offered at open market rates through external brokers or the DMCC Commercial Sales and Leasing Brokerage. There is also land available for development. Catering to different needs and requirements, JLT property is available as shell and core, or fully fitted

both for sale and for lease. For new companies who are not quite ready to lease or buy office space, DMCC’s business centres can provide a plug-in-and-play experience so they can get straight to work once licensed. This includes part-time flexi desk options (members can use the facilities for up to 16 hours per month, together with free access to Wi-fi, free receiving mailboxes, free electricity, water, AC and maintenance); unlimited full-time flexi desks; large flexi desk facilities that provide two desks that can be shared by two companies, and privates units. The JLT Free Zone offers business spaces that fit every vision. Companies operating at the free

Inject life into office space All you need to do is move in! The increase in the number of SMEs has led to a growing demand for ready-to-use, conveniently located office space. Bloom Business Services, a subsidiary of Bloom Properties, in conjunction with Globex Business Centres is offering a simple plug-and-play solution for tenants looking for smaller office spaces or representative offices in the UAE. Bloom and Globex will work together to assist in managing and operating business centres in the UAE, with the first opened in the prestigious Sowwah Square on Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi.  

The serviced offices offer: • Plug-and-play solution with fully equipped meeting rooms and conference facilities • No capital requirement for lease of space, fit-out, furniture and equipment • Ready to use with benefit of support staff such as secretary, receptionist and cleaning • Flexibility in terms of space required • Op en plan o ffice environment • Relative ease of exiting a contract with minimal cost implications • Range of options to suit any kind of business The Globex Business Centre at Al Maryah Island is located in Tower 1 “Sila Tower” and offers panoramic views of the Arabian

Gulf. In proximity to the business centre are the Rosewood Hotel, Rotana Beach Hotel, as well as the new Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange, Cleveland Clinic and the Sowwah Center plaza with restaurants, cafés, shops and banks. The centre is a 20-minute drive from the Abu Dhabi International Airport. The opening of the first business centre in Sowwah Square marks an important milestone for Bloom Properties, placing Bloom among the pioneers of Abu Dhabi’s new business district. Furthermore, the centre is set to benefit from the geographic location of the UAE as a hub for the region. For more information regarding office spaces contact: Tel: +971-2-6948600 Fax: +971-2-6948666 Email: uaesales@globexcentres.com Visit: www.globexcentres.com

zone appreciate DMCC’s clientfocused ‘one point of contact’ approach, which ensures that each client’s specific needs and requirements are quickly and efficiently met. DMCC has also made the ease of doing business for its members a key priority and recently launched an extension to its Client Service Centre offering. As of December last year, DMCC improved its services by dividing the centre into two operations: One solely dedicated to new clients (which allows for faster and more efficient registration for new members) and the other for renewal and other amenities. Both services are situated on the first floor of the Almas Tower and have its own space and dedicated teams. JLT licensed member companies come from a very broad range of business and industry sectors and offer an equally broad range of services and expertise from industry-leading mining companies (DeBeers, Xstrata), oil companies (Reliance, Lukoil), shipping and logistics companies (Clarkson, C Steinweg), to diamond processors, and gold refineries. In addition, there are companies offering a broad spectrum of consultancy services, including legal, management and recruitment (Talent Partners, Hudson), companies from the IT sector, media and fashion as well as retailers, restaurants, shops, dentists, doctors, and hair salons, who have all come together to make up an eclectic mix.

How long has Servcorp been providing its services in the Middle East and the UAE? We made our entry into the Middle East market in 1999 by opening a business centre in the Emirates Towers in Dubai. Servcorp was originally founded in Sydney in 1978 and has grown to 140 locations around the world. We have been expanding in the Middle East ever since and now have 14 branches in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. This expansion allows businesses to enter the Middle East markets with ease and minimal risk. Which segments of industry or types of individuals constitute the main clientele here? Why do they choose Servcorp to provide these services? We cater to all industries but we have two very distinct customer bases. We provide high quality office space and five-star service to branch offices for multinational companies as well as small to medium enterprises. From busy entrepreneurs who are rarely in the same time zone two days in a row to larger companies looking to expand presence into new cities. Our business solutions are designed to suit companies’ varied needs offering them flexible lease terms, access to a global network of premium offices across the globe and benchmark IT and communication services. The advantage of using Servcorp’s tools is that it doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re running — we have the knowledge and support you need to keep your clients satisfied regardless of their location. Are all the services listed on your website available to clients in this region? Servcorp’s clients have access to a global technology platform, fantastic support teams and the world’s best addresses enabling them to connect, operate and compete in any market they choose. In the Middle East, our clients can choose any of our listed world class services and facilities: From our serviced offices, equipped with the finest fitouts and advanced technologies, to our virtual offices, enabling them to work efficiently and even remotely from any location worldwide, while benefiting from a local presence and a professional support. Different packages and many flexible offers are available to fit different business needs. All

Laudy Lahdo Servcorp’s customers have access to Servcorp’s global network, reliable communications and IT system, and a professional support team. What is the growth strategy for Servcorp in this region? Expansion and global presence are the essence of Servcorp’s orientations, along with the international business growth. Our existence, worldwide, is demand driven. We operate through 140 locations in 21 countries worldwide, and 20 of these locations are in the Middle East. Actually, over the past 12 months, 50 per cent of our expansion has been in the Middle East making it easier than ever before for businesses within the region to have access to our business solutions and services. Do you think the concept of virtual offices will continue to be popular? What is your forecast in this business and the role Servcorp will play in it? Servcorp believes virtual offices will soon become the norm rather than the exception, as businesses continue to move towards global rather than local models. More small to medium sized businesses are embracing the concept of working virtually in order to grow its corporate identity and presence as quickly and cheaply as possible. A virtual office gives you the means to develop your business from a variety of locations, without being run into the ground by expensive office costs. The basic concept that brought Servcorp to life has remained unchanged since its beginning in 1978, and will still be the main driver for all our new concepts and services in the future: Offering the best in class business solutions and helping businesses grow and expand while reducing profit-obstructing overheads.

Regus

2013: The year for flexibility Over the past decade, Regus has grown its UAE network from one location to 11 – covering Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi

bi. It has business centres in 10 Middle East countries, and recent openings include Dubai World Central and its first centre in Jeddah. Globally, the Regus network encompasses 100 countries. Businesses can explore opportunities worldwide, confident that Regus is there in the local market to facilitate its plans.

Kory Thompson

A hub for SMEs One segment where Regus is seeing strong demand in the UAE is start-ups and SMEs. Regus products and services can support SMEs all along its growth path. Indeed, the products are so flexible that businesses don’t even need to use physical workspace: They can just use services like telephone answering. Konsilia, which provides tax and legal counsel in Spain, UK and Qatar, used Regus’ services to set up in Qatar. “We wanted to ensure a good image and service, both with physical premises and on the phone. Regus offered us this guarantee,” said Fernando del Canto Gonzalez. Meanwhile, photographers CRTV-Vision have saved on property costs by using Regus services in Oman, and think Regus workspace is ‘the best place to start a business’. The Regus

As commentators try to predict what 2013 will bring, I’m certain about one thing: Using flexible and shared workspace will be a key business trend, just as in 2012. Flexible working trends There are many elements feeding the appetite for flexible and shared workplaces: • More people working on the move • Companies’ desire to reduce property overheads • The need for agility to grasp new opportunities • The uncertain global economy Regus has long catered for that appetite. Over the past decade or so it has grown its UAE network from one location to 11 — covering Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dha-

Business Package is available across the Middle East and enables small companies to project an impressive image on a tight budget. Businesses can focus on growth, while Regus’ multilingual staff handle their mail, answer calls, and provide a great business address. Customers can also use Businessworld membership to access business lounges in 100 countries. Flexible workspace tackles SME challenges The support that Regus offers to start-ups and SMEs is especially important given the challenges facing small businesses. In the Middle East three out of four companies say paperwork and property costs are its biggest obstacles. Speed of set-up and operational staff recruitment also worry them. Using flexible and shared workspace can help to eliminate such obstacles. As businesses implement its plans for 2013, there’s scope for optimism, but there are challenges too. In such a climate, it’s not surprising that flexible workspace is a mega-trend: Whatever the stage of your company, it makes business easier. The author is the country manager at Regus


thursday, april 18, 2013 | ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT | khaleej times

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Serviced &Virtual office