WeWork to open first UAE location at Abu Dhabi's Hub71

The co-working office will be housed at Hub71 at Abu Dhabi Global Market

WeWork will open its first UAE location in Abu Dhabi early next year, the office space giant said on Wednesday.

The co-working office will be housed at Hub71, the technology and start-up enterprise based at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) in Al Maryah Island. The space will be tailored to tech companies, venture capitalists, universities, corporates and start-ups. It is slated to cover an area slightly bigger than an American football field measuring 5,000 square metres.

“We look forward to opening our WeWork space in Q1 2020, making it available to the whole of Abu Dhabi. This is not just a good news story for Hub71 residents, but for anyone who wants to be in the centre of Abu Dhabi’s tech scene,” Mahmoud Adi, chief executive of Hub71, told The National.

“Abu Dhabi is a dynamic capital city that has more than 200 co-living nationalities. We are in favour of building environments that foster co-creation, community-building and openness," he added.

Hub71 was created by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, ADGM, US tech giant Microsoft and Japan’s SoftBank, as an initiative of the Ghadan 21 programme – a Dh50 billion package of reforms from the Abu Dhabi Government to boost the local economy.

The UAE capital also rolled out a Dh535 million fund to invest in start-ups as part of Ghadan 21.

WeWork is backed by SoftBank VisionFund, which counts Mubadala Investment Company and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund as its two largest outside investors. Founded in 2010, the company offers diverse options of private offices and desks to more than 466,000 members, with prices varying depending on the market. For example, a desk in Mumbai can be rented for $150 (Dh550) but the same will cost at least $400 in London.

The popularity of co-working spaces has taken off in tandem with a rise in tech-based freelance and entrepreneurial work around the world. Nearly 1,688 co-working spaces will be opened worldwide this year, according to a report by Coworking Resources. The total will reach 26,000 globally in the next three years.

“The UAE’s capital city attracts innovative founders, established businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups; the same type of people and businesses that call WeWork home around the world," said Anthony Yazbeck, the managing director for international operations at WeWork.

Earlier this year, it was reported that WeWork would open a location in Dubai, however, a company spokeswoman told The National a timeline for that location is yet to be announced.

Updated: July 24, 2019 03:37 PM


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