10 Co-working spaces in MENA you must know about
If you are contemplating joining a startup or opening your office in the MENA region, there's a chance you might be looking into co-working spaces options. It is no surprise that co-working spaces are rapidly growing: from colorful and edgy designs to special lifestyle perks and room to network with creative neighbors, more businesses are opting for this trendy and cheaper solution.
Hundreds of co-working spaces are currently operating in different parts of the MENA region, so it’s certain that regardless of your location, you’ll find a suitable co-working space that can support your business goals.
The growing number of co-working spaces indicates how suitable the region has become for harboring small businesses and startups. These spaces do not only provide entrepreneurs with facilities and utilities promoting healthy and friendlywork environments, but also work as great networking hubs.
After conducting a thorough research on the co-working spaces of the region, we’ve identified four characteristics you should look at when considering a co-working space
. First, the rental policy needs to be flexible for startups. This means, startups should only pay rent for the facilities they take advantage of, for their desired period of time. Secondly, the amenities and utilities provided by the co-working space must be top-notch and include all sorts of modern facilities that are required to run an office, such as internet connection, desks, computers, printers, meeting spaces, presentation screens, kitchen etc. Thirdly, the office set-up should look attractive as well. Working in a cozy, beautiful office environment enhances productivity of the employees and motivates them to give their best effort. And lastly, co-working spaces should be able to provide the startups with networking opportunities. Networking and connections play a massive part in taking the startups forward at the early stages of their operations.
Keeping these benchmarks in mind, here are the 10 co-working spaces in MENA you should look into.
One Business Centre
This is among the most popular co-working spaces in Dubai, having a buzzing atmosphere and beautiful street arts on the wall. Situated at the heart of the city, the One Business Centre is the perfect place for kickstarting a new business. Apart from all the necessary facilities, this place is well-known for the recreational arrangements for the clients. Both individuals and companies can rent space here, with services like 24/7 access, business lounge, on-site car parking, food and beverages and a convenience store. The work area and tech services are also of highest quality. And most importantly, the One Business Centre is the home to many impressive startups, like MAGNiTT. Hiring a space here will give a lot of networking opportunities.
Dtec, the Dubai Technology and Entrepreneurship Campus, is a co-working space specifically dedicated to startups and entrepreneurs. Situated within the Dubai free zone of DSO, this is a great choice for startups that are looking forward to conducting high end business activities. Dtec has hot desk co-working, fixed desk and private office workspaces. Depending on the needs and necessities, either of these options can be chosen along with freezone business setup, parking spaces, 24/7 key card access and access to services like printing, meeting spaces, securable lockers and reception.
AlMaqarr is one of the leading co-working spaces in Egypt. Providing idea stage entrepreneurs with organic spaces, it helps the startups to transform their business ideas into sustainable projects. Currently AlMaqarr has spaces in three locations: Heliopolis (Cairo), Downtown (Cairo) and ElGouna (Red Sea). Apart from the regular facilities, AlMaqarr is one of the most exciting networking locations of Egypt. It is home to many promising startups, social initiatives, student organizations, freelancers and consultants. The AlMaqarr administration also considers the community as the most valuable asset.
The GrEEK Campus
Known as the world’s first heritage driven technology center, the GrEEK Campus is one of the largest co-working spaces in the region. Founded in 2013, it has grown as a growing community of startups, venture capitalists, researchers and academics. With 25,000 square meters of space, the GrEEK Campus features more than 140 companies in 500 offices it’s five buildings. Currently the GrEEK Campus offers its services in Downtown Cairo and Asyut.
Located at the heart of Dubai’s business district in Business Bay, the UNBOX’s co-working space supports entrepreneurs in thinking big and out-of-the-box. The decor is upscale and contemporary: from wood effects to singular angles and lines; the choice of neutral and calming colors make this 16,000 square feet space unique, motivational and welcoming for any newcomer. UNBOX takes pride in providing businesses with an exceptional level of services which include IT, educational services for SMEs, parking space, lifestyle benefits including dry cleaning.
Upscale is a relatively new co-working space compared to the rest of the entries into this list. Situated at one of the most beautiful cities of the world, Riyadh, the capital of Saudi, this is one of the best co-working spaces of the Kingdom. Upscale offers private offices, cubicle desks, shared spaces and meeting rooms to its clients. It has one of the most beautiful interior design among the co-working spaces in KSA. The clients can rent their workspaces both on hourly and monthly basis, making the options very flexible to all types of individuals and companies.
7ayak Hub is considered Qatar’s first startup-centered co-working space. Situated at the three-story building in Madinat Khalifa South, 7ayak offers 24/7 full office facilities with permanent desks, along with hot-desking. It tries to ensure that everyone working in its workspace get enough room for nurturing their creativity, that’s why only 17 people can work at the permanent desks and 50 at hot-desks at a time. 7ayak also arranges educational, training and networking events for the members and newcomers.
Startups that are looking for affordable, but effective options to set up office in Morocco, then Dare Space can be a go-to option. Situated in the historic capital city of Morocco, Rabat, it is empowered by the Moroccan Center for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (MCISE). Along with wonderful amenities and services, the entrepreneurs can also get exposure to various programs and workshops organized by MCISE if they decide to work with Dare Space.
The Work Hub
It is one of the oldest and most stimulating co-working spaces in the Saudi capital. The work friendly nature of the workspace has turned it into a desirable co-working space in the region. Both teams and individuals can work here without any distractions and difficulties. The place can be hired for a day, 4-days, 8-days or on monthly basis. The amenities provided here are nice and simple, but just enough to serve the needs of the clients.
New Work Lab
Digital nomads and entrepreneurs from different fields consider the New Work Lab as one of the top options for working in Casablanca, Morocco. It is a lively community made up of entrepreneurs from all over the globe. Startups can get international exposure by having their office at the New Work Lab. Apart from regular workspaces, it offers space to host company events, meetups, conferences, workshops and team building events.
If you believe that your business is all set to take on the world and it’s time you need an office in MENA, can rely on all of these enlisted ones. And if it is not enough, the world’s largest co-working space, WeWork, is finally setting foot in MENA. The global co-working market leader is planning to open its first location in Dubai, by the fourth quarter of 2019.