Coworking picks up in Middle East

With the global recession underway companies are cutting corners quite literally. You are lucky if have your own 200 sq feet cube office. The introduction of technologies like cloud computing has enabled employees to work from home, which has many advantages. However, the lack of social interaction can lead to less productivity and slow business growth.

What is Coworking?

These are spaces used by freelancers and other independent professionals to work in a shared office space to take advantage of resources such as internet access, conference rooms, IT infrastructure etc. Some coworking centers may cater to a specific profession such as web developers while other may accommodate a general range of professionals. Unlike in a typical office environment, these professionals are usually not employed by the same organization.

Coworking has been growing at a phenomenal rate globally. This methodology is redefining the way we work. Coworking space provides more than just networking and coffee, they help you connect with people.

People have realized that working in their cubes, from home offices or coffee shops is in-efficient.

According to a report from Deskwanted, an online marketplace for coworking desk space, the number of coworking facilities almost doubled in 2010. There are over 650 such locations worldwide. As a freelancer you can present your ideas to business owners. As an entrepreneur you can find the next best person to hire. As a startup you can build a great social network.

Some coworking spaces are dedicated facilities; others are set up within business incubators or company offices. New coworking chains are emerging, with names like The Hub and NextSpace.

However, coworking is not the ideal environment for businesses that require privacy or are on constantly on phone.

In the Middle East there are a few options available for coworking. For instance, The Hub is a social enterprise, located in Dubai with the ambition to support social entrepreneurship. They are working at ‘new frontiers’ to tackle the world’s most pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges. The Hub is expected to open a 5,000+ sq.ft. space for coworking in the latter half of 2012 and offer different packages for spaces and connectivity.

In Egypt, there is The District which first came about in 2010, when its co-founder began dreaming of a different kind of workspace that would be more than just an office. They provide workspace to startups and organize events for them to present ideas to investors.

In Lebanon an internet startup accelerator, Seeqnce, offers coworking spaces to entrepreneurs, professionals, students and freelancers. The facility is open 6 days a week.

Corporate cultures move at a snail’s pace and may take a while to adopt a coworking. Management is always trying deal with intellectual property theft and confidentiality issues. However, for an independent professional coworking makes sense as it provides most of the benefits of working from an office without all the drawbacks. So before you lock yourself into a lease, try a coworking space. At any given day you can now afford to get a well structured and lavish office for a lease.


  1. Quora - July 10, 2012

    Where are the Coworking spaces in middle east?…

    Check this link for a list of coworking spaces in Middle East

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