Hong Kong is now number one on Cushman & Wakefield's latest annual study of the priciest office space, jumping from third place in 2010. London is number two, followed by Tokyo, the most expensive market in 2010.
The biggest rental increases in 2010 were in China and Brazil, Cushman & Wakefield reported. Rio de Janeiro jumped from 13th to fourth on the list, after office rents increased 47 per cent in 2010.
Hong Kong saw rents jump 51 per cent in 2010, with little space available, Cushman & Wakefield said.
Dubai has fallen off the list after being number four on the list in 2010. David Quinn, head of Cushman & Wakefield's UAE office, said: "There is a lot of office space becoming available. Landlords have been forced to drop rates to attract tenants."
In the Dubai International Financial Centre, one of the city's most desirable developments, rents have fallen from Dh350 a sq foot to Dh280 a sq foot in the last year, Mr Quinn said. Other projects have seen rents fall more than 30 per cent, he said.
More than 40 per cent of office space in Dubai is empty, according to Jones Lang Lasalle, a rival property firm.
Dubai has been replaced on Cushman & Wakefield's global list, which only includes one city per country, by Abu Dhabi. The UAE capital now stands as the 16th most expensive office market in the world, although that is likely to change.
Abu Dhabi office rates are expected to slide in the next year, with 540,000-square-metres of new space due to come on line in 2011, including the 24-story International Tower in Capital Center and Sowwah Square, part of the new Sowwah Island business district.
Abu Dhabi is "a bit of an anomaly," Mr Quinn said. "There is an awful lot of space coming out of the ground."