x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Circular HQ rounds up new tenants

The iconic disc-shaped building widely known as "The Coin" has a new tenant.

The first tenants of the 23-storey circular office building known as The Coin are expected to move in next month.
The first tenants of the 23-storey circular office building known as The Coin are expected to move in next month.

The 23-storey circular office building known as The Coin already draws stares from anyone driving past Al Raha Beach on the road between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Now HQ, the building's formal name, is attracting tenants, too.

ABB, a Swedish power and automation technology company, has leased three floors for a total of more than 6,000 square metres in the disc-shaped building, Aldar Properties announced yesterday.

With the new tenant, HQ is about 60 per cent leased, property agents say.

The first tenants are expected to move in next month, according to Rami Nasser, the director of sales for Aldar, which built HQ.

The initial occupiers include Aldar; Advanced Technology Investment Company (Atic), an arm of Mubadala Development, a strategic investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi Government; and Globalfoundries, the semiconductor company controlled by Atic.

Aldar will occupy about 20 per cent of the 50,000 sq metres available for lease. Other signed tenants are reported to include the Insurance Authority of the UAE and Rolls-Royce, which has a variety of joint ventures with Mubadala.

Aldar started seeking tenants in 2009 but was quickly faced with the economic downturn, which complicated the process of finding tenants.

However, leasing agents expect the building to attract interest from companies in older offices in the city, especially international operations.

"HQ is one of only three internationally recognised Grade A buildings available in Abu Dhabi this year," said Rupert Bowen-Jones, a senior surveyor with CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). "Because of that, there will be very strong take-up in the Grade A sector."

In addition to the futuristic design, HQ offers tenants a concierge staff, male and female gyms, valet parking, high-speed lifts and "one of the highest car parking ratios in Abu Dhabi".

ABB is consolidating its Abu Dhabi offices in the building, according to Frank Duggan, the company's regional manager. ABB will occupy the second, third and fourth floors.

The Swedish company chose the building for its facilities as well as its location "in easy reach of all our stakeholders in the region", Mr Duggan said. No lease rates were disclosed.

The competition for office tenants is intensifying in Abu Dhabi. About 540,000 sq metres of space is scheduled for completion this year, including International Tower in Capital Centre and four towers at Sowwah Square.

Average office rates in Abu Dhabi have fallen 62 per cent since their peak in the third quarter of 2008, from Dh4,750 (US$1,293) a sq metre to Dh1,800, according to CBRE data.

kbrass@thenational.ae