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What Is a Flexi Desk in the United Arab Emirates?

Apr 28, 2022 | Entrepreneurship

What is a Flexi desk in Dubai and should you consider one? The United Arab Emirates (UAE) hopes to see its economy double in size by 2031. Much of that growth rests on the country’s ever-expanding business community. Establishing a business in the UAE has become incredibly streamlined, thanks to the many incentives launched by the Department of Economic Development.

Anyone launching in this growing market for the first time may find that a Flexi desk is an ideal solution.

That goes for businesses already operating across the UAE and looking to expand. Not only are Flexi desks cost-effective, but they also provide a dynamic work environment, with plenty of additional benefits. One example is how they can aid new businesses in meeting some of their legal obligations.

Read on to discover how a Flexi desk in Dubai can make a difference to your brand.

Young entrepreneur sharing coworking flexi desk office space

Flexi Desks in the UAE

Flexi desks, also known as hot desks or smart desks, give business owners dedicated spaces in corporate environments without needing entire offices or whole buildings.

There’s a strong demand for workspaces across the Emirates. As a growth market, it rivals some of the world’s most prominent business centres. Unfortunately, this leads to a shortage of prime locations and potentially high prices.

One of the biggest strengths of this way of working is that Flexi desks are among the easiest ways to get your business up and running. Our company setup services can include a Flexi desk in Dubai workspace as standard. That sets you and your employees up to get to work immediately, complete with a cost-effective correspondence address for your venture.

Do You Need a Flexi Desk?

While a Flexi desk space isn’t the only option for new companies in the UAE, it can help check off certain boxes when launching a new enterprise. Choosing a Flexi desk office space also introduces associated services like phones, internet access, and reception facilities.

A common obstacle facing new businesses is the need for a physical presence. If you plan to launch a mainland company, there’s no avoiding this need, as a mainland business must have a physical workspace. To sidestep this issue, you can get started in one of the UAE’s free zones.

However, companies without a physical presence can’t apply directly for a UAE residence visa and may struggle to meet bank requirements when setting up an account.

In most cases, running a business in the UAE is far more straightforward with a physical presence. A Flexi desk suits both mainland business setups and a free zone structure. Choosing a Flexi desk arrangement is a low-cost, customisable option for businesses of all sizes.

Your brand could benefit from a Flexi desk in Dubai if:

  • The company is brand new in the UAE and requires an initial physical address
  • Owners and employees need a base already equipped with essential office facilities
  • You seek a prime location where more permanent office facilities are in high demand
  • Employees thrive in a coworking space surrounded by like-minded people
  • Your business requires a physical address beyond where you plan to operate

Of course, it’s vital to remember that Flexi desks are just one option. Virtually every business in the region can benefit from an office space.

Don’t forget that Dubai and Abu Dhabi are home to some of the finest office buildings in the world – and the tallest! A Dubai Flexi desk can be ideal for the price, convenience, flexibility, and productivity.

Business owners in a meeting room using flexi desk set up in a Dubai free zone

Finding a Prime Location

Flexi desks are among the cheapest ways to gain a physical address for a new business. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of the locus itself.

Many prospective business owners consider the prestige and perception of the address, and rightly so. For example, finding a Flexi desk in a corporate address in the Dubai workspaces of Business Bay could be an attractive option for new clients. However, Business Bay is just one of the many Flexi desk options available to business owners.

Usually, some free zones have different policies and are less restrictive about the location. However, some free zones boast no support for coworking spaces at all. Remember, the Flexi desk should exist in the same territory as the business’s registration in most cases.

Unsurprisingly, the easiest way to find the right spot for any business is to work with a leading local expert, and Virtuzone can help. We help new companies find prime Dubai Flexi desk locations for their brands at numerous locations across free zones and the mainland.

This ensures smooth business operations as your business transforms from an innovative startup into a thriving organisation.

Some Great Flexi Desk Locations

Many new businesses in the UAE think about Dubai workspaces and the lure of Abu Dhabi. However, anyone looking for flexible working opportunities is spoilt for choice! Considering a free zone could be a solution for many businesses. Among so many great free zones, here are some of our favourites.

Ajman Free Zone (AFZ)

The Ajman Free Zone is all about flexibility. This free zone was established in 1988, making it one of the UAE’s oldest business districts. The wide variety of businesses operating there and the extensive availability of Flexi desk packages make it a desirable option.

Fujairah Creative City Free Zone (FCC)

Widely known for providing the UAE’s only direct access to the Indian Ocean, the Fujairah Creative City free zone attracts new business through sheer simplicity. Setup in this free zone is straightforward, there’s no need for a local sponsor, and a Flexi desk location alone is enough for local visa applications.

Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ)

As well as having the most pronounceable acronym of all the UAE’s free zones, the RAKEZ hub appeals to new companies through support for businesses of all sizes and sectors. This free zone authority also handles numerous government functions locally, often speeding up visa applications. Flexi desk space is plentiful in this context, and there are no specific physical presence requirements to start a business in a free zone.

Silicon Oasis Free Zone & DTEC

Within the Silicon Oasis Free zone lies Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Center (DTEC). DTEC is a business center that targets IT-focused innovators and entrepreneurs. Because of this zone’s prime position, a Flexi desk arrangement in DTEC allows you to take advantage of office facilities like video conferencing, meeting rooms, a postal address and a phone number. 

Optimising Your Flexi Desk Space

The nature of Flexi desks means that they’re suitable for all kinds of businesses. For example, some companies elect to utilise their desk space purely for location, use of meeting rooms and mail handling.

It’s wise to get an understanding of your lease terms for the Flexi desk space you ultimately choose. This is because some limitations may apply to leaseholders, in terms of applicable hours you can access the facilities.

A business owner interested in flexible working in the UAE should consider:

  • How often and for how long do they require a Flexi desk
  • The likelihood of needing meeting rooms, conference spaces and other facilities
  • Whether you require a pure working space or would also like to take advantage of networking opportunities, business support, think tanks and other opportunities

Flexidesk business center desk with laptops, smartphones, tablet, telephone, calculator in dubai uae

Flexible Working: Location & Facilities Are Important

While noted for being cost effective, it’s important to consider the location and facilities that your coworking space can provide. Of course,  individual Flexi desk pricing will vary, depending on the business perks it provides.

Location

Dubai and Abu Dhabi boast cheaper office spaces compared to their international competitors. This means these local business centers are a major drawcard for people moving to the UAE. Both emirates typically work out cheaper than London, New York and Beijing.

However, both business centers represent premium space in the UAE, and the price will be reflective of their status.

Generally, it’s sensible to spend more on a Flexi desk space to ensure a location relevant to your business. Media companies commonly come together in Dubai Media City free zone. Meanwhile, businesses within the education and personal development industries are typically located in Dubai Knowledge Park.

Flexi desk spaces in these business centers may not necessarily represent the cheapest option. Still, the availability of talent and freelancers, networking opportunities and widespread support can make for an incredible return on investment.

Facilities

If you’re an entrepreneur and working from home isn’t a viable option, a Flexi desk in Dubai can be an inexpensive business solution.

The size, availability and prestige of additional facilities can all play a part in costs. For example, there’s no shortage of luxurious meeting rooms within which any business owner could entertain their dream client. But, naturally, this prominence can come at a price.

Your choice of Flexi desk address could also be determined by internet speed, security and reception services. Luckily, the communal nature of co-working spaces usually means better value than seeking out these facilities separately.

Flexi Desks in the UAE – Pros and Cons

A Flexi desk and co-working spaces are one of several options for new businesses in the UAE. Is a UAE Flexi desk suitable for you and your business? Here are some of the Flexi desk advantages and disadvantages to consider:

Flexi Desk Pros:

  • Flexi desks are often the cheapest way for a business to create a physical presence in the UAE
  • Communal spaces are often more productive not only than working from home but also in traditional office environments
  • Hot desks grow with your business – if you require more space, simply upgrade your lease
  • Coworking spaces are easy to join and relatively easy to leave, making them ideal for new ideas or corporate test runs

Flexi Desk Cons:

  • A Flexi desk may not be enough of a physical presence to apply for a business bank account in the UAE
  • Coworking spaces can be inconsistent, especially for managers, with team members often using different desks each time
  • Personal space can be limited in these environments, and you’ll often spend time within earshot of other people

Start the Setup Process in the UAE Today

Office space, including Flexi desks, is a crucial consideration for any new company, but it’s not the only one. At Virtuzone, we’ve worked with over 60,000 founders from around the globe on successful business launches across the emirates.

We’d be delighted to do the same for you. So whether you’re considering launching a new brand in Abu Dhabi or need local expertise on Dubai workspaces, contact us today to get the process underway!

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