The Gulf’s Top Five Offices
Gulf Business takes a look at the region’s coolest offices:
July 31, 2012
1. Jumeirah Executive Office Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah
The top spot is all down to location. The chairman’s office of the Jumeirah Group has several black leather sofas, space big enough to do aerobics in and one of the most intimidating thick, wooden desks we’ve seen. But the office could be a cardboard box and still come top just for its postcode. Situated in the heart of Al Qasr, one of the Jumeirah Group’s ultra-luxury flagship hotels, not only do the views look out onto the Burj al-Arab hotel and Jumeriah’s private beaches, but two steps out of the oak double doors and you’re in the middle of the Madinat; one of the most luxurious areas in Dubai.
2. THE One Al Wasl Road THE One’s office is a world away from the busy, humdrum corporate locations – and that was before a Feng Shui expert was brought in to create positive energy. A spacious two-storey villa surrounded by a lush garden filled with fruit trees, fountains, birdlife, wind chimes, balconies and views of the tallest building in the world, it’s no wonder they hold outdoor meetings on garden furniture, sitting underneath umbrellas. Inside staff can borrow books from the randomly placed makeshift library while weaving their way underneath faux palm trees that loom over the aircraft-inspired lobby. Just don’t trip over the office dog, Max.
3. Mojo Al Quoz Over-sized butterflies, rainbow horses being ridden by mermaids, a fish hanging from a crane and pink hot air balloons... how they get any work done at Mojo is beyond us. As if setting up office within a contemporary art gallery wasn’t wacky enough, street artists from London were brought in to create a colourful murial as a backdrop for the marketing company; it feels like someone’s let Banksy loose when he’s in a particularly colourful mood and he’s gone to town. And that’s pretty cool. Another Feng Shui fan, the creative energy is said to flow between the two floors via a ribbon steel staircase.
4. LS: Keep Moving Tornado Tower, Qatar
To say your office is in ‘Tornado Tower’ is pretty cool. This seriously cool office space fits the company’s motto to ‘keep moving’. The flowing lines and changing neon colours plus a graphic digital wall imply nothing and no one stands still. Occupying the bottom floors of the ‘tornado’, LS’s glass exterior allows passers-by to gaze into the office and watch the company busy at work, while at night the base of the building is illuminated by an ever-changing light show. Maybe their motto should be: ‘office by day, disco by night’.
5. ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Dubai Media City Red, yellow and blue was the order of the day when they designed this PR company’s office. Matching their umbrella company Burson-Marsteller’s logo, the brand runs throughout the walls from reception to meeting rooms ensuring clients never forget which agency they’re with (and possibly making them feel like they’re in the 1970s.) For staff, playing table tennis among flower-power beanbags is a pretty cool way to spend your lunch break; even if you’re rubbish at least you can pretend you’re Austin Powers.
The one that got away… CEO of Emaar’s office 152nd floor, Burj Khalifa
You’re probably wondering how the Burj Khalifa hasn’t featured in this list. Surely a shoe-in for the number one spot as the highest office space in the world? But no. What was the private office for Mohammed Ali Alabbar, CEO of Emaar, has unquestionably stunning views and the most famous location in the world. But Alabbar left his office, situated on the 152nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, and it now stands empty, available for private events. No one knows why Alabbar decided to leave the world’s highest office, but standing unoccupied violates our strict selection criteria: “Offices must be occupied.” Plus think how long it must take to get out for lunch! prev next
How do you define cool? It’s a popular adjective used to describe anything and everything that takes a person’s fancy.
The latest Ferrari is generally considered cool. A fancy apartment on The Palm is cool. Gadgets, Blackberrys, i-Pads, shoes, watches and jewellery can all be described as cool.
One thing that doesn’t seem to be given the ‘cool’ term that often though is the workplace.
So here at Gulf Business we decided to search for the coolest offices in the region. This didn’t necessarily mean the most expensive. To be rated as cool, offices were judged on the following criteria: design, decoration, interior, exterior, location, view and most of all, something unique and quirky that gives a genuine ‘cool’ aspect.