Are business centres losing their essence? By: Ibtihel Hagui, General Manager, Global Business Centre

They are being reduced to mere office spaces, when in truth they foster a healthy startup environment

The preponderance of business centres has resulted in commercial concepts diluting the original idea, which was to support small and medium companies and attract international companies looking to expand into new markets with representative offices.

Until recently, business centres were one of the main partners contributing to the success of entrepreneurs by providing a range of services that helped transform their idea into reality. Today, business centres have, however, turned into mere commercial boxes, with a few exceptions.

Business centres have lost a lot of their luster with young investors, especially because of the lack of ease and comfortable services provided to newly created companies to help them achieve their goals. These services must include equipped offices, joint workspaces, secretarial and communication services, among other facilities, which help these companies save time and ease some of their day-to-day tasks.

Business centres were created in response to the general economic renaissance witnessed in Qatar and the size of foreign investments that contributed to local officials’ efforts in providing a suitable investment environment. This is part of the overall strategy to diversify the economy and achieve sustainable development in Qatar.

A positive environment is essential for new startups. Not only do business centres offer affordable office spaces, they also provide a place where you can network and connect with similar-minded people who are project owners themselves.

Young investors emphasise that developing a healthy environment for entrepreneurs and startups does not happen by nature. It requires hard work, networking, sharing thoughts and ideas. As long as the community of entrepreneurs is growing, the overall market will continue to grow and attract investments. However, one of the most important factors required for market growth is successful companies, which in turn are born from successful ideas. 

The high number of business centres available today are responsible for shifting the concept of these hubs into mere rental spaces, when in reality, they offer much more than that. They are now thought of as “offices” without providing the necessary tools and facilities needed to help young businesses and entrepreneurs succeed. 

Business centres play a major role in the success of these businesses, which directly contribute to Qatar’s economic growth for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and the 2030 Qatar National Vision. 

We have to take it upon ourselves to develop these business centres into more than office spaces and more of business partners in order to contribute to Qatar’s economy.

This article was published as part of the fourth edition of Property Finder Qatar’s Trends Report