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Landlords in Dubai being 'more lenient,' dropping rent 50%, says F&B CEO

Landlords in Dubai are being more lenient and reducing rent by up to 50 percent in areas like Business Bay, according to the CEO of Addmind Hospitality Group.

The company is behind a number of concepts including Indie restaurant and lounge, Italian restaurant Matto, rooftop lounge Iris Dubai and Drai’s beach club; all spread across the city’s various neighbourhoods including Business Bay, DIFC and the Meydan area.

Speaking to Arabian Business, Tony Habre said landlords today are more flexible with rent when compared to four years ago. However, he said areas like DIFC and Downtown Dubai have not seen a massive drop in rents.

“Landlords and companies are being much more lenient than before in that [rent] angle. They know everybody is struggling. So they’re being a bit more lenient and flexible on that. If you go now and rent, of course rents have dropped. Now, we have so many good deals everywhere. It’s totally different than four years ago,” he said.

“I would say, maybe overall, if you’re not in DIFC…  [rent is down] maybe 50 percent. But not in Emaar [properties] or DIFC or The Dubai Mall, [but] the other places like Business Bay,” he added.

Too much supply

Habre said the reason behind falling rates is too much supply in the property market.

“There’s just so much more supply. There wasn’t any supply five years ago. Now, there’s so much supply,” he said.

But the CEO believes the “trick” to surviving the current market is “knowing how to live the good and the bad years.”

“We have to survive every storm we get. We’re in the business, we’re going to stay in the business and we’re here for the long term,” he said.

Addmind is also set to expand to Saudi Arabia with the opening of its Dubai and Beirut nightclub brand White as a high-end café and lounge in Jeddah.

The group is also finalising a café version of its Iris rooftop concept in Jeddah, Habre said, where guests can enjoy music, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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