Survey finds growing demand for public transport in Saudi Arabia

The KSA Office Occupier Survey, created by Raza, CoreNET, and JLL, identifies opportunities and gaps for the real estate sector

The study found that more than two-thirds of Saudi workers would take public transport if available [representational]
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The study found that more than two-thirds of Saudi workers would take public transport if available [representational]

More than two-thirds of office workers across Saudi Arabia have revealed that they would use public transportation every day to commute to work if it was available, according to a “first of its kind” study – The KSA Office Occupier Survey – commissioned by real estate firms Raza, JLL MEA, and CoreNET.

Respondents from government, private and multinational companies across Riyadh, Jeddah, Khobar and Dammam took part in the first edition of the KSA Office Occupier Survey, which was created to find out the opportunities and gaps across Saudi Arabia’s real estate sector.

The results found that 67% of tenants indicated they would be willing to use alternatives to private cars like the metro, bus shuttles, and ride hailing services.

The survey revealed that the average parking ratio for respondents’ offices was one parking space for every 44 sqm of leased office space.

It added that with an average of 14.1 sqm per staff, the kingdom offered around one parking space for every three employees.

“A ratio of one parking space for every 44 sqm of leased office space across Saudi Arabia is competitive on a regional scale. For comparison, in markets such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE, the ratio is typically one parking space for every 50 sqm of leased office space,” said Jack Cone, founder of the CoreNet Saudi Arabia chapter and senior analyst at JLL.

He added: “If landlords and developers are able to offer ratios lower than market average, it can be a unique selling point used to attract tenants.”

Raza director for property and asset management, John Harris, believed that there is an opportunity for employers and landlords to form transit partnerships to offer solutions to “chronic parking” and “traffic frustrations” in the big cities.

While, Toby Hall, head of the Middle East chapter for CoreNET Global, and head of business and office leasing at JLL UAE said: “Office markets around the world are being disrupted by new technologies and new approaches to work, with occupiers increasingly relating to their premises as an experience rather than a physical commodity.”

He added: “This has important implications for how office space is delivered and used in Saudi Arabia.”

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