Regus, a provider of flexible workspace, has reported a 15% increase in demand for virtual office services in the first six months of 2011, compared to the previous six months July to December 2010.

With thousands of customers in the UAE, the company attributes rising demand for virtual offices to home-based and small businesses looking for workspace support that is low cost, low risk, and can dramatically increase productivity.

Tamkin sees clear benefits from having a virtual office: “Using the Regus services provides us with a central and convenient location for our visitors who don’t know the city well and would not be able to find our regular office location easily. We can work on the move, wherever we need to be, or take the day off, secure that someone will answer the phone and take mail deliveries.”

Joanne Bushell, VP Middle East and Africa for Regus adds: “Even though the economy in UAE is recovering, small businesses are acutely aware of the need to control spending. Virtual offices offer home businesses, start ups and companies entering the UAE market the benefits of a staffed office, such as a professional business address and a professional receptionist to answer the phone, without the expense, risk and management time of setting up a physical presence.”

Regus offers a range of virtual office services, including business address to use on company stationery, dedicated local phone number and receptionist to answer calls, mail collection and handling, and access to private offices or meeting rooms.

All those services allow businesses to project an impressive image to clients and customers, without the expense of leasing professional workspace, or hiring their own administrative staff. Some use their virtual office as a permanent arrangement; others use it as a staging post, before they expand to a physical.'

Michael Byrne

Before joining SME Advisor as an Assistant Editor in 2010 I obtained a Bachelors Civil Law Degree (Hons) from the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland, in 2005. I worked as a trainee lawyer in Dublin, Ireland, specialising in defence litigation and criminal law before obtaining a Masters in International Journalism from the University of Cardiff in 2009. At present I am the Editor of SME Advisor Middle East, which is a publication within the CPI Business Group. You can follow me on twitter: @mikey_byrne or @SMEadvisorME. Also, you can join me on Linkedin (Mike Byrne) or at (SME Advisor).