A guide to serviced offices and office space for rent in Dublin as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting office space in the city.
Dublin is the capital and most populous city of the Republic of Ireland. It is located on the country’s east coast and has been the site of much of its economic, social and historical developments over the course of the past 1,000 years or so.
A huge amount of social, economic and cultural upheavals have taken place in the city over the course of the last several centuries and not least since the end of the Second World War.
Periods of economic stagnation, decline and ultimately rejuvenation have all had a major impact on how the city looks and the way that Dubliners see themselves.
The city itself lies in the heart of what is referred to as County Dublin, which is one of 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland and covers an area of almost 1,000 sq km in the Province of Leinster. The most recent census indicated that there are around 1.18 million people living in the region, with the vast majority living in and around the major urban centre which is close to the mouth of the River Liffey.
Having first been founded by Vikings in the first millennium, Dublin was subject to numerous invasions, conflicts and colonisations during the first thousand years of its history. Eventually the British Empire came to dominate administrative matters in the Irish capital and precipitate the most lasting changes to the city and its surroundings.
As far as Dublin is concerned, the so-called Georgian period of history, between 1714 and 1830, was one of large-scale rebuilding and development work being carried out under British rule. Despite having been one of the most populous cities in Europe in around 1700, Dublin remained an essentially medieval city and a great deal of work was required to turn it into something more like the city we know today.
For better or worse, the Georgian period gave Dublin what were to be its defining architectural features for the better part of two centuries. The housing projects established on both the north and south sides of the city were the result of a house-building boom in the 1800s and many of these properties were to remain in tact until very recently.
This link to an architectural and cultural past in greatly valued in some respects, but by the 1990s the 200-year-old housing stock was in a state of obvious disrepair. So much so that some areas could convincingly be used as backdrops for movies set in post-war Germany.
Rejuvenation and the ‘Celtic Tiger’ period
Ireland has never been an industrial power house and was for decades regarded by many as something of a European backwater. But this has all changed in recent years because a period of unprecedented economic dynamism has led to the country being dubbed the ‘Celtic Tiger’.
In fact, for around a decade after 1997, Dublin and Ireland as a whole was able to boast economic growth rates that were the envy of much of Europe and the developed world. Indeed, for a number of years, the country’s economy grew dramatically, with annual growth rates consistently getting close to or topping double figures.
After the Downturn
As was the case for much of the world, the Irish economy took a notable turn for the worse in the few years after 2007, but the prior decade saw a number of significant positive developments for Ireland and Dublin in particular that have stood the economy in good stead.
Many of the world’s biggest and best known companies now have permanent offices and business centres in Dublin, with major players in the information and communications technology industries having established their European headquarters in the area in recent years.
Household names like Microsoft, PayPal, Facebook and Google, all have offices in their name or are renting office space in Dublin, while Intel and Hewlett-Packard both have significant manufacturing centres nearby.
There are thousands of square metres of office space to rent in Dublin, with the majority of that space being accounted for by developments in the very heart of the city. In 2011, somewhere in the region of 78,500 sq m of office space was taken up in Dublin and more recent activity has been described as “encouraging” by CB Richard Ellis, although the analysts admit that the future of the market remains uncertain.
According to the company’s report in July 2011, take-up of serviced offices, leasehold offices, managed offices, and business centres in Dublin so far this year have amounted to almost 50,000 sq m – a figure that represents a considerable increase in office space uptake compared with the previous year.
Dublin Airport is located around 6 miles north of the city in what was until recently an entirely rural area. The airport carried more than 20 million passengers over the course of 2009, with the bulk of flights being made to other UK or European destinations. Resident carriers Aer Lingus and others run long-haul flights from Dublin but most of the traffic heads to and from the UK, with 50 daily departures to one of London’s five major airports.
As the country’s capital, Dublin is naturally at the centre of Ireland’s national transport system, with links to all other parts of the island stretching out from the east coast destination. The city is served directly by the M50 motorway, a light rail, national rail and a commuter rail system, as well as an extensive bus service covering the entire of the wider Dublin area.
In late 2005, a major investment and development project dubbed ‘Transport 21′ was launched and a total of around €34 billion was pledged to help “transform the city and radically improve it for us all – citizens and visitors alike”. A huge variety of projects, large and small, have since been undertaken under the Transport 21 banner.
Among Dublin’s most eye-catching transport developments of recent years has been the Samuel Beckett Bridge, which crosses the River Liffey from Guild Street to the North Wall Quay area of the Docklands.
As the Beckett Bridge demonstrates, Dublin has a strong affinity for its cultural heritage and particularly for its long list of influential writers. Samuel Beckett is one of three Nobel prize for literature laureates to hail from the Irish capital (the others being W.B. Yeates and George Bernard Shaw). And, not to be outdone, Beckett’s fellow titan of 20th century literature James Joyce has a Liffey-crossing bridge named after him.
With the help of a host of other famous Dublin writers including Oscar Wilde, Jonathan Swift and Bram Stoker, the city has more than earned its place as one of the world’s primary centres of artistic creation – a fact recognised recently by the United Nations as Dublin became a permanent ‘Unesco City of Literature’.
Tourism and sport
Dublin is among the most popular tourist destinations in western Europe, boasting international sporting arenas like Croke Park, unforgettable landmarks like Dublin Castle and the recently-built Spire of Dublin. Elsewhere there are parks and zoos and festivals and street performers and some of the most popular venues for stag and hen parties anywhere in the world.
Shopping has increasingly become a national pastime and the capital leads the way with several of the most visited retail districts in the country, including Grafton Street and the Jervis Shopping Centre.
Sport is played by millions of people across Ireland every week and Dublin is one of the best places to get a taste of the unique atmosphere generated by a high-level Gaelic football match. Thousands turn out weekly to watch the top teams in what is Ireland’s most popular sport. Meanwhile hurling, rugby union, show-jumping, golf, boxing and association football are also hugely popular national pastimes.