A guide to serviced offices and office space to rent in Nicosia as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting offices in Nicosia.
History & Geography
Located to the north of the island, Nicosia, Cyprus’ capital is one of the most unique and history-filled cities in the world. Currently Nicosia is the only divided capital in the world, a state of affairs that has arisen from its storied and exceptional history. Nicosia has been settled since the Bronze Age, and was one of the 12 kingdoms of ancient Cyprus and was known as Ledra. Ledra was sacked by the Assyrians in the seventh century BC and fell into decline, becoming a small and unimportant town sustained by farming. It was only in 965 CE that Nicosia became the capital of the island after the city of Salamis was raised by the Arabs in 647 CE. During the Middle Ages Cyprus was ruled by the English, the Knights Templar, the King of Jerusalem and finally by the Republic of Venice, which heavily fortified the island in fear of attack from the Ottoman Empire. In the 16th century the Ottomans did invade successfully, destroying much of the town and decimating the population. The Ottomans ruled until the 1878 when they handed over control of the island to the British. With the advent of the 20th century the city was significantly extended and modernized. Roads were widened and extensive suburbs outside the city’s old Venetian walls were built. In 1955 there was an armed uprising against British rule which ultimately resulted in the independence of the island being declared in 1960. Soon after independence however the city’s Greek and Turkish communities became embroiled in conflict and the city was divided by the so-called Green line. In 1974 the Turkish army invaded the island and established a presence in northeast area of Cyprus. Further fighting ensued when the Turkish army invaded northern Nicosia, causing many of the city’s Greek population to flee. In 1983 Turkish Cypriots declared their independence as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Nicosia continues to be divided to this day.
As the capital of Cyprus Nicosia is the financial and trading heart of the country. All Cypriot banks and major Cypriot companies have their headquarters in the city, as do all government agencies. There are a few large international companies with a major presence in Nicosia as well, including KPMG, Deloitte, PWC, and Ernst & Young. Currently Nicosia is the wealthiest city in the Eastern Mediterranean and the tenth richest city in the world when measured by purchasing power. The city has a high cost of living which reflects its prosperity. Cyprus itself has a free market economy mostly based on service along with a little light manufacturing. Among the items manufactured are textiles, plastic and leather. There are also extensive copper mines on the outskirts of the city. It’s population is fairly highly educated and mostly English speaking. Nicosia has an advanced infrastructure with good telecommunications and transportation facilities and markets itself a bridge between east and west. There is a large student presence in Nicosia as the city boasts a number of universities, including the University of Nicosia, the European University, the Open University of Cyprus and Frederick University. The city also has a bustling retail economy as well as a vibrant nightlife scene with many restaurants, bars and clubs.
Tourism & Culture
Due in large part to its ideal weather and proximity to Greece and Turkey, Nicosia has a thriving tourist industry. The city itself lacks a beach, however there are many to be found in the surrounding area. Nicosia is full of landmarks and sites related to its varied and eventful history. The Famagusta Gates of the old Venetian walls surrounding the city are one of the most beautiful sites in Nicosia, along with the Agios Ioannis Cathedral which was built in 1662. Additionally the Archbishop’s Palace in the Old Town, built by Archbishop Makarios during the Cypriot struggle for independence, is one of the city’s most popular sites. The militarized Green Line, where one can see the Cypriot and Turkish soldiers standing guard on each side is also frequently visited by tourists. But many visitors come to the city simply to soak up its relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere with its sidewalk cafes, restaurants and bars. Football is the primary sport on Cyprus and Nicosia is home to three teams, APOEL, Omonia and Olympiakos.
Nicosia is served by a new and very efficient bus network as well as a host of taxi companies. The city has also recently instituted a wide ranging new bike sharing scheme called Bike in Action. There are 27 docking stations spread around the city and over 300 bikes involved in the scheme. Cyprus used to have train network however it was closed in 1951. The country currently lacks a train system however plans are in place to build an extensive intercity rail line. Cyprus’ main international airport is Larnaca International Airport which has just built a new terminal finished in 2009.
Nicosia has a plentiful supply of Grade A office space and has traditionally had a fairly high level of demand resulting from it’s vibrant economy and plethora of international companies with operations in the city. However due to the recent slump demand has dropped more than anticipated and consequently incentives from landlords have become more plentiful and there has been some downward pressure on price. Prime rent is approximately EUR 3,000 to 4,500 per square meter per year in Nicosia.