The UN is preparing to vacate office space in Yangon’s Traders Hotel later this month as Myanmar’s tourism grows and demand for hotel rooms rises in the country’s largest city.
As the UN presence across Myanmar expanded to 2,000 since 2007, it was provided with rooms on five floors of the Shangri-La Asia Ltd-operated hotel by the Myanmar government.
“This development has been ongoing for sometime,” said Aye Win, the national information officer for the UN in Myanmar. “The last time the offices’ leases were renewed [in July 2012], we knew it was the final time.”
The organization is similarly moving out of its space on the grounds of Yangon’s Inya Lake Hotel further north of the city.
The International Labor Organization has already found a new base, while other branches of the UN are still looking for suitable locations.
“Before, it was most convenient for the agencies to share the common services of the hotels,” said Aye Win. “But now every hotel is going back to its original purpose.”
With an increase in tourist numbers to Myanmar from 731,230 in 2008 to 1,058,995 in 2012, once empty hotels have now been filled. Rising demand has sent hotel prices through the roof—with rooms in Traders Hotel costing US$235 per night.
Office space has also become rare and extremely expensive in the city at around $75-$150 per sq.m per month as international firms move in and occupy limited space.
The Shangri-La Residence will open near Kandawgyi Lake later this year with 800-rooms, including apartments and offices.
At the end of June, the city’s first co-working space, Project Hub Yangon, opened near the Park Royal Hotel to provide a temporary office for the city’s influx of ex-pat freelancers and consultants.