The demand for housing in Dubai is experiencing substantial growth, driven by both natural population increase and increased interest from foreigners. Year after year, the emirate continues to attract more property buyers. Read on to discover the best areas for living, renting out, and the regions with the most affordable housing.
What Makes Dubai So Attractive?
Dubai boasts numerous compelling reasons for its attractiveness as a destination. These include its pleasant climate and proximity to the sea, a high standard of living coupled with a low crime rate, modern infrastructure, favorable tax policies, hosting major international events such as Expo 2020, competitive prices compared to other global metropolitan areas, and the potential for high rental income.
Dubai is often perceived as an exclusively elite destination, but this is not entirely accurate. Firstly, Dubai doesn't hold the record for the highest property prices among global cities. Secondly, the emirate provides a significant amount of affordable housing options.
Clearly, the location of a property plays a substantial role in determining its price. However, the preferences of investors and eventual property owners can often vary significantly. To simplify matters, the city's areas are conditionally categorized into three groups: prime residential areas, ideal for investment, and regions with the most affordable apartments.
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Best Areas for Living
Key parameters for evaluating areas on this list include the type of development, housing affordability, the availability of social and entertainment infrastructure, accessibility to transportation, population density, proximity to water bodies, environmental conditions, and development direction.
So, here are the best areas for living in Dubai:
Dubai Marina is an appealing district situated on the western side of the city, built around a man-made bay, and renowned as one of the most fashionable marinas globally. The area features a tramline, the Marina Mall shopping center, and two subway stations. It is adjacent to Knowledge Village and the artificial island of Palm Jumeirah.
Upon completion of this project by Emaar Properties, the area will boast over 200 skyscrapers, including several towering above 300 meters in height (such as The Marina Torch, Cayan Tower, and Princess Tower). Currently, the population in the area stands at approximately 55,000 residents, with an expected growth projected to reach up to 120,000 residents.
Downtown is a sprawling mixed-use district that offers a spectacular showcase of the city's landmarks, including the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, the Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping centers globally, and The Dubai Fountain, the world's largest musical fountain. This neighborhood encompasses a two-square-kilometer area and is situated along Sheikh Zayed Road.
Notable projects in the area encompass the 58-floor apartment skyscraper Burj Royale, along with residential towers such as Emaar Boulevard, The Residences, South Ridge, Grande, and Il Primo Towers. The Old Town and The Old Town Island primarily feature low-rise residential developments.
The population in the area exceeds 13,000 residents.
An artificial island created by the Nakheel development company stands as one of the emirate's iconic landmarks and a consistent top performer in Dubai's livability ratings. Palm Jumeirah is part of a larger series of developments known as the Palm Islands, which also includes Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira. Shaped like a palm tree, the island consists of a 'trunk,' 16 'leaves,' and an 11-kilometer crescent-shaped breakwater encircling it. A 300-meter bridge connects the island to the mainland, while the breakwater links to the palm's top through an underwater tunnel. The island boasts over 4,500 residential units, as well as hotels and shops, with a current population of approximately 10,000 residents.
The prices for properties available for purchase on the island range from 6 million AED to 365 million AED (equivalent to $1.6 million to $99.4 million).
City Walk is a vibrant urban district in Dubai, featuring residential buildings, restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. This part of the city is relatively recent, with development commencing in 2011. It constitutes a central hub within the Jumeirah community.
The Al-Qudra area is situated on the outskirts of the metropolis. However, it offers a comfortable, tranquil, and serene environment, qualities greatly valued by many buyers. The primary residents of this area are students and young families.
In contrast to Al-Qudra, Business Bay is a contemporary neighborhood characterized by numerous skyscrapers. Some of the residential real estate in the area is still undergoing development, making it an opportune time for investors. Upon completion of construction, the area is projected to have a population of approximately 190,000 people, with a majority being expatriates.
Arabian Ranches is an exclusive residential development that was established in 2004. The initial phase of residential construction comprises over 4,000 villas and townhouses. The second phase, unveiled in 2021, offers more than 1,720 themed villas and townhouses. The most recent phase, launched in 2019, exclusively features townhouses. The complex includes amenities such as a golf club, an equestrian and polo club, a park with a boulevard, and other essential infrastructure.
Jumeirah Village Circle
The area offers a wide selection of over 2,000 residential units, catering to diverse preferences. You can find various housing options, including low-rise properties such as townhouses, apartments, and villas, as well as apartments in skyscrapers. Residential blocks are strategically arranged around parks, canals, and other well-developed infrastructure. Its close proximity to key areas in New Dubai, such as Dubai Marina and JLT, ensures convenient access throughout the city.
Bluewaters Residences by Meraas
Bluewaters Residences by Meraas offers a selection of approximately 700 apartments, available in one, two, three, or four-bedroom configurations, along with 17 townhouses and 4 penthouses. Residents can relish breathtaking views of the city's coastline and skyline, including the world's tallest observation wheel, Ain Dubai.
Best Areas for Investment
According to analysts, rental income in Dubai is experiencing annual growth rates ranging from 5% to 9%, and property prices remain below historic highs. Furthermore, real estate buyers in Dubai are not subject to stamp duty and property tax, adding to the overall attractiveness of property deals.
According to the Property Monitor Index, the most lucrative areas in Dubai for real estate investment include International City, Dubai Studio City, Discovery Gardens, Dubai Production City, Liwan, and Remraam. On the other hand, the most high-end areas for purchasing villas and apartments are Palm Jumeirah, Mohammed Bin Rashid City Town, Jumeirah Islands, Dubai Creek Harbour, City Walk, and Downtown Dubai.
The website names the following areas of Dubai the best in terms of rental income:
Jumeirah Village Circle
The average annual income is 7.5%, the average price of one square meter is $2,146.
The construction of the district, spanning 870 hectares, commenced in 2005. Presently, it comprises over 350 apartment buildings and townhouses, accommodating approximately 25,000 residents. However, future projections suggest the population could potentially expand to 300,000.
In Jumeirah Village Circle, the average rental return is 6.21% for apartments and 5.86% for villas. The average selling price for a villa stands at 2.2 million AED (approximately $600,000), while apartments have an average price of 850,000 AED ($231,500).