You often hear that Dubai is a paradise for millionaires and the place where the world’s wealthy lead a laid-back lifestyle. In actual fact, Dubai is a big and vibrant city populated mostly by the middle-class rather than millionaires: the employees of countless companies operating in different sectors, foreign students and the owners of small and medium-sized enterprises. In other words, people who cannot afford to live in a villa or a high-end penthouse in a luxurious skyscraper.
Moreover, a considerable number of them lack the funds to buy property in Dubai or have no plans to do so for other reasons. They represent the client base for the diverse rental market. It goes without saying that you can find expensive properties in Dubai, but most tenants are looking for cheaper options. In this article we will tell you about five districts in Dubai where rental properties are available at affordable prices.
Dubai Sports City
Rental prices: from AED 26,000 (USD 7,080) a year.
Dubai Sports City is the perfect spot for sport enthusiasts and anyone else who enjoys an active lifestyle. The infrastructure on offer here ranges from swimming pools and race tracks to gyms and other amenities for everyday activities. Golf fans can choose from two golf clubs: The Els Club Golf Course or The Dome. There are also venues for major competitions and events – indoor and outdoor sports arenas. Dubai International Cricket Stadium is the district’s most iconic building and hosts tournaments, concerts and other shows.
In Dubai Sports City you can rent an unfurnished studio for AED 26,000 (USD 7,080) a year. Living in a two-bedroom or three-bedroom flat will cost you about AED 42,000 (USD 11,436) and AED 58,000 (USD 15,793) respectively.
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Dubai Silicon Oasis
Rental prices: from AED 24,000 (USD 6,535) a year.
They call this district the technology capital of Dubai, home to the offices of companies operating in the IT sector. At the same time, it is also a big and modern residential area with extensive infrastructure. Dubai Silicon Oasis is the perfect fit for students, expats working remotely and entrepreneurs who have come to the United Arab Emirates to launch a business. The district offers the most diverse work and leisure opportunities. Its features include office buildings, restaurants, gyms, barbecue areas and outdoor facilities for roller skating, basketball, tennis, volleyball and football. Dubai Mall, a large shopping centre, and the airport can be reached by car in just fifteen to twenty minutes.
In Dubai Silicon Oasis you can rent an unfurnished studio for AED 24,000 (USD 5,718) a year. Living in a two-bedroom or three-bedroom flat will cost you about AED 45,000 (USD 12,253) to AED 65,000 (USD 17,700) a year.
Rental prices: from AED 21,000 (USD 5,718) a year.
International City covers over 800 hectares and is divided into ten theme-based clusters: French, Persian, Russian, Chinese, British, Greek, Spanish, Moroccan, Italian, and Emirati. The architecture in each area mirrors the national style and traditions of the selected region. This district has everything you need for daily life: schools, medical centres, supermarkets, gyms, restaurants and a big shopping centre, Dragon Mart. A vast green area brings together the ten districts of International City.
In International City you can rent an unfurnished studio for AED 21,000 (USD 5,718) a year. More spacious flats will cost more. For example, living in a three-bedroom flat will cost you about AED 80,000 (USD 21,783) a year.
Rental prices: from AED 16,000 (USD 4,357) a year.
Bur Dubai used to be Dubai’s central district before the economic turnaround of the city and the ensuing large-scale construction boom. You will find here Dubai’s main cultural and historical sites, such as the Dubai Museum, the ancient district of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, also known as Al Bastakiya, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House, and many more. However, Bur Dubai has no access to the sea and you won’t find resort facilities here. Parking is another issue of concern, as the stated goal of the authorities has been to preserve the area’s historical layout. On the bright side, however, you have a local bus station where you can take a bus to neighbouring emirates. For example, it takes only two-three hours by bus to reach Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
In Bur Dubai you can rent an unfurnished studio for AED 16,000 (USD 4,357) a year. The prices of one-bedroom flats start at AED 36,000 (USD 9,800) a year.
Rental prices: from AED 15,000 (USD 4,084) a year.
Deira is one of Dubai's historical districts. Today, it is the main haven for Asian immigrants, primarily Indians and Pakistanis. While this is probably the cheapest place to live in Dubai, the area is fraught with inconveniences for expats. The district has an impeccable oriental flavour – not only authentic shopping stalls and the smell of spices in the air, but also perpetual noise and congestion on narrow and dirty streets. At the same time, the district has all the necessary amenities, from diverse shops and cafes and to Al Mamzar beach which is within walking distance. While Deira is a great option for expats on a shoestring budget, it might not be the best option for a family.
In Deira you can rent an unfurnished studio for AED 15,000 (USD 4,084) a year. Furnished flats can cost from AED 42,000 (USD 11,436) a year for a one-bedroom flat to AED 57,700 (USD 15,711) for bigger properties.
In a Nutshell
First and foremost determine your priorities when selecting affordable housing. International City and Dubai Sports City are more suitable for big families as they have many outdoor facilities, large green areas and a well-developed infrastructure. Those looking for the cheapest possible housing should consider renting a flat in Bur Dubai or Deira, but should be ready to make some compromises.
Cover photo: McKay Savage