Revealed: Cheapest places to rent in Dubai today

Looking to move out? Here are the most budget-friendly locations for apartments

Illuminated downtown district reflection in water. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Illuminated downtown district reflection in water. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Rent is one of the biggest outgoings that tenants need to budget for, especially if they live in urbanized cities like Dubai. As of last year, the emirate was the 23rd most expensive city to live in, according to Mercer’s survey. The cost of living in Dubai is pricier compared to cities such as Chicago and Honolulu in the United States, Riyadh in Saudi Arabia or Nagoya in Japan.

Fortunately, for many budget-conscious residents, it’s not all doom and gloom. Costs have been falling in recent years, even prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Apartment and villa rental rates around Dubai fell by 14 percent and 7 percent on average in 2020, while sales prices continued their downward trajectory, according to real estate firm Asteco. With more completed flats and villas expected to be handed over this year, further cost reductions are expected.

Despite the price declines, some places can still be exorbitantly high. So, if you’re looking to move out of your current home to save on rent, you’ll need to conduct some serious research.

As the latest collated data from Asteco show, the closer you get to the city centre or the beach, the higher the rents become. You also need to check different types of homes and their facilities. Those with private gardens, gyms and swimming pools are no doubt going to set you back a few grand more.

Zawya did a little bit of digging and compiled a list of the cheapest locations for renters in Dubai. In the study, the locations are ranked based on the average rent of one-bedroom apartments.

So, whether you have recently arrived in the city or been around for some time and are looking for more budget-friendly options, here are the cheapest places to rent a home in the emirate.

  • International City (Average price: 25,000 UAE dirhams ($6,800)

This community next to the lively Dragon Mart shopping complex has consistently been rated as the most affordable place to live in Dubai.

Data from Asteco show that since 2015, rents in the area have been on a decline. Today, a tenant can find a one-bedroom flat for 25,000 dirhams. That’s half the rent for the same unit in 2015.

  • Jumeirah Village, Dubai Sports City, Deira (35,000 UAE dirhams)

Azizi Developments announces first project in Dubai Sports City and three buildings at Meydan Avenue. Image courtesy Azizi Developments.

These three communities may not be adjacent to each other, but the cost of renting a one-bedroom flat in these areas are almost the same, averaging 35,000 dirhams a year. These three locations fall under the “affordable” category in Asteco’s list.

In Jumeirah Village, rents have fallen by more than half in five years, from 73,000 UAE dirhams in 2015 to 35,000 dirhams in 2020.

In Dubai Sports City, rental costs also fell by more than half, from 74,000 UAE dirhams in 2015 to 35,000 UAE dirhams last year, while one-bedroom flats in Deira, one of the oldest residential communities in the emirate, rates fell from 65,000 dirhams to 35,000 during the same period.

  • Discovery Gardens (37,500 UAE dirhams)

Located in the so-called new Dubai, Discovery Gardens has been a favourite of budget-conscious renters. This sprawling community of nearly 300 residential buildings appeals to families, as well as singles, as it offers tenants the option to rent an affordable home with access to amenities like swimming pools and sports courts.

As of 2020, a one-bedroom flat in the area can set you back 37,500 UAE dirhams. That’s nearly half of what you would have paid for the same unit in 2015, when prices averaged 72,000 UAE dirhams.

  • Business Bay, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (47,500 dirhams)

These residential communities featuring high-rise residential towers can offer easy access to the Dubai Metro. A one-bedroom flat in any of these areas can cost around 47,500 UAE dirhams per year, or less than 4,000 UAE dirhams a month.

In Business Bay, which is not too far from the world’s largest shopping centre, the Dubai Mall, the current prices are way much cheaper than they were about five years ago, when rents averaged 93,000 a year.

DAMAC launches luxury homes in Business Bay at only AED 6,999 per month. Image courtesy Damac.

Similarly, in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, rents have fallen from 90,000 dirhams to 47,500 UAE dirhams. That price may not be too bad at all, especially if the flat is just right next to a Metro station. It pays to note that the beach off Dubai Marina is also within easy reach via Dubai Metro and Tram.

  • Greens, Dubai Marina (52,500 UAEdirhams)

These two communities aren’t close to each other, but their one-bedroom apartments cost the same, averaging 52,500 UAE dirhams a year.

Developer announces handover of Dubai Marina's Sparkle Towers. Image courtesy Devmark.

In the Greens community, a well-established neighbourhood developed by Emaar along Sheikh Zayed Road, rents have fallen consistently every year since 2015, when a one-bedroom flat cost around 95,000 UAE dirhams.

Tenants who have been around Dubai Marina for years may also notice that today’s rents are a bargain when compared to where they were in 2014, when prices reached 113,000 UAE dirhams.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Read our full disclaimer policy here.

© ZAWYA 2021

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