DUBAI // As rents dip in Abu Dhabi, experts say living in the capital may be a long-term option for Dubai and Sharjah residents eager to ditch the daily three-hour commute.
The opening up new of properties in the capital must be backed by more choices in schools, better facilities and infrastructure to make a dent in the trend of people commuting to work, real estate experts say.
"The overall flavour is that the gap in pricing in rentals has narrowed in the last year, but people still favour Dubai because the infrastructure and facilities are more developed," said Craig Plumb, head of research with property specialist Jones Lang LaSalle.
"Within a 2-5 year term there will be a reduction in the number of commuters from Dubai to Abu Dhabi as jobs in Abu Dhabi increase, rent prices fall further and schools, hospitals and shopping facilities improve."
Rents in the capital have fallen by 10 per cent on average since last year to Dh126,000 for a two-bedroom apartment in units such as Marina Square, he said. Although costs have declined, Abu Dhabi's rates are still high for average families, and they are still far higher than its closest emirate.
In Dubai, the average rent for apartments and villas rose by just 1 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to the fourth quarter of last year, according to property management company Asteco.
The average yearly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Downtown Dubai was Dh70,000 in the first three months of this year, up 5 per cent from the previous quarter.
In the Meadows, the average yearly rent for a four-bedroom villa rose by 3 per cent to Dh210,000.