x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Homefront: a suitable place to call home for a family moving to Dubai

A Swedish family on the way to the UAE needs a suitable place to settle.

I am moving to the UK from Sweden with my family soon and have started looking at areas to rent in Dubai. As a family of five, ideally we need a four-bedroom villa but the prices seem alarmingly high. I have calculated we will have a budget of Dh175,000 for rent. What areas do you think I will be able to get a sizeable villa for that price? PH, Stockholm


Rents in Dubai have risen sharply this year. This is mainly because of the large number of people who have taken up new positions offered by companies looking to increase their staffing levels.

Rents in Abu Dhabi have also risen, mainly because of the effect of the rent allowance decree by the Abu Dhabi Government that declared that employees of government-owned companies would receive their housing allowance only if they lived in the capital emirate.

With these increases in rent, it is getting harder for families such as yours to secure good accommodation at a fair price. 

Having researched the market though, all does not appear to be lost as there are plenty of properties in good locations that will not only suit your budget but fit the criteria for a family in Dubai.

While you do not have the pick of all the locations of Dubai, the main areas where you will find the most choice are in Jumeirah Village Triangle and Circle, the non-freehold areas of Jumeirah, Mirdif, Al Quoz and Al Barsha and some developments off Mohammed bin Zayed Road (old Emirates Road). 

I guess that ultimately you will settle on an area that suits your needs not just in terms of size but travelling distance to your work and/or the distance away from your children’s school.

For the purpose of this illustration, I confirmed that at the time of writing this article there were several villas available in Jumeirah Village Triangle and Circle with sizes around 3,500 to 3,800 square feet, all with four bedrooms,  available from Dh140,000 to Dh165,000. The non-freehold areas of Jumeirah 2 and Al Barsha 2 and 3 offer potentially older villas but with more individual designs. Here the properties have four and five bedrooms with some as large as 6,000 to 7000 sq ft, asking Dh170,000 to Dh180,000. In Mirdif, which is close to the airport, there are villas ranging from 2,500 to 3,000 sq ft with rents at Dh150,000 to Dh180,000. Al Quoz (close to Al Barsha area) has a new development of five-bedroom villas with sizes about 5,000 sq ft, asking Dh180,000. Lastly, the Villa project in Dubailand (off MBZ Road) has villas available around Dh180,000 and are about 3,600 sq ft in size. 

The points to consider are that some of these properties may be farther away than where you ideally would like to live and perhaps not be fully functional – by that I mean in terms of facilities, community centres, pools /gyms etc. The key, therefore, is to remain flexible and compromise on certain criteria. Some of the non-freehold areas may, as stated, have older villas so the maintenance could be more of an issue than a villa in Jumeirah Village Circle, for example, that is brand new.

So the good news is that if you do remain flexible, there are plenty of options available for you. Finding a school place for your children however, may be a harder problem to solve.

Mario Volpi is the managing director of Prestige Real Estate in Dubai and has worked in the property industry in London and Dubai for the past 29 years. Send any questions to mario@prestigedubai.com