Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 May 2019

Homefront: 'I have Dh1.5m to invest in Dubai property. Which areas are best?'

Mario Volpi suggests three locations that will provide the buyer with a capital return as well good amenities and transport links

Dubai Marina is one of the most sought-after locations for property investors. Photo: AFP 
Dubai Marina is one of the most sought-after locations for property investors. Photo: AFP 

I want to invest in the Dubai property market and understand prices are low at the moment, making my plans very timely. I would like to buy around the Dh1.5 million mark, ideally a good-sized apartment in a great location with plenty of amenities and good transport links. That's the dream but I need your advice to make it a reality. So, which areas would you recommend for my wants? Ideally, I'd prefer a more established area, so that the apartment is not next to any construction work. I plan to live in it for a year or two and then rent it out, so over the long-term I'm looking for a healthy rental return to recover any outgoings such as service fees and mortgage costs. Plus, of course, I want great capital growth? What do you suggest? CS, Dubai

Dubai has seen prices softening since 2015. As a result, I believe we must be close to the bottom of the market, therefore this is an excellent time to invest. You did not say exactly how many bedrooms you would require and given your budget, this would determine also where you can buy in order to achieve all the points you requested.

In terms of established areas, I would firstly suggest you look at Dubai Marina. This area is possibly the most sought-after and always has plenty of buyers and tenants seeking accommodation. The Marina is popular among the Dubai-expat community due to its proximity to the beach at Jumeirah Beach Residence and all the fantastic retail, hospitality, leisure and food and beverage outlets, many of which are global brands. The transport network of roads and rails with the tram linking up to the Metro is an obvious draw. Dubai Marina has a good selection of apartments in all sizes and of various quality and facilities. Don’t forget to also look at projects that are close to completion or handover, as those may also offer post move-in payment plans, making it easier to spread your cost.

You can check availability for suitable properties on any of the property portals such as propertyfinder.ae or bayut.com.

If you find that Dubai Marina is limiting your choice, the other established area I would suggest is Jumeirah Lakes Towers, also known as JLT. This location has much of what the Marina has to offer (apart from the beach and of course the marina itself); it too has water views over the lakes but in addition, it has a lovely central park with verdant spaces to enjoy. JLT has access to two Metro stations and easy road access to Sheikh Zayed Road and surrounding areas. It is more reasonably priced compare to the Marina so makes for an excellent alternative.

The last location I will suggest does have quite a lot of construction going on at the moment but there are also many buildings that are completed and handed over and so not necessarily close to other construction. This area is Jumeirah Village Circle or JVC. It represents better value for money than the Marina due to its more competitively priced properties. Here you will definitely be able to land yourself a two- or even three-bedroom property where you might only get a one-bedroom in the Marina for the same price. Amenities are expanding at JVC and in doing so, more and more residents are moving in. There is much diversification in terms of property styles due to the master developer Nakheel allowing other developers to build to their specifications and designs, therefore you will definitely find what you are looking for.

In all three locations, you will find the right property to give you the facilities and amenities you seek and will definitely be able to lease it out in a few years' time. By then, JVC, will be even more established so you can witness the growth of the area and in time, the price. Buying at what can be described as being at the bottom of the market, will also ensure capital appreciation on your property in time, especially during this period of ownership leading up to 2020 and beyond.


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Mario Volpi is the sales and leasing manager at Engel & Volkers. He has worked in the property sector for 34 years in London and Dubai.

The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for information only. Please send any questions to mario.volpi@engelvoelkers.com

Updated: August 22, 2018 11:16 AM