The 8 Best Areas to Buy Real Estate in Dubai: A Complete Overview

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Dubai is a sought after place when foreigners and expats move overseas. With a population that consists of 85% foreigners, property is fairly cheap on average, why rents are expensive in comparison.

If you stay in Dubai long term, I’d advise you to look around for potential property investments.

However, even if Dubai is fairly small, it’s important that you do research well in advance, to know which areas that suit you the most. Might it be a villa located in a calmer area, or a high-rise apartment with a nice water view.

In this article, I list some of the most interesting areas you should have a look at.

1. Downtown Dubai

downtown-dubai

If you’re standing right at the bottom of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, you’re in Downtown Dubai. The area is among the most expensive areas in Dubai, known for its high-rise buildings and upscale community.

You can find plenty of other well-known attractions in this area, for example, the world’s tallest performing fountain system, the Dubai Fountain, as well as one of the biggest shopping malls in the world, Dubai Mall.

The area is located right beside the Sheikh Zayed Road, which makes it the center of the city.

Property types and prices

Downtown Dubai is known for its luxurious high-end apartment towers. You can mostly find residential apartments in this area, with a lot of new development still going on.

If you’re buying an apartment for scenic views, don’t forget to look around if there is any other future development planned, might block your view.

Prices in this area are considerably high, probably highest in Dubai.

You can find a one bedroom apartment for around AED 1,400,000 (USD 375,000) while a 3 bedroom apartment in Burj Vista costs around AED 6 million (USD 1.6 million).

Even if Dubai’s has high yields on average, average yields in the downtown are not as high as many other areas.

This makes it a perfect residence for end-users, but you’ll find better options in other areas, in case you’re looking for high yields.

Popular projects

Below I’ve listed some popular projects, finished or under construction:

  • Burj Khalifa
  • The Lofts
  • Burj Vista
  • Act One
  • The Residences
  • Downtown Views

2. Business Bay

dubai-construction

According to statistics released by the Dubai Land Department (DLD), Business Bay properties were most sought after in the first half of 2018

Business Bay is a neighboring district of Downtown Dubai, with plenty of high-rise buildings as well. It’s an emerging area and the business and commercial center of the city. You’ll be able to find many high-end shopping malls, restaurants, and hotels here.

With a recent opening of a high-end entertainment project called Dubai Water Canal, this area managed to sustain prices, even when prices were falling in many other areas.

Business Bay is considered as a recently developed area, with plenty of skyscrapers and future projects still under construction.

From here, you have easy access to Safa Park, Sheikh Zayed Road, and Burj Khalifa, just to mention a few.

Many corporations from neighboring commercial areas have decided to move to Business Bay, thanks to more affordable prices and with a continuous supply of new projects.

Property types and prices

You can find many newly developed high-rise apartments, for urban professionals and families.

The property prices here are lower than the Downtown Dubai, but with higher yields.

Two bedroom apartments average at around AED 1,400,000 (USD 380,000).

However, prices vary depending on projects and neighborhoods.

Popular projects

  • The Opus
  • The Sterling
  • Imperial Avenue
  • Bahwan Tower (upcoming)
  • MAG 318 (upcoming)

3. Dubai Marina

dubai-marina

If you want to buy a waterfront property, this is a place to go.

Being one of the most iconic destinations in Dubai, many apartments offer you some of the best views in Dubai.

There’s a reason why it’s called “Pearl of Dubai.”

A report released by the Dubai Land Department (DLD) in the first half of 2018 ranks Dubai Marina as the second most sought after area in Dubai, after Business Bay.

Similar information is shared by other newsletters, for example Property Finder, that ranks Dubai Marina as the most sought after area to rent and to buy.

The high demand is mostly because of its location, being located right in the center of the city. In addition, Dubai Marina has some of the best restaurants and hotels in Dubai, like The Address and Grosvenor House.

Thanks to its proximity to Downtown Dubai, Dubai Media City, and Dubai Internet City, it’s popular among working professionals and families alike.

Comparing with other areas, this is a good option if you’re looking for higher yields.

Property types and prices

You can find high-rise apartments, townhouses, and luxury villas in this area.

Prices are lower than Downtown Dubai, but yields are high, as it’s one of the most trending neighborhoods.

Depending on the project, you can normally find apartments for 1-2 million AED. For example, a two-bedroom apartment in West Avenue is available for AED 2 million, which equals to a little more than USD 500,000.

Popular projects

  • West Avenue
  • Marina Quays
  • Six Towers
  • Le Reve
  • The Jewels
  • Bayside Residence

4. Palm Jumeirah

palm-jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah is considered as a modern day wonder, consisting of a 3 miles long and 3 miles wide artificial island in the shape of a palm.

The palm shape consists of a single trunk that connects the island with mainland Dubai and 17 fronts with different residential projects.

It was the first of the three similar islands planned, but the area suffered heavy blows during the 2008 financial crisis, pushing companies to scrap the other two projects, at least for a while.

The area was developed as a tourist attraction and a holiday destination, a reason why you can find many restaurants, hotels, and resorts in this area. Some examples are Fairmont The Palm and an award winning hotel, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.

Many of the world’s famous celebrities reside here, at least temporary basis. Some examples are David Beckham, Brad Pitt, Boris Becker, Tiger Woods, and Michael Schumacher.

Overall, even if Dubai is small, it’s more of an outskirt area, serving as a second home for many wealthy expats.

Yields are not as high as the areas close to Downtown Dubai.

Property types and prices

Palm Jumeirah consists of 4000 exclusive villas and a few recently constructed apartment projects.

The prices of villas vary, depending on the size and location, most of the villas are big with 5-7 bedrooms.

You can buy a 6-7 room villa for around AED 6 million (USD 1.6 million). Five bedroom villas are available for a bit more than AED 3 million.

If you compare this area with other villa communities, like The Springs and Arabian Ranches, prices are higher.

Popular areas

  • Carat Club Villas
  • Five Palm Jumeirah
  • Fronds Villas
  • Marina Residences

5. Jumeirah Village Circle

This recently developed and modern area was designed to provide a peaceful village setting for residents. It’s located further away from the hustle and bustle in the city.

Jumeirah Village Circle was developed to accommodate mostly high-end villas and townhouses. It’s developed as a modern village with 2,800 spacious villas and 3,100, townhouses with plenty of green spaces between each block.

Being more of a village, you’ll still find sufficient amenities in this area, including parks, schools, sports fields, and community centers.

Jumeirah Village Circle is located just 25 minutes away from Dubai International Airport, making it a convenient location.

The area is most popular among families who want to live in a peaceful environment but with easy access to all the amenities of a modern day life.

Property types and prices

Compared to the more central areas, you’ll not find many high-rise buildings here.

You can find apartment projects like Belgravia III and Belgravia Heights that are 4-5 floors high. Personally, I prefer living in low rise buildings, as it’s more convenient and gives me a more personal feeling.

There are some under-construction high-rise buildings as well, like Suites in the Skai.

Many villas have 4 bedrooms and 3 terraces, with a spacious garage for two cars. On average, you can buy a 4 bedroom villa for around AED 2 million, which equals USD 600,000.

Many families like this area and look for investment or renting properties, hence the yields are also higher here compared to some other areas.

The prices are still much lower compared to Downtown Dubai and Palm Jumeirah.

Popular projects

  • Suites in the Skai
  • Belgravia III
  • Belgravia Heights
  • Nakheel Villas

6. Jumeirah Lake Towers

Jumeirah Lake Towers has the highest concentration of high-rise towers in Dubai. It‘s a neighboring district of Marina Bay and located right across the Sheikh Zayed Road.

This area has around 80 apartments and mixed-use towers, as well as many high-end hotels. Being a densely populated residential area, you’ll find many restaurants, shopping malls, supermarkets, schools, hospitals, and entertainment options here.

You can find a high number of expats here and it’s mostly popular among families. But many other foreigners reside here, thanks to its proximity to neighboring commercial areas.

Dubai Metro passes through this area, while another road connects it with Abu Dhabi as well, so access to transportation is also a plus.

If you’re keen living close to water, a beachfront property doesn’t necessarily need to be your choice. Jumeirah Lake Towers is surrounded by four artificial lakes placed in between the residential projects.

Worth mentioning is that it’s less crowded mainly thanks for having big parks and green spaces.

Property types and prices

You can mostly find luxury apartment projects in this area. However, there’s a large variety among apartment types, like penthouses, serviced apartments, and hotel apartments.

There are many off-plan projects here as well, like Seven CIty and IGO 101 Tower.

So how much does it cost to buy a property?

Penthouses usually range from 4-6 million AED, while a one bedroom apartment can cost you 0.5-1 million AED.

Popular projects

  • Bonnington Tower
  • Dubai Arch
  • MAG 214
  • Seven City (upcoming)
  • Banyan Tree Residences (upcoming)
  • IGO 101 Tower (upcoming)

7. Arabian Ranches

Arabian Ranches is suitable for people who want to invest in luxury villas.

This gated high-end villa community has emerged as one of the most sought-after places in the last few years.

There’s still a lot of development going on in the area, with a rising demand from investors. Most popular among families, it’s considered as one of the fastest developing areas in Dubai.

Arabian Ranches is developed in an outskirt of Dubai, right next to the desert, which keeps on a safe distance from city noise. But don’t worry, you’ll not miss much when it comes to entertainment and amenities.

Just giving you a couple of examples, the Dubai Polo & Equestrian club and a a huge golf course is located in the same area.

In total, there are 20 different sub-communities with different types of villas and locations.

Property types and prices

You can find spacious luxury villas as well as townhouses for small and large families.

If you’re interested in buying villas, this area is more affordable than Palm Jumeirah, but slightly more expensive than the Springs, the two other popular areas for villa communities.

You can find luxury villas for an average price of AED 5 million, but there are many high-end projects with more sought-after views like Polo Homes. These will set you back up to AED 18 million (USD 5 million).

Popular projects

  • Alvorada
  • Saheel
  • Rosa
  • Hattan
  • Polo Homes

8. Springs

The Springs is a villa and townhouse community, and popular among families. It’s a master-planned family-friendly project that was developed by Emaar.

Located further away from the city center, this area provides your family a relaxing and quiet environment, without compromising on any amenities.

Greenery, lakes, and parks surround the community, making it a perfect option for families. The only drawback is the access to the city center, and you’ll probably need a car taking you around.

Median prices have declined by 6% the past years, making it a more affordable option, and one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Dubai.

According to Propertyfinder Trends, the area became the second most popular area to buy and the most popular area to rent in 2017.

Property types and prices

In total, there are 4,800 villas and townhouses in this gated community. You can find 2-4 bedroom villas for reasonable prices.

Comparing to the other three areas known for villas (Jumeirah Village Circle, Palm Jumeirah and Arabian Ranches), Springs is more affordable. In fact, you can buy a villa of the same size in the Springs for less than half a price compared to Palm Jumeirah.

On average, you can find a townhouse for AED 2-3 million.

Popular projects

  • Springs 1 to 4

I hope that you found this article useful and also recommend you to read my separate article that explains how you can buy property in Dubai as a foreigner.

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