From sprawling golf-course villas, family townhouses to upscale urban apartments and budget apartments, Dubai has a lot to offer if you are looking for an ideal home. What’s more, now is the perfect time to buy or rent a new house in the city since both sales prices and rental rates are expected to continue their downward trajectory from last year, making the real estate market more attractive for homebuyers and tenants alike.

According to the ‘Dubai Real Estate Report Q4 2018’ released by Asteco, lower rental rates will enable more tenants to get an upgrade in term of size/quality and location and the decline in rates is expected to slow down only by the end of the year. The report also forecasts a further decline in the sales price of houses, which will facilitate the growth of first-time buyers.

What do Dubai property rents and prices look like currently?

The report, which contains updated figures from 2018, says that average rental rate for single bedroom, two-bedroom and three bedroom apartments is AED 65,000 per annum, AED 91,000 per annum and AED 127,000 per annum respectively. Whereas, for villas it is AED 152,000 per (three bedroom), 183,000 per annum (four bedroom) and 222,000 per annum (five bedroom).

As far as property prices are concerned, the price of apartments starts at AED 1,050 per sq. ft. for an affordable house at International City and can go up to AED 2,800 per sq. ft. for a luxury house at Palm Jumeirah. Similarly, one can buy an affordable villa for as low as AED 1,000 per sq. ft. at Dubai Silicon Oasis or choose to shell out AED 2,750 per sq. ft. for a luxury one at Palm Jumeirah.

[Related: How to Budget for Apartment Expenses]

And now comes the key question: Villa or apartment? Well, that depends on a plethora of factors starting with your lifestyle and preferences, the budget you have in mind and the number of family members, among other things. We delve deeper into three key factors that can help you decide:


In a busy city like Dubai it is never easy to get around. Naturally, you would like to live in a place which is situated close to your office so that you don’t spend hours every day on the commute. If your office is in or near Dubai Marina or Downtown Dubai, the choice of accommodation is restricted to luxury apartments unless you don’t mind driving to work every day. The same logic extends to those who have school-going kids. Most parents like the schools situated closer to home and may choose their houses accordingly. And if you wish to live in the lap of nature, you can find a great range of villas next to lakesides or golf courses with picturesque views.


Apartments may come with shared gardens and swimming pools which are regularly cleaned by the building maintenance staff that collects a monthly/annual fee from all the residents. You can easily use the facilities without worrying about the maintenance of the facilities. Villas, on the other hand, have their own private lawns or pools that require personal monitoring. Plus, their upkeep and maintenance can also be quite costly.


One of the major factors influencing your decision is the type of lifestyle you lead now or wish to lead in the near future. If you are a family complete with kids, villas are always a better choice since they offer extra space that can be utilized for activities and gatherings. Plus, some villas are far from the hustle and bustle of the city and offer the peace and quiet you are probably looking for. But if you are a young working couple who enjoys living and working in the city, you can opt for an apartment that is close to your workplace and offers better access to restaurants, malls and other happening locations in the city.

[Related: The (surprisingly affordable) cost of insuring your home!]