Help for finding a home in Dubai

House hunting in Dubai – A variety of options

The UAE’s most popular city has a variety of housing options for expats, from downtown apartments to luxury villa’s available. Our guide will look at what may be the best option for you and point out some of the best areas to live in the city.

To rent or buy?

Renting in Dubai

Keys to a rented apartment Renting property in Dubai is subject to being issued a Residence Permit or proof from your employer that the permit is being processed. If your accommodation has not been pre-arranged by your employer, it is highly recommended to use licensed local Brokers or Agents to aid your rental search. They will be able to tailor the search to your own personal and family requirements. Ensuring that the Agent/Broker you use is Licenced is vital as there are some unregistered ones who will possibly look for unnecessary large payments. Real-estate Agents should be registered with Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) and normally charge around 5% of the annual rental rate. Brokers must have a license issued by the Department of Economic Development to be considered as a legitimate option. Although using an Agent is the best way to find your property, it is encouraged that you have a search online prior to meeting with them to evaluate what is currently available.  

Rental prices in Dubai are in general, still on the high side but there have been signs of them falling and stabilising since the global financial crisis of 2008, which is good news for expats looking to relocate there.  It is worth noting, that you cannot sign a fixed-term tenancy agreement if you only a temporary visitor visa.

Buying a Home

Although renting is more popular, it is possible to buy property in Dubai. Again, it is generally recommended that you use a reliable Real Estate Agent to help you with the search and purchase, or to buy from a reputable developer. Obtaining approval for a mortgage has become slightly more difficult, with many expats finding the process time consuming as there is a lot of paperwork and checks involved.

Where to focus your search

Where you live in Dubai is dependent on a number of factors such as family size, budget and your own personal taste. It offers something for all expats with a range of areas and types of accommodation available. Different areas offer different advantages; therefore, you should try to match your choice of area with what is important to you. Some areas are known as being very expensive while others are certainly more affordable.  Other aspects that you might want to consider include the distance from your workplace, the number of expats in the area, the proximity to International Schools and what suits your lifestyle.

Near the Beach

Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) and Palm Jumeirah are both popular with expats, particularly younger singles and couples with families. Palm Jumeriah has more green space and bigger villas for families while JBR is possibly preferred for single expats or couples. Both come with a somewhat ‘holiday vibe’ due to their proximity to the beach.

Downtown Dubai

For those seeking to be central and near the financial heart of Dubai, the Dubai International Financial Centre has more modern and chic apartments available amongst the office buildings and hotels. This fashionable area is very central and is in close proximity to a variety of good restaurants and a number of shops including the Dubai Mall. Apartments here are fairly new and while they are often expensive, they are generally of a very high standard.

Highrise Buildings on Downtown Dubai

For families

The Greens, The Lakes and The Springs are all leafier areas of Dubai and similar in that they are a contrast from the bustling city life. Although in the city, these areas represent a greener environment with a range of housing options, from low rise apartments to larger stand-alone luxury villas. Additionally, the Arabian Ranches is another leafy and tranquil area of Dubai and is largely considered as the best place for families due to its large villas and abun

Need more info on Dubai?

If you need more information on what to expect from Dubai the why not have a look at our other articles on the city:

International Schooling Guide for Dubai

Kingpin's Guide to Moving & Living in Dubai

If you are interested in a move to Dubai or anywhere else in the world and would like to speak to Kingpin International about International Tax Opportunities, please contact a member of the team. Alternatively, please browse our current International Tax vacancies.