House hunting for cheaper digs during the Dubai summer

Published:  25 Jul at 6 PM
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Tagged: Dubai, Money
Changing your accommodation in Dubai isn’t easy, especially if you’re cash-strapped and it’s full summer in one of the world’s hottest cities.

Affordability in Dubai, one of the most expensive cities on the planet, benefits from budgeting, however much your salary and perks bring in. Rental charges can make up a significant slice of the monthly stipend, with expats who’re not expert in money management often deciding to ease the strain by finding a less expensive place to live.

Unfortunately, this decision is often made during Dubai’s scorching high summer, with temperatures sometimes reaching 50 degrees Celsius making going outside a life-threatening exercise. Contrary to rumour, there are affordable communities awaiting the determined expat searching for a one or more-bedroomed apartment not too far from the job.

Newly arrived expats are also advised to go for cheaper digs until they’re familiar with the city and its offerings, including transportation. At the present time, rents are still falling, but you’ll still need negotiating skills to get the best deal in any of the more reasonably priced districts.

International City, true to its name, is a popular expat hub, with rental charges varying according to apartment size between Dh35,000 and 55,000, nine per cent cheaper than last year. Jumiera Village’s attractive ‘terraces’ are suitable for expat living and are slightly cheaper than International City’s offerings at between Dh50,000 and 70,000, having fallen eight per cent since the 2016 average.

Deira has a wider spread of rentals, starting at Dh35,000 and with a maximum of Dh75,000 and cheaper than last year by 11 per cent, whilst apartments in the tower blocks of Dubai Sports City start at Dh50,000 and end at Dh75,000. Bur Dubai’s lower rise apartment buildings crowd together behind a multi-lane main road, and average rentals have dropped by 11 per cent, settling at between Dh50,000 and Dh80,000.

The blocks at Discovery Gardens seem to resemble hotel complexes and, although rents have only fallen by two per cent, are still affordable at Dh55.000 up to Dh75,000. Al Barsha district is mostly low-rise, with views to the city’s central towers and rentals starting at Dh55,000 and rising to around Dh80,000. For expats looking for slightly smarter accommodation, rentals in formerly more expensive districts such as Business Bay and Downtown Dubai have seen the sharpest declines of between 12 and 14 per cent over last year.
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