Abu Dhabi falling rents good news for upgrading expats

Published:  26 Aug at 6 PM
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Expat workers in Abu Dhabi are taking advantage of falling rentals by upgrading to larger apartments.

The emirate’s shrinking economy due to the massive fall in oil prices is causing layoffs in the expat workplace, thus reducing demand for rented apartments in several popular districts. Expats with ongoing contracts are now taking full advantage of landlords’ willingness to charge less rent and accept deposits in stage payments in order to get tenants.

Middle class expats are upgrading from single bedroomed apartments to two- and three bedroomed flats, without having to change areas. Others are upgrading to districts closer to their places of work, and expat families are renting flats with more space for family privacy.

Property brokers in the emirate estimate that rents across the board are falling by 2.5 per cent per quarter, with landlords reducing rents to attract tenants formerly unable to afford an upgrade. The previous shortage of suitable apartments in Abu Dhabi has now been replaced by a surplus of accommodation, even in areas well-equipped with schools and close to business districts.

Meanwhile, expats who’ve bought property or investments in Dubai are being urged to make legally binding wills in order to protect their assets. Since the beginning of this year, a steady stream of expats, mostly from Russia, France and Pakistan, have been contacting lawyers and making sure their possessions, investments and other assets are properly dealt with after their deaths.

The facility enabling non-Muslims to make binding common law wills was set up a year ago, and has attracted mostly couples to its new offices. Director of the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry Sean Hird is thrilled that the final wishes of over 1,000 expats are now covered in the event of their deaths. The document is easily understood by legal professionals in the vast majority of countries as it uses a standardised set of rules.
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