Understanding your budget and where you can rent in Dubai

New to Dubai and looking to rent your first home? Or, simply seeking to relocate or upgrade? The  emirate offers residents a plethora of choice to appeal to all lifestyle preferences. Location is unquestionably the most important factor to consider when renting a home. Though, equally as essential is understanding costs, as ultimately, your budget will determine where you choose to live.

Factors that influence the price of rent in Dubai:

  • Property type; villa, townhouse or apartment
  • Size; square footage of the property 
  • Layout; not all square footage is created equal and floor-plans can often materially impact price
  • Quality; the age of the property as well as the finishings and appliances throughout can affect price
  • Location; prime locations, particularly waterfront communities, will come at a higher price point. Proximity to the city centre as well as transport links can also affect price
  • Views; properties with prime views can often command a higher price
  • Furnished or unfurnished; furnished properties are usually priced at a premium
  • Market conditions

Understanding your budget

Housing is typically the average person’s largest monthly expense. As a general rule of thumb, no more than 30% of your salary should be spent on housing

For example, on a salary of AED 20,000 per month, AED 6,000, or less, per month should be allocated toward housing, equating to AED 72,000 per year.

However, everyone’s financial situation is different. If you don’t spend much on transportation or entertainment, you may have more room to move with your housing budget.

“As the Dubai property market matures, residents are finally seeing rents reduced to a level that is considered affordable and, in turn, their cost of living is going down”

You can get a studio for annual rent starting from AED 18,000 in Deira.

How to search by your budget

Now that you have a guideline in determining your budget for housing expenses, you can start looking for properties that fall within the following ranges:

Monthly SalaryAverage Annual Rent 
(based on 30% allocation of monthly income)
AED 5,000AED 18,000
AED 5,000 – AED 10,000AED 18,000 – AED 36,000
AED 10,000 – AED 15,000AED 36,000 – AED 54,000
AED 15,000 – AED 20,000AED 54,000 – AED 72,000
AED 20,000 – AED 25,000AED 72,000 – AED 90,000

Recommended communities by budget

(As of September 2019, the following communities depicted the following three-month average prices)

If you earn between AED 5,000 and AED 10,000 per month

CommunityAverage RentWhat you’ll get
Al NahdaAED 33,900Studio apartment
DeiraAED 38,000Studio apartment
Discovery GardensAED 34,000Studio apartment
DubailandAED 30,000Studio apartment
Dubai Production CityAED 29,000Studio apartment
Dubai Silicon OasisAED 34,000Studio apartment
International CityAED 28,000
AED 36,000
Studio apartment
1BR apartment

If you earn AED 10,000 to AED 15,000

In addition to the above communities, you can expand your search to the following:

CommunityAverage RentWhat you’ll get
Al BarshaAED 43,000Studio apartment
Al FurjanAED 36,000Studio apartment
Discovery GardensAED 50,0001BR apartment
Dubai Sports CityAED 48,0001BR apartment
Dubai Silicon OasisAED 46,5001BR apartment
Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT)AED 45,000Studio apartment
Jumeirah Village CircleAED 38,000
AED 54,000
Studio apartment
1BR apartment
Jumeirah Village TriangleAED 40,000
AED 51,000
Studio apartment
1BR apartment
Motor CityAED 45,000Studio apartment
RemraamAED 48,0001BR apartment
Good choices of studios are available in Dubai Silicon Oasis in the range of AED 30,000 – AED 40,000.

If you earn AED 15,000 to AED 20,000

In addition to the above communities, you can expand your search to the following:

CommunityAverage RentWhat you’ll get
Al FurjanAED 58,0001BR apartment
Barsha Heights (Tecom)AED 60,000Studio apartment
Business BayAED 54,000
AED 72,000
Studio apartment
1BR apartment
Downtown DubaiAED 65,000Studio apartment
Dubai MarinaAED 55,000Studio apartment
Dubai Sports CityAED 68,0002BR apartment
Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)AED 65,0001BR apartment
Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT)AED 67,0001BR apartment

If you earn between AED 20,000 and AED 25,000 per month

In addition to the above communities, you can expand your search to the following:

CommunityAverage RentWhat you’ll get
DIFCAED 68,000Studio apartment
Downtown DubaiAED 90,0001BR apartment
Dubai Creek HarbourAED 75,0001BR apartment
Jumeirah Golf EstatesAED 85,0002BR apartment
Jumeirah Village TriangleAED 70,0002BR apartment
Palm JumeirahAED 70,000Studio apartment
Town SquareAED 60,000
AED 80,000
2BR apartment
3BR apartment
Expensive properties are available in Downtown Dubai for annual rent over AED 110,000.

If you earn above AED 25,000 per month

For those earning above AED 25,000, you have the financial freedom to rent in most, if not all, areas within Dubai. Many luxury properties in the following communities are well within your reach:

  • Arabian Ranches
  • Bluewaters Island
  • City Walk
  • DIFC
  • Downtown Dubai
  • Emirates Hills
  • Jumeirah
(The above recommendations are based on the assumption that 30% of one’s salary is allocated to monthly/annual rental payments)

Additional costs associated with renting in Dubai

Security Deposit5% of annual rent
Agency FeesBetween 2-5% of annual rent
DEWA FeesApartments
AED 2,000 (refundable deposit upon vacating and clearing any outstanding charges)
AED 110 (non-refundable connection fee)
AED 4,000 (refundable deposit upon vacating and clearing any outstanding charges)
AED 300 (non-refundable connection fee)
Housing Fees
(Dubai Municipality Fee)
5% of annual rent divided into 12 monthly payments added to DEWA bills
Ejari FeesAED 220

When it comes to renting in Dubai, there is no shortage of housing options from the community, to property type, to configuration – there is something to appeal to every taste and budget. Understanding your budget is imperative before entering into any rental agreement to ensure that your commitment does not leave you thinly spread at the end of each month. It is also important to be aware of the costs beyond just the regular monthly rental payment. A thorough understanding of costs will leave you well placed to commence your property search to find the perfect property, aligned with your lifestyle preferences.

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