Dubai property: Top three areas where expats prefer to buy apartments

Dubai Marina tops 2022 list, with two-bedroom apartment costing Dh1.5m to 2.5m

Dubai Marina was the place where most expats bought apartments last year in the emirate, Better Homes said. Pawan Singh / The National
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Dubai's property market has experienced a record-breaking year, with registered sales in 2022 reaching Dh208bn ($56.63 billion), data released by the emirate's land department shows.

A total of 86,490 residential sale transactions were recorded, beating the previous record of 80,000 in 2009, a year of property boom.

Of these, 62,363 were apartments, including 27,892 sold on the secondary market.

Based on the data compiled by Better Homes, Dubai Marina was the top spot where expats bought apartments last year, followed by Palm Jumeirah and Business Bay.

A road-facing property will cost you about Dh200,000 less than an apartment that faces the Marina
Kavinda Bakmeedeniya, Huspy Real Estate

The most significant price increase was in Palm Jumeirah, up 30 per cent with an average sale price of Dh1,815 per square foot, while units in Business Bay appreciated by 8 per cent in 2021 and were sold at Dh1,441 8 per sq ft.

Classifieds website Propertyfinder shows the average sale price in Dubai Marina in December was Dh1,289.

"The secondary market is popular among end users who want to move in while investors are looking at off-plan properties," Kavinda Bakmeedeniya, sales consultant at Huspy Real Estate told The National.

All three areas are freehold, have good connectivity and amenities, and a range of options that may come at the right price tag for you. Properties here are easier to resell and rent out and make for perfect Dubai living.

We have rounded up what a studio, one and two bedrooms can cost in these areas, which are the most popular buildings and why.

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is a lively hive of activity and its famous skyline is recognisable worldwide.

The winding marina, which snakes 3.6km through a landscape of residential and commercial towers, is home to more than 600 boats and yachts, many with multimillion-dollar price tags.

It is one of the best-connected neighbourhoods in the city. Dubai Metro, Dubai Tram, Dubai bus — it has all.

For retail, the Marina Mall shopping centre is spread across four floors and covers more than 390,000 sq ft.

There are many hotels, clinics and medical centres in the area.

Emirates International School, the International School of Choueifat Dubai and the Dubai British School are within a short driving distance.

Property price range

Studio - Dh700,000 to Dh900,000, average size is 500sq ft

One-bedroom - Dh900,000 to 1.2m, average size is 800sq ft

Two-bedroom - Dh1.5m to Dh2.5m, average size is 1,000sq ft to 1,200sq ft

Best buildings - Studio One, Silverene and Marina Gate, to name a few.

"The price depends a lot on the building finishes, location and high or low floor and the views," said Mr Bakmeedeniya.

"For example, Studio One is really popular because of its good rental yield. In the short term, you can expect a return of 10 to 11 per cent and in the long term, you can look at a minimum of 6 to 7 per cent if you are an investor.

"Emaar ones have always been popular because they have free chilling and their maintenance is very good. Then we have Silverene, Studio One on the high-end. Marina Gate is also very good.

"Emaar buildings have always been popular because they are chiller-free and the maintenance is very good.

"On a lower price end, we have towers like Marina Diamond 1 to 6, where units are cheaper."

"You should also factor in the price depending on the location. So, a road-facing property will cost you about Dh200,000 less than an apartment that faces the Marina."

Palm Jumeirah

This man-made island is the luxury playground of the wealthiest people in the world, with villas sold for Dh130 million ($35.3 million).

But that does not mean there are no options for the middle-class buyer.

The Nakheel development is a thriving hub for tourists and residents alike.

It is home to more than 18 hotels and resorts, a water park and its own dedicated public transport network, the monorail.

It has of the world’s largest fountains at The Pointe, which overlooks the famous Atlantis Hotel and the newly opened Dubai's Atlantis The Royal.

For retail, Nakheel Mall is a multi-floor shopping centre with more than 350 shops and restaurants.

Dubai College, Gems Wellington International School and the American School of Dubai are close by.

Property price range

Studio - lowest one will be Dh1.2m to Dh2m, average size 500sq ft

One-bedroom - lowest range will be between Dh1.75m to Dh2.5m, average size 800sq ft to 1,000sq ft

Two-bedroom - will cost at least Dh2.5m to Dh3.5m, average size 1,600sq ft to 2,000sq ft

Best buildings - Shoreline Apartments, Royal Bay, and Palm Views, to name a few

"Shoreline Apartments in Palm Jumeirah are generally cheaper due to partial sea views. Apartments located on the Palm with direct sea views would be on the premium side," said Mr Bakmeedeniya.

"The Palm has become very expensive for its exclusivity and lack of supply. In premium buildings such as The Royal Atlantis, a two-bedroom can go for Dh16m and a 4-bed can fetch 35m."

Business Bay

Business Bay is more than merely skyscrapers. It is also a fine residential district with entertainment venues, a range of apartments, hotels, restaurants and retail outlets.

The best part of living in this area is that you are so near Downtown Dubai.

Maple Bear nursery, Jumeirah Primary School, Jumeirah College, English College, and Horizon School are just across Sheikh Zayed Road.

Emirates Hospital Clinic is within the community and Medcare hospital is a short distance away.

Property price range

Studio - at least Dh700,000, average size 500sq ft

One-bedroom - lowest will be Dh1m, average size 700sq ft to 1,000sq ft

Two-bedroom - Dh1.5m to Dh2m, average size is 1,000sq ft to 1,100sq ft

Best buildings - Executive Towers have always been popular, then you have Paramount Tower, Noora building can cost Dh2.2m for a 1,300sq ft unit.

Updated: January 25, 2023, 8:15 AM