Dubai Property Investment Hotspots

November 30, 2018

Dubai is an established global metropolis prime for global investment. As the fourth most visited city in the world, it’s also a global destination on par with New York and Singapore.  To sweeten the deal further, Dubai is a tax-free city with next to no income or capital gain tax. This makes it an aspirational place for people around the world to want to live and work in, as well as to invest in property.

In the 21st century, Dubai is the financial and business capital of the Middle East. Many companies base their headquarters in the city, increasing job opportunities and the market for high-end rental properties. Development projects across Dubai like Bluewaters and the forthcoming Expo 2020 are improving the fabric of the city and the economic outlook for long-term investment.

Dubai is viewed as an attractive city for property investment due to:

  • Low acquisition costs compared to other countries offering upscale living
  • High investment returns in real estate
  • Tax-free zones for investors, expats, and foreigners
  • Demand for housing from corporate renters
  • Eligibility for a UAE investors visa (with three- or ten-year validity

Expats and foreigners come to live and work in Dubai for:

  • Tax-free living
  • Easy access to flights to and from all major cities in the world
  • The climate
  • Safety and exceptionally low crime rates
  • Modern infrastructure, high-end leisure amenities, and business facilities

The Dubai property market offers opportunities of up to 10% rental income on the purchase price. A primary factor for selecting a property for investors and tenants is the location. Areas with local amenities and transportation options often increase value. As do those located close to business hubs and touristic landmarks.

Tenants are willing to pay a premium for the opportunity to live and work in Dubai’s most attractive areas, putting 25% of their annual income aside for rent. Traditionally, rent in Dubai is paid upfront with an annual rent cheque. However, to secure tenants and avoid periods of vacancy some landlords now accept smaller payments of twelve cheques rather than one.

To compare the differing price points for these Dubai properties, we’ve included the average price to purchase per square foot in each area (according to Bayut).


Top areas for rental investment

Jumeirah Lakes Towers

dubai properties JLT jumeirah lake towers

This neighborhood is popular with high-flying professionals who benefit from JLT’S easy access to work in Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City. Jumeirah Lakes Towers is well connected by metro and walkway to Dubai Marina that leads to the beach and The Walk at JBR. The area is known for independent restaurants and stores, being in close proximity to tourist landmarks whilst being a suburban zone.

The average price per square foot in Jumeirah Lakes Towers: AED 1249 (Dec 2016), AED 1060 (Dec 2018)

JLT selling points:

  • Pet-friendly
  • High-rise apartment living
  • Commuter-friendly between Dubai and Abu Dhabi
  • Pedestrian-friendly walkway for rollerblading, cycling or jogging
  • Studio apartments sell from AED 700k

Business Bay

The Bay area attracts young professionals seeking the cosmopolitan lifestyle in the heart of Dubai’s business district. New residential high-rise towers under-construction have access to centrally located mooring facilities along the Dubai Canal. Currently, the government is considering recommissioning some areas of the Bay to be re-zoned into Downtown, which will increase rental yields.

The average price per square foot in Business Bay: AED 1590 (Dec 2016), AED 1462 (Dec 2018)

Business Bay selling points:

  • Spacious and well-lit apartments
  • Close to Safa Park for outdoor recreation
  • Residential towers offer views of the Arabian Gulf and Downtown Dubai
  • Average asking prices for a studio apartment are AED 900k

Palm Jumeirah

dubai properties emirati man walking palm jumeirah

The Palm’s upscale waterfront location and luxury high-rise tower developments have increased real estate value in the area. Residents benefit from living on a man-made island with direct access to the beach and outdoor fitness facilities. Above all, a Dubai property here is one to behold.

The average price per square foot in Palm Jumeirah: AED 1697 (Dec 2016), AED 1423 (Dec 2018)

Palm Jumeirah selling points:

  • High-end developments with serviced apartments
  • Mini-developments with high-end tower apartments
  • Average asking prices for a one bedroom apartment are AED 2.2M

Downtown Dubai

For starters, Downtown Dubai remains the highest valued area for apartments, with an average price of AED 2,298 per square foot.  Additionally, the area is popular with high-earning expats who want to live in the most exclusive neighborhood of Dubai. As the heart of the city, the area has a host of entertainment and shopping amenities, like the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination.

The average price per square foot in Downtown Dubai: AED 2788 (Dec 2016), AED 2298 (Dec 2018)

Downtown Dubai selling points:

  • Home to the world’s tallest building
  • High-rise luxury residential towers
  • Well-shaded by skyscrapers
  • Average price for a one bedroom apartment AED 1.3M

Dubai Marina

Also known as the ‘skyscraper neighborhood’, this hip area is popular with expats for the waterfront lifestyle enjoyed at the marinas and beaches nearby. The Marina area has a mix of high-rise apartments and pavilion villas with many retail and dining options. And so, why not have your Dubai investment right at the heart of the action?

The average price per square foot in Dubai Marina: AED 1757 (Dec 2016), AED 1467 (Dec 2018)

Dubai Marina selling points:

  • Mid-to-high range apartments in high-rise towers
  • Well-serviced apartments
  • Views overlooking the Marina and the Arabian Gulf
  • The average price for a one bedroom apartment AED 1.3M.

Sports City

a large green grassy park area in front of some Dubai skyscapers and towers

Investing in Dubai Sports City has recently become an attractive option for real estate investors. Its proximity to Dubai’s business hubs and access to international sports facilities make it an upcoming residential neighborhood. Other than athletics, residents enjoy easy access to local malls, cinemas, restaurants, beaches, and airports.

The average price per square foot in Sports City: AED 893 (Dec 2016), AED 801 (Dec 2018)

Sports City selling points:

  • New buildings with quality finishes and cutting-edge facilities
  • Green neighborhood close to nature
  • Easy access to the Al Khail road, Sheik Mohammed Bin Zayed Road and Emirates road
  • Two bedroom apartments sell from AED 760k

Arabian Ranches

Keep an eye out for Dubai apartments for sale in this upcoming villa community offering family-oriented luxury living. Notably, upper-class expat families like the location away from central Dubai and a community that has all the services and amenities they need on the doorstep.

Arabian Ranches selling points:

  • Located by the three main ring roads leading to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain
  • Privacy, spacious properties, and unique Arabian architectural design.
  • High-end villas rent from AED 110k per year, whilst the average asking price for a 3 bedroom villa is AED 3.09M


This affordable area offers the option of villas and apartments for property investment. The City of Arabia, Dubai Lifestyle City, and Mudon projects are increasing local amenities and attractions for tourists, including golf courses.

The average price per square foot in Dubailand: AED 852 (Dec 2016), AED 748 (Dec 2018)

Dubailand selling points:

  • Development area
  • Luxurious Mediterranean style villas, Spanish style haciendas
  • Easy access to all Dubai districts, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Al Ain
  • The average asking price for a 4 bedroom villa is AED 2.5M

Other notable areas that are great for investment include DIFC, Dubai Hills, Jumeirah Village Circle, Silicon Oasis and Dubai Creek.


Tower Living

Without a doubt, Dubai is a city known for its supertowers. Real estate also goes high-rise in Dubai, with the apartments typically built in residential tower blocks. Whilst villas are on the market in suburban areas that appeal to families, most corporate tenants opt to rent high-rise apartments. Blueground’s premium properties are located in the most sought after residential towers and high-end areas of Dubai.

Like our apartments at The Elite Residence residential tower located in the Dubai Marina. They feature optimum fixtures and fittings with access to 24-hour security, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and sea views. Similarly, our elegant apartments in Downtown Dubai at The Lofts offer luxury living for urban lifestyles with easy access to world-class hospitality and leisure facilities.

We like to make support easily-accessible for our tenants and offer on-demand cleaning and maintenance requests via the Blueground Guest App. As a landlord, it’s important to distinguish between normal and excess wear and tear in a rental property.

Get in touch with us if you’re interested in finding out more about how we maintain our tenant services for our property owners in Dubai. If you’re looking to your Dubai real estate investment as a true source of passive income, we’re here to help.

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