Rents on the rise in Dubai

It's history repeating:
Rents in Dubai have shot up sharply in the last six months, in some cases leaping more than 50 per cent, leaving many middle income expats in a bind.
Annual average rents for a 1-bedroom apartment in Bur Dubai have risen to Dh40,000 –Dh65,000 (up to £10000) from Dh30,000 to Dh55,000, while in Discovery Garden they rose from about Dh40,000 to over Dh50,000 now and even in the relatively affordable communities like International City, rents for a one-bedroom apartment have risen from Dh25,000 to more than Dh40,000 in the last six months.
Sharjah has always been a magnet for middle income expats who preferred to stay there and work in Dubai, braving maddening traffic bottlenecks and long travel hours. However when the market dipped in 2008-09 and rents in Dubai plummeted, many of these expats began moving to areas like International City, Discovery Gardens and JLT in Dubai.
However, their joy has been short-lived. Many of the residents moving back to neighbouring emirates now say they do not mind extra commuting time if it meant huge savings in rents.
With the current spikes in rent, it's like traveling in time back to 2007 when rents were becoming almost unaffordable to even quite well-paid expats. Being relatively new to Dubai at the time, rents were horrific and it was difficult to even find a place to live. For more than a year, my only option was to rent a room in a house sharing kitchen and bathroom with several other tenants. A practice that was illegal, but there was no other choice for me at the time. I paid Dh5,000 for a room with a bed and a cupboard not even 100 sq. ft. Renting a villa in - say - The Meadows would set you back 250-400K a year. 
Traffic was horrendous back then, especially if you were traveling to/from Sharjah or Ajman which could easily take a couple of hours during rush hour - and you can begin to see it coming back to a similar situation now. 

My latest rent was Dh60.000 for a two-bed in Tecom in 2012. The landlord is now asking Dh85.000 for it - much more than the maximum allowed annual increase, but he can easily get that kind of money for it. It may soon again come to a point where expats may have to consider if staying in Dubai paying atrocious rents is really worth it or if they should move to one of the other emirates - or away from the UAE altogether.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe there should be a rein on the landlords who are just taking advantage of the situation. It's very true that expats will be leaving UAE soon!