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What is the cheapest property to buy in Dubai?

Dubai is known for its extravagant architecture and luxury real estate. However, for budget-conscious buyers, Dubai does offer affordable property options. This article explores the most economical areas and property types for buyers in Dubai.

What is the cheapest property to buy in Dubai?

Affordable Areas in Dubai

When searching for an affordable property in Dubai, consider looking in these areas first:

  • International City – This area has smaller apartments and townhouses at reasonable prices. Many properties rent out rooms to share costs.
  • Discovery Gardens – Offering mostly studios and 1-bedroom flats, this newer community is popular with singles and couples.
  • Jumeirah Village – Jumeirah Village provides spacious townhouses and family-sized apartments for less compared to other Dubai districts.
  • Dubai Investment Park – Investors will find this area provides studio flats and small villas below market value to maximize rental potential.
Area Average Price Range
International City AED 250,000 – 850,000
Discovery Gardens AED 400,000 – 700,000
Jumeirah Village AED 500,000 – 1.2 million
Dubai Investment Park AED 750,000 – 1.5 million

Most Affordable Property Types

When prioritizing price point in Dubai real estate, consider investing in these affordable property types:

  • Studios – Offering 300-500 square feet of living space, studios allow solo buyers to enter Dubai’s market. Studios average AED 350,000 – 650,000 based on location.
  • 1-Bedroom Flats – Slightly larger at 500-800 square feet, 1-bedroom units appeal to couples. Prices range from AED 500,000 – 850,000.
  • Townhouses – Townhouses of 800 – 2,000 square feet are ideal for sharers and small families. Townhouse complexes offer community amenities. Prices span from AED 800,000 – 1.8 million.
  • Sub-Community Villas – Investors target small (1,200 – 2,500 square foot) villas within larger villa communities. These villas allow buyers to enter prime locations. Prices range AED 1.2 million – 3 million.

Additional Buying Costs

When budgeting for Dubai property, remember to account for additional buying and ownership costs:

  • Transfer Fees – Transfer fees of 2-4% of the sale price apply to all Dubai property sales.
  • Registration Fees – Expect to pay approximately 2% of a property’s value in registration fees.
  • Mortgages – UAE mortgages typically require 20-25% down payments with 4.5-6% interest rates.
  • Service Charges – Maintenance fees averaging AED 10-20 per square foot will recurs annually for communal services.
  • Utilities – Utility costs in Dubai may add AED 1000-1500 monthly for a 1-2 bedroom unit.
  • Insurance – Home insurance averages 1-2% of a property’s value per year.

Thoroughly researching locations, comparing unit sizes/types, and budgeting for all costs will lead buyers to Dubai’s most affordable properties.

Key Takeaways

  • Seek out affordable areas like International City, Discovery Gardens, and Jumeirah Village when prioritizing home price.
  • Studios, 1-bedroom flats, townhouses, and small community villas offer economical options.
  • Account for transfer fees, registration costs, mortgages, recurring service charges, utilities, and insurance when budgeting.
  • Performing due diligence allows buyers to capitalize on Dubai’s affordable property market sector.


While known for premier luxury real estate, Dubai does offer price-conscious property options in areas like International City and Discovery Gardens. across affordable property types like studios and 1-bedroom flats. Careful budgeting for additional buying and ownership costs is key. With proper research, buyers can invest in Dubai property even with economical budgets below AED 1 million.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the cheapest area to buy property in Dubai?
    The most affordable residential area for buying property in Dubai is International City, with average prices from AED 250,000 – 850,000.

  2. What is the cheapest property type to buy in Dubai?
    Studios tend to be the most economical property type to invest in Dubai, with the average prices ranging from AED 350,000 – 650,000.

  3. Is it cheaper to buy or rent property in Dubai?
    For longer-term stays, it is usually cheaper to buy rather than rent property in Dubai after 3-5 years of ownership to offset purchasing costs. However, renting offers more flexibility.

  4. What is the average cost per square foot for property in Dubai?
    Average property prices in Dubai range from AED 800 – 1,200 per square foot. More premier areas charge AED 2,000 – 4,000+ per square foot.

  5. What are the additional costs when buying property in Dubai?
    Beyond the sales prices, buyers must budget for transfer fees, registration costs, mortgages, annual service charges, utilities, and home insurance when purchasing Dubai real estate.

  6. What is the process for getting a mortgage in Dubai?
    Mortgages in Dubai require at least a 20-25% down payment. Buyers will need to provide proof of income and Dubai residency and undergo a credit check to qualify for UAE mortgage financing from banks.

  7. How much are the service charges for properties in Dubai?
    Service or maintenance fees for Dubai properties typically range from AED 10-20 per square foot annually. These fund communal services within housing developments.

  8. Which areas in Dubai have affordable villas?
    More reasonably priced villas are available within large master communities, such as in Arabian Ranches, Damac Hills, Dubai South, and Jumeirah Village.

  9. Should I use a real estate agent to buy property in Dubai?
    Yes, licensed Dubai real estate agents have access to listings and expertise negotiating the buying process. Their commissions are built into the sales price.

  10. Are there any hidden costs to buying property as a foreigner in Dubai?
    No, Dubai has transparent property buying costs for foreigners. But get fees, taxes, mortgages, and recurring costs in writing to calculate total expenses.

  11. What return on investment can I expect from Dubai investment property?
    For affordable Dubai buy-to-let properties, investors can achieve 8-12% yearly returns from rental income and long-term capital appreciation.

  12. How much deposit do I need to buy off-plan property in Dubai?
    Off-plan Dubai properties require an upfront reservation deposit between 5-10%. Developers also allow owners to pay the balance in installments before completion.

  13. Can I get a mortgage in Dubai if I don’t live or work there?
    Yes, many Dubai banks now offer mortgages to international property investors without UAE residency. But income verification rules still apply.

  14. Are there any fees for paying a mortgage late or early in Dubai?
    Most Dubai home loans charge penalty fees for late mortgage payments but do allow buyers to pay off the home financing early with no extra charges.

  15. How much are agent commissions on Dubai property purchases?
    Real estate agents charge commissions of 2%, which are typically included within the agreed sales prices for Dubai property purchases rather than as added costs.

  16. How can I make sure a Dubai off-plan property will get completed?
    Research developers’ track records and visit previous projects first. Also review construction progress through the Dubai Land Department’s monitoring processes before reserving.

  17. Are freehold properties cheaper than non-freehold in Dubai?
    Yes, freehold ownership options in designated Dubai districts allow foreigners to purchase properties without paying premiums charged for non-freehold areas allowing only UAE national ownership.

  18. What are the best areas for affordable villas in Dubai?
    Some top areas to find affordable villas and townhouses in Dubai include Arabian Ranches, Mira, Reem, Town Square, Jumeirah Village Circle, and Dubai South. These areas offer spacious homes, community amenities, and reasonable prices.

  19. What is the process for getting electricity connected in a Dubai property?
    To connect electricity when moving into a Dubai home, you must submit the Tenancy Contract, Ejari, and Emirates ID for residents or passports for investors to DEWA. If moving into a new development, the developer will connect utilities.

  20. What is the average maintenance cost per year for a 2-bed apartment in Dubai?
    Expect annual maintenance fees of AED 20,000 to 35,000 for a two-bedroom Dubai apartment. This averages around AED 15-20 per square foot per year for costs like cooling, property management, cleaning, waste disposal, repairs, and communal facilities.

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