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What is the cheapest real estate in Dubai?

Dubai is known for its extravagant architecture and luxury real estate. However, the city offers affordable housing options across various neighborhoods that cater to all budgets. This article discusses the cheapest areas to buy property in Dubai along with average prices per square foot.

What is the cheapest real estate in Dubai?

Cheapest Areas for Real Estate in Dubai

Several locations provide budget home-buying and rental opportunities while still offering proximity to attractions and conveniences.

International City

International City is currently Dubai’s most affordable area for real estate with studios starting from AED 25,000 and 1-bed apartments from AED 150,000. Located along Emirates Road, it comprises low-rise buildings divided into ethnic cluster neighborhoods. Dragon Mart and Dubai South are a short drive away.

Average price per square foot: AED 800 – AED 1,100

Discovery Gardens

Discovery Gardens offers studio and 1 to 2-bed apartments ranging from AED 600,000 to AED 1.1M near Ibn Battuta Mall. The spacious units in this large, mixed-use development are ideal for families and singles alike. A metro station also connects to other areas of Dubai.

Average price per square foot: AED 900 – AED 1,300

Jumeirah Village Circle

Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) has affordable freehold townhouses and apartments for sale, starting from AED 350,000. The projects here are built around scenic circular themed infrastructure. It is close to key retail and recreational venues like Mall of the Emirates.

Average price per square foot: AED 600 – AED 1,000

Dubai Investment Park

Studios and 1-bedroom apartments in Dubai Investment Park begin from AED 290,000, making it one of the most reasonably priced freehold zones after International City. Located near Green Community, it comprises low-rise buildings amidst landscaped surrounds.

Average price per square foot: AED 700 – AED 1,000

Al Furjan

Al Furjan offers studios and 1 to 2-bedroom units ranging from AED 400,000 onwards. It is a large development located off Sheikh Zayed Road near Jebel Ali. Within close proximity to Ibn Battuta Mall and Downtown Jebel Ali, the neighborhood also features extensive community facilities.

Average price per square foot: AED 800 – AED 1,100

Factors Influencing Affordable Property Prices in Dubai

Many elements contribute to lower real estate pricing across Dubai’s affordable areas outlined above.


Affordable housing communities are situated farther from the main central districts, limiting immediate access to attractions. However, major connecting routes like Sheikh Zayed Road and Emirates Road help reduce commute times. Proximity to amenities like retail centers and recreational venues also boosts convenience.

Land Availability

Areas like International City and Discovery Gardens could develop very high-density, low-rise housing thanks to the vast available land. Higher inventory of smaller apartment units caters to budget buyers.

Developer Strategies

Developers play a key role in facilitating affordable options in Dubai. By providing smaller-sized units and basic amenities while eliminating high-end facilities, project costs reduce – savings passed to buyers through lower purchase prices and rents.

Supply and Demand

The ample supply of smaller, low-cost units across Dubai combined with rising demand from salaries not aligned to luxury housing has increased affordability. Locations like JVC provide freehold options that boost interest from buyers and investors.

Buying an Affordable Property in Dubai

Those looking to purchase inexpensive apartments or townhouses in Dubai’s affordable zones should consider the following:

  • Work with a reliable real estate broker to identify suitable options and negotiate fair pricing
  • Evaluate listings across secondary market resales for potential deals
  • Look into attractive payment plan options from developers
  • Consider studios or 1-bed units that offer comparatively lower costs
  • Check ownership restrictions – some areas permit only UAE national buyers
  • Review service charges and utilities costs applicable on units
  • Confirm availability of community amenities suitable to your needs
  • Ensure proper due diligence, including verifying No Objection Certificates (NOCs) and reviewing transaction terms

Key Takeaways

  • Dubai has various areas offering budget real estate options, best represented by International City with studios from AED 25,000
  • Discovery Gardens, Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubai Investment Park, and Al Furjan also provide affordable housing
  • Factors like location, land availability, developer strategies and supply/demand influence lower pricing
  • Smaller-sized units by trusted developers within mixed-use communities offer value home buying
  • Following due diligence and market best practices helps secure suitable affordable property


While commonly perceived as a luxury real estate destination, Dubai hosts neighborhoods catering to buyers searching for cheaper properties too. Locations like International City, Discovery Gardens, JVC, and Investment Park have abundant residential options under AED 1 million. Considerations around developer reputation, community facilities, and ownership restrictions also impact affordability. Conducting proper assessments and market comparisons helps secure ideal budget housing in Dubai.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the most affordable areas in Dubai?
    The most affordable areas for real estate in Dubai are International City, Discovery Gardens, Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubai Investment Park, and Al Furjan. These locations offer studios, 1 and 2-bedroom units starting under AED 300,000.

  2. How much is a cheap apartment in Dubai?
    Cheap apartments in Dubai can cost as low as AED 25,000 for studios in International City or around AED 150,000 for small 1-bed units in areas like Jumeirah Village Circle and Dubai Investment Park.

  3. Is buying property in Dubai affordable?
    Yes, buying property in Dubai can be affordable depending on the location and type of unit. Smaller studios and 1-bedroom apartments in communities like International City provide budget home-buying options starting under AED 300,000.

  4. What is the best area to invest in Dubai real estate?
    Some of the best areas to invest in affordable Dubai real estate include Dubai Investment Park, Jumeirah Village Circle, Al Khail Heights, Business Bay, and Dubai Silicon Oasis. These locations offer cheaper properties with strong rental demand and prospects for future capital gains.

  5. What is the cheapest place to rent in Dubai?
    International City is currently Dubai’s cheapest area for rentals, with annual studio leases available from AED 18k. Discovery Gardens, Silicon Oasis, JVC, and Deira also offer affordable rental options for singles and families.

  6. What is the most expensive area in Dubai?
    The most expensive areas for real estate in Dubai are Palm Jumeirah, Emirates Hills, Downtown Dubai and Arabian Ranches where average prices range from AED 2,500-4,000 psf. Luxury properties here can cost tens of millions of dirhams.

  7. Is Dubai cheaper than Abu Dhabi?
    Yes, the cost of living and real estate prices are generally cheaper in Dubai compared to Abu Dhabi – especially when comparing similar quality accommodation. Key exceptions where Abu Dhabi offers better value are large villas and rental yields.

  8. What is the safest community in Dubai?
    Considered one of Dubai’s overall safest neighborhoods, Arabian Ranches benefits from a structured community layout, facilities like cycling tracks and community watch programs that help promote safety. Other secure family areas include The Springs, Jumeirah Park, and Umm Suqeim.

  9. Which Dubai community has the best ROI?
    Business Bay has delivered one of Dubai’s best real estate returns on investment in recent years due to its prime location and business demand. Dubai Silicon Oasis, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Discovery Gardens, and Dubai Investments Park also offer strong rental yields.

  10. What is the best place for expats to live in Dubai?
    Popular Dubai neighborhoods for expats due to their community vibes and amenities include Arabian Ranches, Damac Hills, Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, and The Greens. Most feature family-friendly facilities and accessibility.

  11. Can foreigners buy property in Dubai?
    Yes, the Dubai Land Department allows foreign nationals to buy freehold property without restrictions across many designated zones. Key regulations include minimum purchase values and post-handover payment plans.

  12. Can I get a mortgage in Dubai as an expat?
    Several leading UAE banks offer mortgages for expats in Dubai for off-plan, ready and resale properties. Foreigners can finance up to 80% of a property’s value based on eligibility criteria like minimum income levels and age limits.

  13. Is it cheaper to rent or buy property in Dubai?
    For smaller units, it is generally cheaper to rent than buy property in Dubai. However, townhouses and villas offer more affordable finance options versus rent. Factors like lifestyle needs, job security and family considerations also impact rent vs. buy decisions.

  14. What is the best place to live in Dubai for families?
    Prime family-oriented neighborhoods ranked the best places to live in Dubai include Arabian Ranches, Damac Hills, Jumeirah Golf Estates, The Springs Dubai, Dubai Hills Estate, and The Villa communities for their range of community amenities.

  15. What are the pros and cons of living in Dubai?
    Pros of living in Dubai include high salaries tax free earnings, year-round sunshine, world-class amenities, family adventures, beachfront living options. Cons range from high costs of living, peak summer heat and dense crowds to cultural adaptation needs and transient friendships.

  16. How much is a villa in Dubai?
    Average prices for Dubai villas range from AED 1M in Dubai Investment Park and Discovery Gardens to over AED 10M+ in Emirates Hills or on Palm Jumeirah. Prices vary based on location, community facilities, interior finishing, and plot sizes – ranging from 2 to 6-bed options.

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