Housing in Abu Dhabi

Housing Abu Dhabi

The UAE is continually growing to be home to an exciting, diverse, multi-cultural blend of young, dynamic, and professional people enjoying the unrivaled quality of life that the Emirate has to offer. It is no surprise therefore that in the emirate of Dubai, for example, it has recorded the fastest growth in population in the world. More and more people emigrate to the city for quality of life, outstanding employment prospects, and to experience the very best in the world of work and lifestyle.

For beginners here are some handy guides compiled by us which should make your task of settling down in this city a little easy.


Although non-nationals now have the opportunity to purchase a home in the UAE, many formalities have yet to be completed in another year or so until they are ready for occupancy. Therefore for now rental is still the main option.

Most expatriates live in Abu Dhabi or Dubai, although Sharjah, close to Dubai is also an option and rents are lower. Foreigners may not own property except in the emirates of Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah. Expatriates almost always rent accommodations.

Flats (apartments) are usually unfurnished. You will have to pay a brokers fee of 5% and a deposit. Leases are for one, two, or three years. Very few buildings have monthly rentals although there are furnished short-term accommodations with certain hotels and complexes. Rent is also paid upfront as a lump sum. Usually six months for an apartment and a year for a villa. There are services that can assist with financing, but it is best to make sure housing is included in your employment contract.

Houses are always unfurnished and made of cement blocks. Rents are high and the market is very tight, especially for housing. The best places go quickly and are found by word of mouth.

In Abu Dhabi expatriates prefer the areas of Bateen, Karam, and Khalidia for houses and Corniche for apartments. In Dubai, luxury apartments are preferred such as Dubai World Trade Centre, the Galleria, Holiday Inn Crown Plaza, and the Al Ghurair, as well as the apartments on Sheikh Zayed Road. In the suburbs Bur Dubai is popular and Jumairah offers the most convenience for families with children.

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