An apartment or a villa in Dubai: what do the emirate's residents prefer?

19 September 2016
It is commonly thought that a villa in Dubai is more suitable for a family, while apartments are better for young professionals and businessmen.
A villa in Dubai is usually regarded as a dwelling place for a family, while apartments are thought to be more suitable for independent young adults or young couples which have no children yet.And it's quite logical, because Arab families traditionally prefer to reside in independent spacious houses if they can afford it, better if further from the noisy and fussy city center, somewhere quiet and peaceful.

But young and energetic professionals, students, businessmen, unrestrained with family obligations, are traditionally more keen on immersing into active business or social life completely. Thus it's more natural for them to settle in small but comfortable apartments near their workplaces or educational facilities.

But note that we only said "traditionally".

Is it still like this today, when the indigenous population of Dubai has been outnumbered by nonresidents, and Dubai itself has been setting the bar of comfort and quality of living really, really high? And which factors do people take into consideration when they decide to change their housing and have to make a choice between an apartment and a villa in Dubai?

A villa in Dubai or an apartment?


What do the real estate specialists say?

Statistics and facts show that in 90% of the cases the choice of housing in Dubai is determined by the lifestyle of the emirate's resident.The point is, any decent apartment or any villa in Dubai would both ensure very high level of comfort, so the choice is rather based on these three factors: 1. Money. It not only includes the rental rates and the cost of public utilities, but also the cost of the interior design, if it's important for the resident; 2. Whether the accommodation suits the lifestyle of the person; 3. Availability of certain conveniences and facilities, sometimes quite specific ones. This could be proximity to a school or to some night clubs, availability of a pool or a view from the windows.

And yet the "money factor" is playing the key role here. About half of the people living in apartments admit that they would dearly move into a villa if they could afford it. And many agree, that not only the cost of a villa rent holds them back, but also the cost of its maintenance and purchase of the furniture.

Trying to figure out who prefers a villa in Dubai and what kind of people would go for an apartment only

But still money does not determine everything in this question. Numerous residents of Dubai who can afford renting or buying a mansion still prefer apartments. And usually in such cases some extra conveniences and the location of the apartment are of paramount importance. For instance pools, gyms and restaurants are usually present right at the apartment complex, while it would take some driving time to get to such facilities from a villa. Another instance: villas in Springs are much more convenient than apartments in Jumeirah Lake Towers, but getting to the city center from Springs is only possible by your personal car, so getting your kid to the school and back every day would consume lots of your private time.

villa rental rates in Dubai


And what do the statistics say?

But everything above is rather hypothetical and generalized. Facts are more eloquent in this regard:
  • 81% of Dubai families which can afford living in villas do exactly that;
  • 55% of the families that live in apartments admit that they would move to a villa were they affluent enough to pay the rent and the cost of public utilities;
  • 97% of the young professionals and students without families live in apartments;
  • Only 14% of the young professionals will be ready to move to a villa if they're able to pay for it. The rest find it unnecessary if you have no family.
And all that confirms that traditional preferences of the people are not changing, despite obvious changes in the structure and the image of the city. Families prefer houses, and the youth prefer apartments until the moment they become husbands and wives, moms and dads.

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