Understanding the Rental Market Landscape in Dubai

In 2023, Dubai's rental market had a notable surge driven by a thriving economy, increasing investor demand, and a rapidly expanding populace according to Bayut’s annual rental report. The total rental transactions in Dubai went up to a whopping 818,583 in numbers as per Dubai Transactions data, with a value of EUR 16.99 billion (AED 67.9 billion). This surge impacted all property segments:

  • Affordable Properties: Rental costs for budget-friendly apartments and villas rose by 4% to 28%.

  • Mid-Tier Rentals: Rents for mid-range apartments and villas experienced upticks of up to 23%.

  • Luxury Properties: Luxury apartments and villas reported the highest increase, with rents climbing by up to 31%.

Top Areas for Affordable Apartments

Budget-conscious Portuguese expats will find several attractive neighbourhoods offering comfortable living at reasonable prices in Dubai according to listings of cheap rental flats on Bayut, a leading property portal in the UAE:

  • Al Nahda: This family-friendly area emerged as the most popular choice for affordable apartments. Al Nahda boasts a strong sense of community, well-equipped parks, and convenient access to schools and shops. Average annual rents currently stand at:

  • Studio: AED 30,000 (EUR 7,508)

  • 1-bedroom: AED 39,000 (EUR 9,760)

  • 2-bedroom: AED 51,000 (EUR 12,763)

  • Deira: Offering a captivating blend of traditional charm and a central location, Deira is a popular choice. Deira provides a vibrant atmosphere, bustling marketplaces, and easy access to Dubai's iconic landmarks. Average annual rents currently stand at:

  • Studio: AED 29,000 (EUR 7,257)

  • 1-bedroom: AED 45,000 (EUR 11,262)

  • 2-bedroom: AED 68,000 (EUR 17,018)

Top Areas for Luxury Apartments

For those seeking a luxurious lifestyle, Dubai boasts a collection of stunning apartments:

  • Dubai Marina: This waterfront haven remains the top choice for upscale apartments, offering breathtaking views of the Dubai Marina skyline and the Arabian Gulf. Dubai Marina provides a vibrant nightlife scene, world-class restaurants, and a luxurious yachting lifestyle. Average annual rents currently stand at:

  • 1-bedroom: AED 108,000 (EUR 27,029)

  • 2-bedroom: AED 165,000 (EUR 41,295)

  • 3-bedroom: AED 258,000 (EUR 64,570)

  • Business Bay: This prestigious district offers a dynamic atmosphere close to the city centre, ideal for those who enjoy the buzz of urban life. Business Bay boasts impressive skyscrapers, high-end shopping malls, and a plethora of upscale restaurants and cafes. Average annual rents currently stand at:

  • 1-bedroom: AED 92,000 (EUR 23,025)

  • 2-bedroom: AED 144,000 (EUR 36,039)

  • 3-bedroom: AED 211,000 (EUR 52,807)

Top Areas for Affordable Villas

For budget-conscious renters seeking a spacious villa lifestyle, Dubai offers these options:

  • Mirdif: This family-friendly area emerged as a popular choice for affordable family-friendly villas. Mirdif offers a suburban environment with community parks, schools, and shopping centres. Average annual rents currently stand at:

  • 3-bedroom: AED 116,000 (USD 29,031)

  • 4-bedroom: AED 137,000 (USD 34,287)

  • 5-bedroom: AED 155,000 (USD 38,792)

  • DAMAC Hills 2: This developing community presents a promising option for those seeking an affordable family-friendly villa. While still under development in some areas, DAMAC Hills 2 offers spacious 3-, 4-, and 5-bedroom units. The community boasts landscaped gardens, children's play areas, and a developing network of amenities. Average annual rents currently stand at:

  • 3-bedroom: AED 86,000 (USD 21,523)

  • 4-bedroom: AED 105,000 (USD 26.279)

  • 5-bedroom: AED 131,000 (USD 32,785)

Top Areas for Luxury Villas

If a luxurious villa with all the trimmings is your dream home, Dubai offers these prestigious neighbourhoods:

  • Dubai Hills Estate: This prestigious community reigns supreme for luxury villas, offering expansive living spaces, stunning architecture, and world-class amenities like championship golf courses, exquisite restaurants, and private pools. Average annual rents currently stand at:

  • 4-bedroom: AED 324,000 (EUR 81,088)

  • 5-bedroom: AED 278,000 (EUR 69,575)

  • 6-bedroom: AED 1,594,000 (EUR 398,934)

  • Al Barsha: This neighbourhood is another option for those seeking an opulent living. Al Barsha offers easy access to Sheikh Zayed Road and is close to popular attractions like the Mall of the Emirates and the Dubai Autodrome. Average annual rents currently stand at:

  • 4-bedroom: AED 329,000 (EUR 82,339)

  • 5-bedroom: AED 381,000 (EUR 95,353)

  • 6-bedroom: AED 476,000 (EUR 119,130)

The Process of Renting in Dubai for Portuguese Expats

Once you've identified your ideal neighbourhood and type of property, here's a general overview of the renting process in Dubai:

  • Search for Properties: Utilise online property portals or connect with reputable real estate agencies specialising in your chosen area.

  • Arrange Viewings: Shortlist properties that meet your criteria and schedule viewings with landlords or agents.

  • Negotiate the Rent: Don't hesitate to negotiate the rent, especially for higher-end properties.

  • Finalise the Tenancy Agreement: Carefully review the tenancy agreement, ensuring you understand all terms and conditions, including the security deposit amount.

  • Ejari Registration: This mandatory step formalises your tenancy agreement with the Dubai Land Department (DLD). You can register Ejari online through the Dubai REST app or by visiting a Real Estate Services Trustees Centre with the required documents. Ejari registration fees apply.

  • Move-In Process: Complete any registration processes with Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) for utilities and potentially set up internet and TV services.


Dubai's rental market offers something for everyone, from budget-friendly apartments and family villas to luxurious estates with breathtaking views. This comprehensive guide empowers Portuguese expats to navigate the rental landscape, identify their ideal neighbourhood, and find a place to call home in this vibrant and dynamic city. With careful planning and this guide at hand, you'll be well on your way to finding your perfect place in Dubai!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What are pet policies like in Dubai rentals?

A: Finding a pet-friendly rental in Dubai requires extra research. Some buildings have blanket pet bans, while others allow specific types of pets with size or breed restrictions. Expect additional pet deposits or monthly fees.

Q2: How does the utility billing work in Dubai rentals?

A: In most Dubai rentals, utilities like electricity, water, and cooling charges are separate from rent. Some buildings may include cooling in the service fee, while others require a separate DEWA account. Always clarify utility responsibility with the landlord before signing the tenancy agreement.

Q3: Is it common to negotiate rent in Dubai?

A: Negotiation is welcomed in Dubai, especially for higher-end properties. Research average rental rates in your chosen area to set a negotiation baseline. Be polite but firm in your communication with the landlord. Negotiation can extend beyond rent, potentially including free parking or waived move-in fees.