Stock - Dubai skyline
File image used for illustrative purposes: Industry analysis and reports show that the UAE real estate sector in general has had a strong start of the year. In addition to this, according to the latest statistics, the UAE’s economy grew by 3.8 per cent in 2021, the highest in the region. Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

Dubai: Popular residential locations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have shown an uptick in rental rates, the UAE Real Estate Market Review - Q1 2022 published by CBRE showed. The report published on April 20, by the real-estate services and investment firm, also looked at real estate trends in the country in terms of office spaces in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, along with trends in the hospitality sector.

Business Bay in Dubai showed the highest month-over-month (MoM) increase in apartment rental rates, by 4.9 per cent while apartment prices in Green Community in DIP showed the highest MoM rate increase in Dubai, based on this report. 

The report shows that the UAE real-estate sector has had a stellar start to the year with property prices and rentals showing a steady rate of growth. 

Abu Dhabi rentals, property prices

According to CBRE's data, rents in Abu Dhabi's residential market increased by 0.6 per cent on average in the year to March 2022. Over this period, average apartment rents increased by 1.1 per cent, whereas average villa rents decreased by 1.6 per cent.

In terms of property prices, the average per square metre price for apartments in Abu Dhabi stood at Dh10,904 on average as of March 2022. The average prices for villas in the same period rose to Dh8,850 per square metre. n Al Raha Beach, Al Maryah Island or Reem Island. 

Over 9,500 new units are expected to supplied in the emirate this year, over 70 per cent of which will be in Al Raha Beach, Al Maryah Island or Reem Island.

Dubai rentals, property prices

In Dubai, the trend has been that residents have been renewing than registering new rental contracts, based on data from the Dubai Land Department as cited in this report.  In Q1 2022, the number of new contracts registered fell by 2.3 per cent, whereas the number of contracts renewed increased by 29.6 per cent. 

In Dubai, as many reports have shown this quarter, average rental rates increased by 13.1 per cent in the year to March 2022, the highest rate of growth recorded since December 2014.

Highest gainers in terms of rental rates, at 4 per cent or more month-over-month, are Palm Jumeirah, The Old Town, Dubai Marina, International City, Business Bay, and Damac Hills (Akoya). Arjan, Bur Dubai and Liwan were the areas that recorded a decrease in rates according to CBRE data. 

In terms of property purchases, the report said, "Average prices in Dubai increased by 11.3 per cent in the year to March 2022. Over this period, average apartment prices increased by 10 per cent and average villa prices increased by 20.1 per cent."


The UAE has had a strong year in economic performance, regionally and globally. The UAE reported the region’s highest gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate in 2021, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted on April 7.

Sheikh Mohammed said, "The Statistics Centre has announced the UAE’s gross domestic product for 2021. While the World Bank expected the UAE’s economy to grow by 2.1 per cent, we achieved a growth rate of 3.8 per cent in 2021 (higher than the growth realised in 2019). This is the highest in the region. At current prices, our GDP was Dh1.489 trillion.”

“Despite the challenges the world has seen, the UAE has not stopped moving steadily forward. Our economy is growing and so is our development journey. Our competitiveness is moving up and our future is going to be great. Our message to our people is that the best is yet to come,” Sheikh Mohammad tweeted.

The UAE’s PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) for March recorded a healthy 54.8, well above the median 50. It indicated businesses ramping up capacity steadily to get back to pre-pandemic numbers. Incoming orders - which had shown steady increases over the six-month Expo phase - show every indication of holding up in the weeks ahead.