More apartments at Expo Village will soon be released into Dubai's bustling rental market. The first releases have all been leased out. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: As residents in Dubai – especially the new ones – scout for pocket-friendly rental options, many of them will be looking towards the Expo Village for the release of more apartments that can fit their needs.

Because right now, the Expo Village in Dubai South along with Jumeirah Village Circle are the go-to places for residents wanting to keep a tight check on their rental obligations.

At Expo Village, more than 570 apartments ‘from the initial community cluster have been successfully leased out’, said Khaled Al Fahim, Vice-President of Asset & Investment Management at DWTC, which oversees the development.

But what the spokesperson said next will be of particular interest to prospective tenants - the Expo Village will eventually comprise of 2,273 apartments. “Given the strong demand, we are introducing further 380 apartments into the leasing market,” added Al Fahim.

Given the strong demand, we are introducing further 380 apartments into the leasing market.

- Khaled Al Fahim of Asset & Investment Management at DWTC

And market sources suggest that take up rates will be ‘almost instant’.

Currently, furnished studios there are leasing between Dh48,000-Dh56,000, while one-beds are from Dh60,000-Dh71,000. Two-bedroom options lease at Dh84,000-Dh95,000.

“The breakdown of rental rates in Expo Village is influenced by a variety of factors, including whether the apartment is furnished or unfurnished, its floor, size, among other features,” said Al Fahim. There are a ‘range of options for tenants based on their preferences and budget.”

Furnished options prove a hit

“The fact these apartments come with a furnished option - and at these rentals - are a major plus for tenants,” said an estate agent. “And these are feeding into huge demand from first-time residents in the city – one wouldn’t be surprised if the leasing to date shows them making up the biggest portion.”

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At Dubai South, there is also the Expo City, which offers freehold options. The releases to date have been popular with buyers. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

A bustling Dubai South

All of this is happening as the master-development itself – Dubai South – sees more offices and businesses opening through the last 2 years. The massive development, still ways to go for its complete build out, has been a magnet for its commercial real estate, and more so since the Expo 2020 event that concluded in March 2022.

This is what makes Expo Village such a big hit on the rental side, and also the same reason that’s fuelling interest in the various freehold releases happening at the Expo City.

Even as Dubai's upscale residential communities have seen rents race up the charts, there are options at JLT that would fit in well with mid- to upper-mid income budgets. Image Credit: Supplied

Mid-market rental locations

It is a fact that rentals in Dubai across most locations have been through 15-40 per cent rental gains through these two years. But even amidst that kind of rental dynamics, some locations are still offering easy-on-the-pocket options.

Taj Kang is the Leasing Manager at Betterhomes, and cites JVC, Town Square and JLT as being the locations where residents can still tap into mid-income rent options.

At Jumeirah Village Circle, current property listings show one-bedroom units having an asking rate of Dh60,000-Dh65,000. Coming weeks will see more building completions, which should make for a busy leasing period early 2024. (Here too, landlords are offering furnished homes as another incentive for newly settled residents in the city.)  

Compared to the rest of the market, Dubai Studio City saw minimal rental increases of only 0.2 per cent from September to October, while Damac Hills had the lowest rise of only 0.02 per cent.

- Taj Kang of Betterhomes

For those looking at a more premium community, Jumeirah Golf Estates saw rental increases of 0.2 per cent during the same period.

For the wider Dubai rental market, there are no signs yet that rental growth numbers are slowing down. Estate agents talk about a further 'couple of quarters' where there could be marked increases, even with newly completed apartment buildings getting ready for occupancy.

And even at locations where rent stability might happen, the chances are these will be at the elevated levels of the present. All the more reason why potential tenants should keep scouting for any possibility that sits well on their expenses. If they do find one, they better be quick about it...