Dubai South currently has a resident base of over 25,000 and is on track for another 5,000 to call the place their home by year-end. Amidst all this, property values and rents are still very much on the affordable side. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A further 5,000 or so new residents taking up homes at one location in Dubai this year – and without property values and rents going through the roof? At Dubai South, it’s happening.

Dubai’s sprawling mixed-use destination is already home to about 25,000 residents and in the coming 24-36 months will see a further sharp rise in their numbers. There aren't that many communities of neighbourhoods in the city that can take in an influx of 5,000 new residents without that showing up as more or less immediate rental demand spikes.

This is where Dubai South hopes to be different. The master-developer and market watchers are hopeful that Dubai South will continue to hold on to its status of being an affordable place to be. (Even on those projects that have been more upscale, the focus has been on ‘affordable luxury’.)

Nabil Al Kindi, CEO of Dubai South Properties, is intent on keeping it this way. “Our mandate has always been offering spacious properties for affordable prices,” he said. “And we will continue to delivery on this commitment.

“Looking ahead to 2025, Dubai South Properties is on track to complete approximately 2,500 units. In addition, other active developers could add around 5,500 units to the market.”

Nabil Al Kindi of Dubai South Properties: "Leading up to 2023, Dubai South experienced a significant uptick in demand, as evidenced by an 11 per cent rise in residential property transactions compared to the previous year. Our mandate has always been offering spacious properties for affordable prices..." Image Credit: Supplied

Coming up is a new freehold apartment project direct from Dubai South Properties, its first since the handover of The Pulse Apartments in 2020. In addition, Dubai South also hosts multiple projects from private developers.

“Over the last two years, our role as a master-developer has been robust, with the sale of multiple freehold plots within the Residential District,” said Al Kindi. ”This includes major transactions like the Discovery Dunes project, which covers 26 million square feet, and Azizi’s Venice project, which spans 15 million square feet.”

How are rents faring in Dubai South

In 2023, demand for rental options surged at Dubai South, as the number of listings grew with more handovers. With a large base of first-time residents in Dubai, the development became an instant magnet, as it did for those with employments in and around the Jebel Ali Free Zone area. These days, it is home to tenants even with jobs much further away.

“Tenants who are on the lookout for affordable rentals in Dubai could either head south or seek options to the north of the city,” said an estate agent. “In 2023, Dubai South rented properties reaped the full benefit of the movement southward.”

On its own and with private developers, Dubai South is topping up the add-on features, whether it's a water body, golf course, or 5-star hotels. Image Credit: Supplied

Current rental listings show two-bedroom apartments there available from Dh60,000-Dh90,000, with a majority of them in the mid-Dh80,000 range. Even after double-digit gains from January 2023, these do compare quite well with choices on either side of the SZR stretch.

Even for those seeking villas to buy or rent - and with access to a golf course – Dubai South does offer that too. With 145 square kilometers making up the development, there is no paucity of space.

“Dubai South will have golf courses and that instantly means parts of it will be high-end,” said an analyst. “Not just Emaar, Dubai South itself and Azizi Venice will have 5-star hotels with lagoon communities.”

Sub-Dh1 million properties too

Even on the property buying side, Dubai South has its fair share of under Dh1 million to Dh1.5 million options, again a range that's finding a good deal of interest from first-time buyers.

"We have big plans for the Residential District, including developing shopping malls and educational institutions," said Al Kindi. "We launched a school project last year and construction is progressing.

"Our flagship project - South Bay - is in progress, which features over 800 villas and townhouses and more than 200 luxury waterfront mansions. The construction of the first two phases and the project’s infrastructure facilities is ongoing."

But it will be on the apartments and what those units are going for - sale or rental - that will cement Dubai South's status as a popular and affordable place to be. 

Of those apartments, Dubai South will have a lot coming through...