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Residential advice: Buying a Dubai villa

Starting this month, we invite you to have your property queries related to buying and renting answered by experts. In this issue, Aman Dhir of Castles Plaza Real Estate tackles the task

Emirates Hills
Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/ANM
Emirates Hills, a luxury villa development by Emaar. Image used is for illustrative purpose only.
Property Weekly

I am looking to buy a villa in Dubai. I have two options in mind — Emirates Hills or Al Barari. What do you suggest? 

Both Emirates Hills and Al Barari fall in the category of luxurious living. Being on Shaikh Zayed Road, Emirates Hills has an advantage over Al Barari due to its location, and it is a matured and prestigious community with direct access to the golf course, man-made lakes, schools, mosques, supermarkets and other amenities.

On the other hand, Al Barari, with its sumptuous gardens and elegant residences, is located in the Nad Al Sheba district. The Al Barari villa project is unrivalled in scope and vision because of its uniquely designed verdant boulevards and proximity to the wildlife sanctuary. No development in Dubai boasts such an abundant amount of flora and themed spaces. However, I would personally recommend Emirates Hills as it is well developed and the most desirable ultra-luxury residential community in Dubai.

We're currently renting an apartment at Shoreline Apartments and like it so much we're looking to buy here. However, are there any other apartment complexes that you recommend we consider? 

Along the seaside, Shoreline Apartments is considered one of the good developments on the Palm Jumeirah, providing the occupants direct access to the beach.

With the current market situation, it is a good time to invest or buy property as prices are reasonable and several finance options are available. You have one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments available in the Shoreline Apartments in different sizes and layouts.

Other communities that you could look at are Marina Residence (which is a Nakheel project and recently handed over), Golden Mile, Tiara Residence and Oceana Residence. However these developments on the Palm do not have direct access to the beach.

Another community which has direct access to the beach is Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) by Dubai Properties, which can be a good and an affordable option to consider.

I'm thinking of purchasing a villa in an area like The Springs with the intention of leasing it out to tenants. Given the current property market situation, do you think this is a wise venture in terms of an investment? Do you have any inputor suggestions for alternatives? 

The Springs, an Emaar development, is a gated community with communal facilities such as swimming pools, parks, children's play areas, basketball courts, lakes with walkways, nurseries, schools, mosques, supermarkets and other amenities.

In terms of an investment, The Springs is definitely an excellent option and can fetch you a rental return of around6.5 to 7.5 per cent on investment (net of the service fees payable to Emaar).

In the past six months, we have observed an upward trend in villa prices at The Springs, and there is still good demand for such homes in the current property market situation.

Bank funding has also given a boost to the real-estate market and we are expecting the prices to stabilise and then move towards north. Alternatives to The Springs could be options towards Emirates Road side where you have developments like Jumeirah Villageby Nakheel and Arabian Ranches by Emaar and you can find two- and three-bedroom townhouses.

I own a few units in the England cluster of International City and have had difficulty letting them out in recent months. Many tenants complain about the pollution, congestion or crime in the area. I'm considering selling and buying in Discovery Gardens instead. Do you think this is a good option? 

Discovery Gardens is a fair option but the only drawback is the high service fee payable to the master developer due to which the rental yield is lower and also a declining trend in rents here. Other areas that you can consider are Dubai Marina, the Greens or even Jumeriah Lake Towers. You might not be able to buy the same number of units as the per-square-foot price in these areas would be higher in comparison with International City or Discovery Gardens. However, your rental yield would be comparable.

Aman Dhir is a property consultant at Castles Plaza Real Estate 

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