A view of International City in Dubai. Next to the sprawling two Dragon Mart complexes, this is one of the five most affordable places in the emirate. Image Credit: Gulf News File

We have listed the cheapest residential areas based on brackets defined by the official Rera Rental Increase Calculator. The Rera indices were updated in November last year.

The areas are listed based on the lowest rental brackets for studio apartments as annual rent (Dhs). The table below also shows the rent ranges for one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments in the same areas.

The rent mentioned does not include water, electricity or other utility/maintenance charges.

Al Awir - Studio - 20,000 - 30,000 One-bedroom 30,000 - 35,000  Two-bedroom 40,000 - 45,000

Satwa - Studio- 25,000 - 30,000   One-bedroom 40,000 - 60,000   Two-bedroom  60,000 - 75,000

Al Muhaisnah IV Studio -25,000 - 40,000  One-bedroom 40,000 - 55,000 Two-bedroom 55,000 - 65,000

Al Baraha Studio -25,000 - 35,000 One-bedroom 35,000 - 45,000 Two-bedroom 50,000 - 60,000

Dubai International City Studio - 25,000 - 35,000 One-bedroom 35,000 - 40,000 Two-bedroom 45,000 - 60,000

Al Murar Studio - 30,000 - 35,000 One-bedroom 38,000 - 55,000  Two-bedroom 60,000 - 65,000

Abu Hail Studio -30,000 - 35,000 One-bedroom 40,000 - 45,000 Two-bedroom 45,000 - 55,000

Al Ras Studio -30,000 - 40,000 One-bedroom 40,000 - 50,000 ​Two-bedroom ​​​​​​55,000 - 70,000

Naif Studio - 30,000 - 40,000 One-bedroom  45,000 - 50,000 Two-bedroom 55,000 - 65,000

International Media Production Zone Studio -30,000 - 45,000 One-bedroom 50,000 - 55,000 Two-bedroom 65,000 - 80,000

Al Muraqqabat Studio -30,000 - 45,000 One-bedroom 50,000 - 70,000 Two-bedroom 70,000 - 90,000

Al Qusais Studio - 30,000 - 45,000 One-bedroom 45,000 - 55,000 Two-bedroom 60,000 - 75,000

Al Quoz (Al Khail Gate Project) Studio -30,000 - 40,000 One-bedroom 45,000 - 50,000 Two-bedroom 65,000 - 70,000

Al Jafiliya  Studio -30,000 - 40,000 One-bedroom 50,000 - 65,000 Two-bedroom 65,000 - 75,000

Gardens Studio -33,000 - 43,000 One-bedroom 45,000 - 60,000 Two-bedroom 60,000 - 70,000

Al Nahda Studio -35,000 - 45,000 One-bedroom 45,000 - 55,000 Two-bedroom 60,000 - 80,000

Al Twar Studio -35,000 - 40,000 One-bedroom 40,000 - 50,000 Two-bedroom 60,000 - 70,000

Al Mamzar Studio -35,000 - 45,000 One-bedroom 50,000 - 65,000 Two-bedroom 65,000 - 80,000

Al Badaa Studio - 35,000 - 45,000 One-bedroom 45,000 - 65,000 Two-bedroom 65,000 - 85,000

Al Rigga Studio -35,000 - 40,000  One-bedroom 50,000 - 70,000 Two-bedroom 65,000 - 90,000

Al Karama Studio -35,000 - 45,000 One-bedroom 45,000 - 70,000 Two-bedroom 70,000 - 90,000

Discovery Gardens Studio -35,000 - 55,000 One-bedroom  55,000 - 75,000 Two-bedroom 70,000 - 80,000

What does this mean?

For existing tenants

This bracket determines if you are eligible for a rental increase on contract renewal this year.

If your rent currently is:

- Within or equal to 10 per cent of the average rent in the area, your rent will not or should not increase.

- Less than the average rent in the area by 11 per cent to 20 per cent, your rent can be increased by a maximum of 5 per cent of the current rent payable.

- Less than the average rent in the area by 21 per cent to 30 per cent, your rent can be increased by a maximum of 10 per cent of the current rent payable.

- Less than the average rent in the area by 31 per cent to 40 per cent, your rent can be increased by a maximum of 15 per cent of the current rent payable.

- Less than the average rent in the area by 41 per cent or more, your rent can be increased by a maximum of 20 per cent of the current rent payable.

Find your area's RERA bracket here.

For new tenants

These rental brackets do not determine or allow you to bargain on the price of a new apartment that you want to move into. If you are paying within or more than the rental brackets, the advantage is that rental increase in upcoming years for tenancy renewal will be at a slower rate.

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Note: This article has been updated after RERA's rental index update

Read more about some of these areas below:

1. Al Awir

A residential area yet untapped, Al Awir has a lot of new developments coming in. This area is the cheapest to rent in Dubai as per the Rera rent calculator. The nearest metro station is Rashidiya metro station on the red line and there are buses to and from Al Awir.

2. Dubai International City

Though quite far from the centre of Dubai, commute to and from this area is made bearable by RTA buses and the Rashidiya metro station which is the nearest metro stop. Dragon Mart and Al Warsan Lake are major attractions here. Dubai Silicon Oasis, Academic City and Dubai Festival City are nearest areas which can be reached in 20 minutes or less by car.

See our area guide here and find properties to rent in this area here

For metro and bus schedules, see our detailed guide here.

3. Abu Hail

Abu Hail is a popular residential area at a comfortable distance from the centre of Dubai which also has a dedicated metro station. It is mostly populated by Asian expatriates and has easy access to supermarkets and other utility outlets as well. Other areas in Dubai with nearly similar brackets are Al Ras, International Media Production Zone and Naif.

4. Gardens

A prime residential location, this area boasts a great environment and many utilities for families. The nearest metro is Ibn Battuta metro station and you would need to take a taxi to get to your residence. However, this won’t be for long as Dubai Metro Route 2020 will pass through Gardens and DIP. For more about the Dubai Metro Route 2020, click here.

5. Al Qusais

Al Qusais may be far away from the glitter of the city centre, but staying here will give you easy access to any part of the city while protecting you from the hustle and bustle of the main areas. Sharjah is not more than 20 minutes away by car in non-peak hours. The area boasts utility outlets, schools and hospitals at every turn and has a dedicated metro stop as well. 

Find properties to rent in this area here

6. Al Karama

Karama is one of the busiest areas of Dubai with mostly middle and lower income Asian expats. The area is famous for shopping, food and good residential units. The buildings are older than the ones found in other areas. ADCB metro station is the dedicated station for Karama. Another area with similar rent brackets is Al Rigga.

Find an area guide to Karama here and properties to rent here

7. Oud Metha

Oud Metha is mainly a business location. Residential units here are quite expensive in comparison but the area is quiet and has a dedicated metro station. There are good shopping outlets, churches and schools nearby. Al Nasr Leisureland is one of the main attractions.

Find properties to rent in this area here.