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Dubailand has climbed to the top position on the list of most popular areas in Dubai, an analysis by ServiceMarket, the UAE’s leading, has revealed. It’s a major shift in Dubai’s moving trends because an increasing number of people now seem to prefer newly developed suburbs compared to highly populated established areas like Dubai Marina and Downtown.

Based on thousands of residential moving requests placed through the online marketplace for home services, this annual moving trends report highlights neighbourhoods with highest influx of residents and draws comparisons with earlier studies to find out how the moving-in and moving-out activity has shifted recently. 

With Dubailand emerging as the most popular area, Dubai Marina, which had held the top position during the two previous years, has been pushed to the second place. While Dubai Marina is densely-populated and more developed, Dubailand offers more affordable rents. These two areas are followed by Downtown, Dubai Silicon Oasis, and JVC/JVT. 


Per cent of Move-In Requests on ServiceMarket in 2017


9.09 per cent

Dubai Marina/JBR

8.34 per cent

Business Bay/DIFC/Downtown

7.45per cent

Dubai Silicon Oasis

6.17 per cent


5.70 per cent

Jafza, Jebel Ali, and Jebel Ali Village

4.70 per cent

Al Barsha

4.54 per cent


4.48 per cent


3.93 per cent

Motor City/Sports City

3.74 per cent

And where did most people move from?

It’s not surprising that popular areas like Dubai Marina and Downtown also see a lot of moving-out activity since they have more residential towers and apartments compared to other areas, and consequently see a higher turnover. We need to keep in mind that a lot of people who move out of a apartment in these areas move to another house in the same area.

However, Dubai Marina/JBR and Downtown witnessed more moving-out activity compared to moving-in activity, and as a result lost a significant number of residents in 2017. On the other hand, Dubailand experienced more moving-in activity.  


Per cent of Move-Out Requests on ServiceMarket in 2017

Dubai Marina/JBR

10.40 per cent

Business Bay/DIFC/Downtown

10.01 per cent


5.46 per cent


5.28 per cent

Dubai Silicon Oasis

4.86 per cent

Al Barsha

4.57 per cent


4.22 per cent

Jebel Ali

4.16 per cent


3.73 per cent


3.62 per cent

How have moving trends changed since 2016?

The influx of residents to Dubai Marina/JBR was almost as much as that of Dubailand and Downtown combined in 2016. But this year, Dubailand has overtaken Dubai Marina, and Downtown is not far behind. Quickly gaining popularity in the region, Dubai Silicon Oasis has also risen from the seventh to the fourth position in just a year.


Per cent of Move-In Requests on ServiceMarket in 2016

Dubai Marina/JBR

12.80 per cent


7.30 per cent

Downtown Dubai/DIFC/Business Bay

6.40 per cent

Jumeirah Village/Jumeirah Village Circle/Jumeirah Village Triangle

6.30 per cent

Jumeirah/Al Wasl/Umm Suqeim

6.20 per cent

Dubai Sports City/Motor City

5 per cent


4.40 per cent

Dubai Silicon Oasis

4.30per cent

Jebel Ali/Jebel Ali Village/Discovery Gardens/The Gardens

4 per cent

Emirates Hills/Lakes/Meadows/Springs

3.80 per cent

Reasons behind some of these trends:

Established areas: Dubai Marina and some of the other densely-populated areas have remained popular for many years because of the sheer volume of residential buildings available there. In addition, they have a greater variety of shopping malls, restaurants and other facilities. But due to relatively higher rents and more traffic, such areas are quickly losing their residents to newer, more affordable areas like Dubailand.

Newly developed areas: The most likely explanation for why suburbs like Dubailand and Dubai Silicon Oasis are overtaking developed areas in popularity is that residents have to face lower rents, there’s less traffic and facilities like malls, schools, and theme parks are quickly emerging. What’s more, freehold properties in these areas are available at much lower prices.

Here are some other interesting trends we’ve noticed during the year:

  • Over 58 per cent of the influx of residents occured in just 10 areas of Dubai.
  • Dubai Marina and Downtown have been on the list of the top 5 most popular areas for three consecutive years.
  • A high number of requests for moving in as well as moving out are received from both of these densely-populated areas because a lot of units are available there.
  • Around a third (30-35 per cent) of the residents move from one home to another in the same area.
  • After Dubailand, the next ambitious area seems to be Dubai Silicon Oasis, which is gaining popularity rapidly.

-Obed Suhail is a Senior Writer for Service Market