15 Places To Live in Dubai That You Can Actually Afford

Dubai is one of the most fascinating cities in the world! Located in the United Arab Emirates (or UAE), this city has a little something for everyone! Boasting the world’s largest building, a man-made set of islands and a booming economy, Dubai is definitely a happening place on the other side of the world. The tallest hotel in the world is also located right in Dubai’s Business Bay.

Home to beautiful white sand beaches as well, Dubai is a beautiful city by the sea. Those looking to chill and be a beach bum can certainly do so if they choose. The city also has some of the best shopping on the planet. Anything and everything is available in Dubai, real or knock-off (I said there was something for everyone!), History and culture, water sports and even beautiful golf courses are all at your fingertips in this coastal city.

Dubai isn’t known to be a cheap place. But that doesn’t mean that you have to sell a kidney to go to this amazing city! Some people get the itch to stay a while in some of the amazingly exotic cities of the world. If you’re interested in staying in Dubai for an extended period and renting a place, this list will show you 15 places that are surprisingly affordable.


15 Rent a Room (Various Parts of City)

Via: Dubai Furnished Apartment

The Al Awir area of Dubai is an up and coming part of the city with a lot of new development. You won’t be getting any villas at rock bottom prices, but getting a furnished room in a nice apartment is very possible. Depending upon where in the city you are, the cost of renting the room will start at a few hundred dollars a month.

This kind of arrangement is perfect for people that aren’t planning to make a life in Dubai, but want to stay for an extended period of time. Certainly, you won’t find a hotel that cheap and it’s also nice to develop something of a relationship with people that have been living in Dubai for a while. Keep in mind that like in many places in the world, everything is negotiable once you are there in person.

14 Al Awir Studio Apartment


Studio apartments are very hipster and cool these days. Dubai also offers plenty of studio apartment opportunities. The Al Awir area of Dubai still has very reasonably priced rent with new development coming to the area. Rents in Dubai are generally quoted in terms of annual prices and a studio apartment here will cost between 20 and 30 thousand dirhams, which comes out to between $5 and $8 thousand a year.

Al Awir was once a farming area, but with the expansion of Dubai, the area has grown and changed. It is about 35 kilometers from the center of Dubai but developing a neighborhood feel all its own. Because it’s a bit off the beaten path, rents are less expensive. Not to worry though, you’ll still be in the local mix of things with the chance to enjoy everything Dubai has to offer.

13 Dubai International City


With about 120,000 people living here, International City is a cool place to establish a base of operations in Dubai. Built specifically as a residential area, International City has beautiful architecture and easy access to the everywhere in Dubai! Dubai has one of the best mass transportation systems in their part of the world, making getting around a breeze.

Living in International City is also much more affordable than one may think. A spacious two bedroom apartment is just about $15,000 a year on average. For those that don’t need that much space, living in International City in a studio apartment is much cheaper. Spring for the larger studio apartment, as they are not much more than the small ones. It’s still less than $10,000 a year.

12 The Gardens


The Gardens is seen as a wonderful residential area for families, but anyone looking for a friendly community with lots of natural beauty could look to this residential area for an affordable place to live. Studio apartments are available for as low as $9,000 a year. But keep in mind that spacious two bedroom apartments are also available for less than $20,000 a year. This is a big difference, but there are a lot of options available in the area.

Improvements to public transportation are in the works that will make connecting with mass transit even easier to people living in The Gardens. The area has some great shopping of its own, and like other major cities, has developed its own identity as a residential area. While a little more expensive than some other areas mentioned, it’s still a very reasonable cost for living in such an expensive city.

11 Al Ras


Al Ras literally translates to “the cape.” It is one of the older areas of the city and is where you can find the main branch of the Dubai Public Library. Al Ras has its own station for the metro transit system for the city, making zipping along anywhere you want to go quite convenient. Rents in this area are also pretty affordable, because they are not necessarily the newest. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a slum.

Studio apartments in Al Ras can be had for as low as around $8,200 a year. Apartments are also available in this area. A spacious two bedroom apartment is somewhere in the neighborhood of $18,000 a year. These prices are surprisingly reasonable for a part of a major city that is so well connected to the rest of the metro area. Hotels, dining and other landmarks are all close-by, making Al Ras worth a look.

10 Al Karama

Via: Find Me a Break

The Al Karama area of Dubai is one of the older residential areas of the city, but has a great deal to offer residents. Lots of Asian and European expatriates have moved into this community, so those from “out of town” will be welcomed to this area. The community itself is only two square kilometers and has many restaurants in the area.

Al Karama rents have fluctuated over the years, but have come down more recently. Studio apartments in this area are about $11,000 a year. To be in a part of the metro area with such diversity and culture at this price is a great bargain. Look around and a good deal may be possible on an apartment. Parking is a problem and crime has risen over time, but consider that these are problems in all major cities.

9 Al Rigga

Via: Day of Dubai

As part of the eastern part of Dubai, Al Rigga has a reputation as both residential and commercial. The shopping in this community is amazing, as well as its easy access to the rest of what Dubai has to offer. Al Rigga has tall commercial buildings and is a bustling part of the metro area. Usually, rents in areas like this are out of control. Sure, it’s more expensive to rent here than in some of the outlying areas of Dubai, but it can be quite reasonable finding a place in Al Rigga.

Renting a studio apartment in Al Rigga is pretty reasonable starting at around $11,000 per year. Sure, a villa or luxury apartment will force you to shell out some much bigger bucks, but if you’re not too worried about size or multiple bedrooms, this is a great deal in a great location.


8 Al Twar Studio

Via: Lonely Planet

Al Twar is a pretty cool place! This area of Dubai has some of the more exclusive residential property, as well as some fantastic shopping and sporting events. The city is divided into three sub-divisions and as such, there are some good deals that can be found on a variety of rentals. Those looking for a studio may be in luck, as the rental price of a studio starts at around $9,500 per year!

Access to the metro and the rest of the city is very convenient and right at your fingertips. Al Twar also has some wonderful cultural opportunities and restaurants, so much of what you want is just right around the corner. When you think how much it costs to rent a small hole in the wall in Manhattan, it’s pretty amazing to think that you could live in one of the most amazing cities in the world for much less!

7 Satwa

Via: Mygola

If being in the midst of a sea of shopping is where you want to be, the Satwa area of Dubai will not disappoint. There is a tremendous amount of retail business in Satwa and rents are highly reasonable. The rent for a studio apartment in Satwa is very comparable to Al Twar at around $9,500 a year. Apartments can get pricey, but are still very reasonable considering the costs in other areas of Dubai. Generally speaking, these apartments can run between $17,000 and $20,000 per year.

Satwa has its own distinct culture and feel within the neighborhood, but with the expansion of new residential communities, Satwa may become a much different place. Be that as it may, it is currently a viable opportunity for people looking to be in the thick of this wonderful city at an affordable cost.

6 Mirdif

Via: European Corner

Mirdif is an area of Dubai with a lot of growth and variety. In fact, the difference in property costs and offerings is absolutely astonishing! This can lead to some great deals and residential opportunities. This area has some beautiful gated communities and residents include people of many nationalities from all over the world! Mirdif has direct and easy access to all of Dubai and it is one of the best places to live!

Rents here are more expensive, but again, with the wide array of property, there are a great number of deals available. Studio apartments are available for approximately $14,000 a year here. Two bedroom apartments are also possible for just about $21,000 a year to start. These numbers certainly do go up, but if you want to live in this exclusive area on the cheap, there are possibilities!

5 Oud Metha

Via: Living in Dubai

This amazing area of Dubai known also as Al Nasr, is a small but vibrant residential community with multiple schools for expatriates and plenty of things to occupy your time. Living in this area is a great opportunity to stay connected, but still feel like you’re living in a community. Many tourists come to Oud Metha for the great seafood restaurants in the area.

Rents here are also pretty good. Studio apartments start at about $11,000 per year with other units with more bedrooms available at a much higher price. In fact, two bedroom apartments can go three times as high! So if it’s just you living in Dubai and wanting access to some of the best of the culture in the city, Oud Metha is an awesome headquarters.

4 Al Twar Apartment

Via: Omega Dubai Desert Classic

As mentioned before, the Al Twar community is a pretty wonderful place to live. It’s large with three sub-divisions, meaning that there’s a little something for everyone. While it has some of the more expensive and exclusive places to live that might be a little pricey, those that need more than just a studio can also find a good price on two bedroom apartments.

You may find if you are looking to rent out a room that springing for the rent on a two bedroom is a good investment. But if you’ve got your family going with you, the two bedrooms are a necessity! You can get a two bedroom apartment for just about $16,000 a year to start. This is a great price on a good sized apartment.

3 International Media Production Zone

Via: Wikiwand

This part of Dubai is primarily commercial and targeted at making Dubai globally competitive in media markets. It is a growing part of the city and strategically focused on its mission to increase commercial interests. But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t residential opportunities here. People that really need inexpensive digs may want to look at this area that is most often referred to as Dubai Production City.

Studio rentals here start very inexpensively at just about $8,100 a year! Even apartments are well priced in this area of Dubai. Two bedroom units are a little more expensive than other parts of the city. This is likely because the available properties for residential property lend themselves better to studio rentals. They are available though at just under $18,000 a year.

2 Al Nahda

Via: Travel Agencies London

This is on the eastern border of Dubai and parts of it are even governed outside of the Dubai emirate. Most of this area is industrial and few people actually live here. There are properties available to live in and they are reasonably priced. Studio apartments are under $10,000 a year. This part of the city is under development, with more availability expected in the future.

There are a few schools in the residential community and Al Nahda is also home to the Dubai Women’s College as well as a few other attractions. While not directly part of the happening nightlife and fabulous shopping that other areas of the city have to offer, Al Nahda is not far away from anything and everything you’ll want to experience in Dubai.

1 Abu Hail


Abu Hail is one of the older communities of Dubai, but has some incredible shopping opportunities. This community of over 20,000 people is largely residential, but has direct access to the metro and thus everything you’ll want to experience in Dubai. The rents here are also reasonable, in fact, they are some of the more reasonable rents you’ll find in good areas of the city.

With rents at around $8,000 a year for a studio apartment, Abu Hail is an inexpensive place to call home. There are also plenty of people looking for flatmates and willing to rent out a room monthly at a very low cost (look to number 15 for more information on this). But checking out this great area of the city is well worth the effort to find the perfect place to stay in Dubai.

Sources: Gulf News,

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