As with many major cities, where you decide to live will be based upon a combination of the price and the location. Despite the relatively small size of the city, commutes of over an hour are not unheard of. For this reason, people tend to live, work and play in one area of the city.
A variety of different types of accommodation are available in a variety of different neighborhoods. These range from apartments in modern skyscrapers, to villas overlooking lakes and golf courses. The good news is that finding a home that will be a good fit for you is getting easier as the property market changes.
In recent years, rental and purchase prices for all properties rocketed upwards forcing many expatriates on lower salaries to seek accommodation outside of the city. Profits on house purchases exceeded 100% and for some lucky house-owners, many times more than that. Fortunes were made almost overnight as houses were bought and flipped at an ever-increasing rate.
At the beginning of 2008, pundits started to predict that the property bubble was about to burst. Demand was expected to exceed supply, especially in regard to apartments. Rumors that many construction projects were being put on hold began to circulate. Expecting prices to fall, many people began to offload properties.
Despite this, the picture remained positive until the Fall of 2008 when the global financial crisis finally hit Dubai. As confidence in the market started to waiver, prices of higher-end properties began to plummet. Falls of 30%-50% in rental and purchase prices occurred in areas such as the Arabian Ranches and the Palm. Indeed, many people who bought property as a way to make a quick buck found that they were left holding the parcel when the music stopped. Those people experienced quite significant levels of negative equity and many found that rental income did not cover mortgage payments. Other people who invested in off-plan properties had to face the fact that the property would never be built.
Although some recovery has been seen since then, house prices remain low. For those currently looking for accommodation, the market is in their favor and finding a property is relatively cheap and easy. The only problem for those wanting to purchase is that mortgages are more expensive and harder to find.