There are several different types of property in Dubai to suit the different lifestyles and budgets of those living in the city.
Dubai apartments come in various sizes, from studio to five-bedroom properties. Most apartment buildings have satellite TV, covered parking, access to a private gym and a shared swimming pool. Most apartment buildings come equipped with the “white goods” – fridge, washing machine, cooker. AC is often, but not always, included in the rent in apartment buildings. 24-hour security is usually provided and this is often a major attraction for the residents.
Villas and Town-houses
Costs of villas and town-houses vary greatly, depending on size, location and access to facilities. Stand alone villas typically have large private gardens but no shared facilities. They are typically more expensive in terms of water and electricity as they require more AC to cool them in the summer, and a garden requires a lot of water.
Villas and town-houses in compounds
Many compounds exist where most of the residents are expatriates. They are popular with families because all the houses are enclosed within a wall. Within this perimeter, children are free to play in the communal areas. Most compounds have a shared swimming pool, but usually with no lifeguard. There may also be a shared gym. The disadvantage of this type of accommodation is that there can be a lack of privacy and most properties will not have private gardens.
Villas and town-houses in gated communities
Those villas which are located in the gated communities of places like the Arabian Ranches, the Lakes, The Springs and The Meadows have many shared facilities as well as private gardens. There will typically be a large children’s play area and a shared swimming pool with a lifeguard. There may also be tennis courts and basketball courts. This type of accommodation seems to offer the best of compound living and stand-alone villas.
Until a couple of years ago, it was common for single expatriates to share a villa. Despite the disadvantage of a lack of privacy, this was a cheap option enabling those on lower incomes to live in nice accommodation in more upmarket areas. However, the municipality brought in a one villa one family policy in April 2008. To enforce this policy, checks are made, warnings are issued, utilities switched off and fines given of up to AED 50,000.