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5 Budget-Friendly Areas for Living In Dubai

October 14, 2023

Are you dreaming of a life in the dazzling city of Dubai but worried about the soaring cost of living? Look no further; we’ve curated a list of the top 5 affordable areas to live in this cosmopolitan metropolis.

Dubai may seem like an expensive destination, but the city has budget-friendly areas. Whether you’re a young professional, a family looking to settle down, or an expatriate seeking a new adventure, these areas provide a perfect blend of affordability, convenience, and quality of life.

From diverse neighborhoods with a unique charm to accessible amenities, this guide will help you discover how to make your Dubai dream a reality without breaking the bank.

So, let’s begin.

5 Budget-Friendly Areas for Living in Dubai

If you’ve been wondering whether you can find your ideal apartment in Dubai without emptying your wallet, wonder no more. Below is a selection of Dubai’s communities that offer affordable living options:

1.   Dubai International City: Affordable Living at Its Best

Dubai International City is your go-to destination for affordable living in Dubai. This sprawling community, spanning a vast 8,000,000 square meters, offers all the amenities you need for a comfortable life. The project was crafted by Nakheel, a renowned real estate developer, back in 2002, and it’s known for its unique architectural style.

This place is set apart because each townhouse community takes inspiration from different countries. You can choose from clusters named after 10 countries, including China, UK, and Italy. You’re close to Dubai International Airport, right in the heart of Al Warsan, Dubai, from the city’s most famous landmarks.

Typical Rental Cost

The best part? It won’t break the bank. Here’s a quick look at apartment rents:

  • Studio: AED 15,999 per year.
  • 1-bedroom apartment: AED 29,500 per year.
  • 2-bedroom apartment: AED 34,000 per year.
  • 3-bedroom apartment: AED 70,000 per year.

Getting around Dubai is affordable, with travel expenses ranging from AED 7.5 to AED 275.5, depending on transportation mode. The good news is the area is well-connected by a network of RTA bus lines.

Several buses can take you to different parts of the city. It only takes 11 minutes to reach Centrepoint Metro Station on Dubai Metro’s Red Line.

The cost of living in Dubai International City varies based on household size. For an individual, the average monthly expense is around AED 3,477.89; for a family of four, it’s AED 11,958.62.

Popular Attractions

The community has everything you need, from supermarkets and schools to hospitals, medical facilities, restaurants, lakeside cafes, fitness centers, and gyms. And if you like to explore, you’ll find some interesting places nearby:

  • It’s about a 20-minute drive to the heart of Dubai.
  • The nearest major university is just a 10-minute drive away.
  • The Dubai Marina is a half-hour drive away.
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis is a mere 12-minute drive.
  • You can reach Dubai International Airport in just 15 minutes.

Dubai International City is a top choice for individuals looking for studio flats and is equally ideal for families with its affordable 2 and 3-bedroom options. It’s where affordability meets comfort in the vibrant city of Dubai.

2.   Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO): A Tech Hub for a Balanced Life

Dubai Silicon Oasis is a fantastic choice for folks who want a well-rounded community. It’s a tech hotspot and offers a great blend of work and home life. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road is located right where Dubai–Al-Ain Road meets Silicon Oasis.

Typical Rental Cost

One of the best things about DSO is its affordability. Check out these typical rental prices:

  • Studio Apartment: AED 23,000 per year.
  • 1-bedroom apartment: AED 32,000 per year.
  • 2-bedroom apartment: AED 45,000 per year.
  • 3-bedroom apartment: AED 65,000 per year.

Living costs here are manageable, averaging around AED 3,500 per month for individuals and AED 11,550 for a family of four. Public transportation costs AED 350 per month if you don’t have a card, and this gets you around the city.

While Dubai Silicon Oasis is well-connected through the Dubai bus system, there needs to be a metro station within the neighborhood. The closest one, the Centrepoint Metro Station, is about 20 minutes away.

Popular Attractions

Parents can consider multiple renowned schools in the vicinity for their children’s education. Schools in Dubai that are conveniently reachable by automobile include GEMS Wellington Academy, Repton School Dubai, and Kings’ School Nad Al Sheba. The University of Wollongong, Murdoch University, and Heriot-Watt University Dubai

, three of Dubai’s most prestigious universities, are also nearby.

Regarding leisure, you can reach the Dubai Mall in about 20 minutes by car and the Dubai International Airport in 15 minutes during non-peak hours. If you’re up for shopping, Mirdif City Centre is only 12 minutes away, and Dragon Mart is just 10 minutes away.

DSO is also an ideal spot for those working in the nearby IT park. It’s right at the heart of Dubai’s tech district, making it a fantastic place to live and set up your business, especially because of its reasonably priced commercial spaces—a perfect choice for entrepreneurs.

3.   Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC): Affordable Family Living

Jumeirah Village Circle, or JVC, is perfect for those looking for a family-friendly community that won’t break the bank. Despite its fancy reputation, JVC offers some of Dubai’s most budget-friendly rental options, making it a great spot for families.

Nakheel, a well-known real estate developer, created this community, and it’s packed with all the amenities you need for a comfortable Dubai lifestyle. You can find it near Hessa Street and Sheikh Zayed Road, close to the beautiful Dubai Miracle Gardens.

Typical Rental Cost

Now, let’s talk money. Here are the typical apartment rents in JVC:

  • Studio apartment: AED 22,000 per year.
  • 1-bedroom apartment: AED 50,000 per year.
  • 2-bedroom apartment: AED 42,000 per year.
  • 3-bedroom apartment: AED 70,000 per year.

In terms of living costs, it’s about AED 3,500 per month per person or AED 11,550 for a family of four. But remember, there needs to be a direct Dubai Metro or Tram connection to JVC. So, residents rely on their cars, taxis, and shuttles for transportation. Many buildings in the neighborhood have handy businesses on the ground floor, like grocery stores, hair salons, and laundromats, all within a short walk.

Travel costs are also manageable:

  • Bus ride: AED 7.3
  • Average 20-minute taxi fare: AED 36.70
  • Using your car: AED 11

To get in and out, you’ve got three main roads: Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road, Al Khail Road, and Hessa Street. Plus, you can reach the Mall of the Emirates and The Dubai Mall in just 20 minutes by car. If you’re into racing, the Dubai Autodrome is a 10-minute drive, and the stunning Dubai Miracle Garden is a quick 10-minute trip.

Popular Attractions

JVC is known for its affordable flats and is a peaceful place to live. It’s particularly popular among families. You’ll appreciate the proximity to the popular Address Montgomerie golf course if you love golf.

For fitness enthusiasts, there’s the New Life Fitness Gym in JVC, and if you’re into cycling, there’s a network of trails. Enjoy early morning workouts in the community’s beautiful parks and jogging tracks. JVC has something for everyone.

4.   Dubai Sports City: Affordable and Serene Living

If you’re seeking peace and affordability in Dubai, look no further than Dubai Sports City. It’s home to some of Dubai’s most reasonably priced apartments, offering many affordable housing options.

Typical Rental Cost

Dubai Sports City sits off Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road and boasts these apartment rental prices:

  • Studio apartment: AED 19,999 per year.
  • One-bedroom apartment: AED 31,997 per year.
  • Two-bedroom apartment: AED 42,000 per year.
  • Three-bedroom apartment: AED 58,000 per year.

For a single person and a family of four, the average monthly cost is about 4,000 AED and 12,000 AED, respectively. Due to its location on the mainland, there is no close metro station. Hence, most residents choose to use their automobiles to travel around.

However, there are transportation options. Nearby bus stops are Sports City — Victory Heights East Gate and Sports City — Dubai Sports City Offices. A shuttle bus, number F29, links Dubai Sports City to the Mall of the Emirates Metro Station, and monthly transportation costs are about AED 300 per person.

Regarding groceries, Dubai Sports City has two big supermarkets: Carrefour and Al Maya. For everything else, there’s a large Spinneys store in Motor City, just a short distance away. You’ll also find two brand-new mosques at each end of the city to meet the spiritual needs of residents.

People of different faiths will feel comfortable here, too, as you can easily reach temples and churches within a 15 to 20-minute drive. For families, there’s a reputable daycare center and many schools in the community.

Popular Attractions

The University of Balamand is just ten minutes from Dubai Investment Park, making it a convenient option for those seeking a university degree. Several of Knowledge Park’s university campuses are reachable in about 20 minutes. Buses run regularly between Dubai Sports City and nearby retail malls, such as City Centre Me’aisem and First Avenue Mall.

Dubai Sports City is a perfect destination for sports lovers, providing many sporting facilities. On top of that, the neighborhood is equipped with modern amenities, making everyone feel at home and secure. You’ll find these conveniences in both apartment complexes and private villas.

It’s highly recommended for families looking for an affordable place to live in Dubai. With its focus on healthy and active living, it’s also the ideal place for athletes to call home.

5.   Town Square by Nshama: Spacious Living in a Thriving Community

If you want to settle in a big community in Dubai, Town Square by Nshama Group is a fantastic choice. It’s one of the largest communities in the city and offers affordable apartments that cater to your needs.

Typical Rental Cost

Developed by the renowned Nshama Group, this luxurious neighborhood along Al Qudra Road will make you feel at home. Here are the typical rental rates:

  • Studio apartment: AED 20,000 per year.
  • 1-bedroom apartment: AED 29,999 per year.
  • 2-bedroom apartment: AED 39,999 per year.
  • 3-bedroom apartment: AED 58,000 per year.

The average monthly cost of living in Town Square is about AED 4,000 per person or AED 12,000 for a family of four. However, public transport options are limited, which can be challenging for those relying on it.

The Dubai Internet City Metro Station is roughly a 20-minute walk from Town Square, and there is a bus stop in the Sustainable City within a 10-minute stroll. Typically, monthly transit costs fall between 450 and 500 AED.

In terms of groceries, Town Square is home to Spinney’s, a supermarket that carries all the necessities and is well known for its convenient, healthy, ready-to-eat food counter and excellent baked goods. The pork section of this store is open to non-Muslims as well.

For families looking for a good school nearby, the Jebel Ali School is a great option. It’s about a 13-minute drive from Town Square in the community of DAMAC Hills and follows the British curriculum up to the ninth grade.

If you’re seeking higher education, you’ll find it about 20 kilometers away at Dubai Knowledge Park. Prestigious schools like Middlesex University, the University of Manchester, and Herriot Watt University are located in this region.

It’s also close to the American University of Dubai. Although Town Square is a bit away from downtown

Popular Attractions

Dubai is still conveniently located near some of the city’s most popular attractions:

  • Dubai Sports City: Just a 13-minute drive.
  • Arabian Ranches: Only 16 minutes away.
  • Mall of the Emirates: A 23-minute drive.
  • Dubai Marina: A 25-minute drive.
  • Ibn Battuta Mall: Reachable in 25 minutes.

Town Square is an excellent family choice due to its spacious housing and open areas. However, it’s not recommended for those who rely heavily on public transport, as you’ll need your transportation to travel to and from Dubai or nearby cities since no bus service is available.

Summing Up

Dubai, often associated with opulence and luxury, also offers hidden gems for those on a budget. These five affordable areas—Dubai International City, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubai Sports City, and Town Square by Nshama—provide opportunities for comfortable living without breaking the bank.

Each of these neighborhoods has its unique charm and amenities, catering to the diverse needs of residents. From the rich cultural diversity of Dubai International City to the tech hub of Dubai Silicon Oasis or the family-friendly ambiance of Jumeirah Village Circle, there’s something for everyone.

Dubai Sports City boasts affordability and an active lifestyle, while Town Square offers spacious living in a thriving community.

So, if you dream of calling Dubai home but are mindful of your budget, these areas present excellent options to make that dream a reality. Affordable living in this dynamic city is within reach for those willing to explore these budget-friendly communities.

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