Looking for a Home in Dubai? Apartments vs. Villas


When looking for a new home in Dubai, for both new-comers and residents, one of the essential questions is: Which one is better – an apartment or a villa? Undoubtedly, both options offer benefits and usually, it’s always up to personal preferences. However, since Dubai is unlike most global cities you’ve visited, there are few important factors to consider.

palm-jumeirah-december-2008Expats’ first choice, especially for families, often is often the villa – a beautiful, private house in the outskirts of the city which offers larger living space, greenery, and nice community. And once they actually arrive in Dubai, they realize the depiction is not really accurate since the city is actually breaking the usual urban rules one is accustomed to. Towers, villas and commercial buildings are perfectly cohabiting and there is an option to live in a nice villa in the center of the city, or at least nearby.

In reality, however, it turns out living in a large, high-end or even fully furnished and serviced apartment in a central area has much more benefits than renting any villa, no matter how great it might be.

Burj Khalifa Living Dinning The first thing to consider is of course, the price. This rent rate will depend on the area, but usually two-bedroom villas in the suburbs, which will be a little greener and more secluded, is pricier than a two-bedroom apartment in Downtown Dubai, where you have the benefit of more active social life.

Villas and townhouses are rarely furnished, which means you will need to spend much more  furnishing. Furnished apartments, on the other hand are more common and affordable than a furnished villa. But the rent and furnishing cost is just the beginning.

Power costs in a villa will be much higher than in an apartment, especially during the summer months, when it can be even double. Most apartments are in developments that offer free air conditioning, which is essential considering the temperatures here. You will not go wrong by choosing to live in Emaar’s communities, while DAMAC will cost you more as you will have to pay additional chiller fees, luxury living services etc.

Another thing to consider is that villas rarely offer more “private” lifestyle, as it is written in the advertisements, than an apartment. Villas may be more secluded, but as residential towers are really huge and most people don’t actually have much time to waste in wandering the halls and common areas, you aren’t likely to meet your neighbors very often. On the other hand, if you have kids, you will want them to meet and to communicate with other children – it is close to impossible, if you rent a villa. But most apartment buildings have common areas, including kids’ areas, where the little ones can play and spend their time together. If you choose a building near a park, the options will be even more.

Also, living a two- or three-bedroom apartment will give you easy, free or at least low-cost access to various amenities such as gyms, pools, as well as cafes and stores of all kinds. Renting a villa, you will need to drive for half an hour or more to get to the nearest gym and you will need to pay extra for membership. You will also very much likely need the help of a maid or a gardener for at least a few hours a day, which will further increase you expenses. While the apartment kind of lifestyle generally comes with free maintenance and even cleaning services, at least in the common areas of the building.

And there are several additional benefits to living in a residential tower in the central part of Dubai. First is location – of course, you are closer to, well… everything. You can enjoy the busy, urban lifestyle or maintain a more private, family life with regular visits to the city malls, cinema or theatre, amusement parks, restaurants, and lots of other attractions. Second – choosing a high-rise apartment is probably the best option in Dubai. You will have an incredible view that any other in the world can hardly compare to.

In conclusion, we must say personal needs and preferences are always what counts the most, but the benefits of renting, or why not buying, an apartment over villas and townhouses in Dubai are obvious.


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