How to choose accommodation as an expat in Dubai

If you’re looking to start your life anew in Dubai, a cosmopolitan and dynamic city in the United Arab Emirates, Magellan sets you on the path to choosing a home that truly meets your needs and budget.

Indeed, your new home in Dubai will have a significant impact on your daily life and well-being. So here is a complete guide with all the necessary information to help you choose wisely and settle peacefully in your new city.

Housing: Define your needs and budget

Before you start house hunting in Dubai, take the time to carefully assess your needs and budget. How many people will there be in your household? Do you need outdoor space, such as a balcony or a garden? Do you prefer to live in a central and bustling or quieter neighborhood? What is your monthly budget for rent?

Answer these questions as clearly as possible and make sure to take notes. If you’re relocating to Dubai with your family, don’t hesitate to involve the younger members as well.

Choosing your type of housing in Dubai

Dubai offers a wide range of housing types to suit all needs and budgets. Some of the most popular options are:


These are the most common and affordable housing options in Dubai. Apartments come in all sizes and styles, from studios to luxurious penthouses.


While villas provide more space and privacy than apartments, they are also more expensive. They are often located in gated communities with gardens, pools, and other amenities.


Townhouses are a good compromise between apartments and villas. They offer more space than apartments but less than villas and are often located in gated communities.

Hotels and Residences

If you are looking for flexible and convenient housing, hotels and residences can be a good solution. They generally provide additional services such as concierge, housekeeping, and catering.

Shared accommodation

If you are on a tight budget, shared accommodation can be an interesting option. There are many websites and Facebook groups that connect potential flatmates in Dubai.

Serviced apartments

Serviced apartments offer services such as housekeeping, laundry, and catering. They can be a good option if you are looking for an all-inclusive rental.

Furnished and unfurnished rental

Furnished apartments are more expensive than unfurnished ones, but they can be a good option if you do not want to worry about buying furniture.

Selecting your neighborhood in Dubai

Dubai is divided into several districts, each with its own atmosphere and amenities, so make sure to choose a neighborhood that matches your lifestyle and needs.

Downtown Dubai: Dubai’s city center is the liveliest and most expensive area. It is home to the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, and many other tourist attractions.

Dubai Marina: This waterfront district is popular with its skyscrapers, yachts, and high-end restaurants.

Palm Jumeirah: This artificial palm-shaped island is home to luxury hotels, villas, and leisure centers.

Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR): This coastal district is popular for its apartments, hotels, and beaches.

Deira and Bur Dubai: These are the oldest districts in Dubai, with traditional souks, mosques, and historic buildings.


When choosing housing in Dubai, it is important to consider the amenities that are important to you.

Swimming pool: Many residences in Dubai have a pool, which can be a valuable asset, especially during the hot summer months.

Gym: If you are health-conscious, you might want to choose a residence with an onsite gym.

Parking: Parking can be an issue in Dubai, so it is important to ensure that your housing has a parking space or easy access to public transport.

Administrative procedures for renting accommodation in Dubai

Once you have found a home that matches your criteria, you will need to sign a lease and pay a deposit. You will also need to obtain a residence visa if you are not a citizen of the United Arab Emirates. Magellan will closely assist you in handling these formalities.


Make sure to follow these tips for greater chances of finding the ideal home as an expat in Dubai. Take your time, do your research, and do not be afraid to negotiate. Contact us now for professional support in this international relocation to this constantly evolving and modernizing emirate.

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