Make a Home in Dubai Festival City: A Practical Guide for Tenants

More and more people are moving to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In fact, according to UAE population and demographics statistics, the number of expatriates living in the country is higher than that of UAE nationals.

If you’re planning to follow suit and wish to stay in the country longer than a week, you should consider renting.

There are many wonderful places you can reside in in the UAE, but some may argue that Dubai holds some of the best villas, townhouses, and apartments for foreign tenants. Plus, it is where you’ll find Dubai Festival City, the mixed-use development known for its advantageous location and the affordable luxury and comfortable lifestyle it offers.

Here, you’ll get the most important information you need to make a home in Dubai Festival City as a renter.

Why should you rent?

Forbes explained that there are several good reasons why renting may beat buying a property, and the true cost of homeownership is one of them.

The thing is, the actual cost of buying a home can be higher than what most people could have anticipated.

Many believe that the amount you pay for rent is money you won’t see again, while paying for a house is considered an excellent investment.

However, this may not always be the case. In fact, such statements can be a bit misguided.

For one, paying for rent isn’t the same as wasting money. Sure, you won’t see your cash again, but you’re getting something more valuable: a safe place to shelter yourself and your family.

Plus, buying may also come with other expenses, like mortgage interest fees, taxes, and other costs that can be considered money you will never see again. After all, these payments don’t help you build equity.

Moreover, renting tends to cost less, especially if you’re only staying for a short period. Because of this, the rule of thumb is to avoid purchasing a property if you don’t intend to live there (or rent it out) for a minimum of five years. This way, you won’t have to spend disproportionately on interest without actually building equity.

In other words, renting will help you avoid making a bad investment.

What type of property should you rent?

Properties for rent are abundant in Dubai. In Dubai Festival City alone, you’ll find a wide range of high-rise apartments divided into three communities: Marsa Plaza, Al Badia Residences, and Al Badia Hillside.

The thing is, the number of options can make finding the perfect one for you a bit more challenging. This is why you’ll need to consider a few vital factors before making a decision:

Time and money

Two of the most important considerations renters must think about are time and money.

Time, in this case, refers to how long you’ll be staying in Dubai Festival City, while money focuses more on the value of what you pay for.

For example, if you’re planning to rent an unfurnished apartment, you may need to consider whether you’ll be able to find furniture stores with reasonably priced products around Dubai. If not, you may be able to get more value for your money if you choose a fully furnished apartment.

However, this may only work if you’ll be staying longer than a year. If not, you’ll want to go with an unfurnished property as it makes moving in or out easier.


Another critical consideration when choosing a rental property is your lifestyle. This includes who is moving to Dubai with you.

Between an apartment and a villa or townhouse, you’ll need to think about what’s more important for you: convenience or privacy.

High-rise apartments tend to offer better access to commercial hubs and entertainment areas, while villas are typically situated in the city’s outskirts and are a bit farther from leisure amenities.

On the flip side, villas and townhouses offer more privacy, especially ones located in gated communities. With apartment complexes, you’ll be living with strangers across the hall or with just walls separating your living space from that of another person’s.

Considering this, you may need to choose a villa or townhouse inside a gated neighborhood if you plan to move with your family where you can have a quiet environment to raise children in or if you like having your own private outdoor space.

In contrast, social butterflies may prefer high-rise apartments since there are more opportunities to meet new people and socialize. The same goes for single professionals who want to live near their office or couples who frequent bars, restaurants, and other entertainment spots.

What should you look for in a rental property?

When looking for a rental property, you’ll also want to look for certain qualities that could affect the way you live your life later. That includes:


Take into account your lifestyle when selecting a location for your apartment or townhouse rental.

If you’re moving to Dubai Festival City for work, look for a property near your place of employment (or with easy access to roads, at the very least). You may also want to live near restaurants, grocery stores, and other places you frequent.


Another thing you need to think about is the general safety of the area you’ll be calling “home.” This goes hand-in-hand with location, as a safe environment is a must-have feature in properties for rent and sale.

The good news is that Dubai is one of the safest places in the world. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt if the apartment or townhouse you choose has an alarm service or other safety features for an added sense of security.


You’ll also want to look for a place with a designated parking area for its tenants. After all, nobody wants to go through the arduous task of driving around looking for a parking spot every day.

If you chose to rent a villa or townhouse in a suburban area, this might not be an issue since there are plenty of available parking spaces on the street. Some of these properties also have their own garages.

However, if you chose to live in bustling cities with tight spaces, you should ask about the parking situation before signing the lease documents. If you can’t have off-street parking, at least look for a place with a parking garage nearby (preferably within a five- or six-block radius).

Move-in readiness

Try to avoid rentals that still need to be repaired, repainted, carpeted, or deep cleaned before you sign the lease. These things could delay your move and may affect how well you adjust to the neighborhood.

Make Dubai Festival City Your Home

Dubai Festival City has many things to offer. It is popular as a shopping district and is home to many retail brands and restaurants housed in Dubai Festival City Mall. It is also located near the Dubai International Airport and business districts in Dubai, making it a great neighborhood for business professionals like you.


Muhammad Raheel Walayat manages 360-degree digital marketing for Al Futtaim Group Real Estate, one of the largest real estate developers in Dubai. Having joined the company in 2017 with an extensive 10+ years of experience in marketing, Raheel has been instrumental in developing and managing the digital ecosystem for Dubai Festival City that drives results in terms of brand awareness, brand positioning and commercial benefits to the business.