The climate is changing – A UAE Property perspective.

Winter has hit the UAE with a storm. As the cold seeps in we are all pulling coats on over our heads and pulling tight those draw strings, and it seems we might have to do the same with our purse strings soon.

 Yesterday in Abu Dhabi it was announced that there would no longer be a cap on rental hikes in the capital stating that rental rates need to be moderated by market influences. This does seem like a logical path to follow for accelerated growth and increased investment in the capital, but it can only be seen as a thorn in the foot of the renter.

The increase in the price of properties has been widely reported on in the past year as the industry rockets towards pre-bubble high prices. Dubai has also been listed as one of the top 20 real estate cities in the World showing an 11% increase in 2013 so far according IP Global Middle East. That makes buying property in Dubai a very safe real estate investment. This is also obvious in the increasing trend in buying as opposed to renting in the UAE.

 The UAE Central Bank has recently introduced a 4% property registration fee, up from 2%, showing that the property market is much more regulated this time round. Furthermore, there is also a 60% mortgage cap when buying a second home in Dubai.

Following a climb in the property market in the UAE, an increase in rent is sure to follow, as landlords will want to take full advantage of the possible rent this increase can afford them.

In Dubai DEWA has announced they will be increasing the slab rates for water and electricity across the board as from January. This after slapping certain communities with hefty housing fee increases in October.

These increases everywhere seem quite daunting, but don’t despair. There is no need to pick up a second job or sell your jet ski to cover the extra costs. Why don’t you just rent out a room in your apartment or villa?

There is a new feature on where you can advertise one of your spare rooms free of charge. By adding you room and finding a roommate you can generate the extra funds you need to cover all the additional costs without having to pick up an extra job, or logging overtime hours at the office.

Whichever way you look at the UAE property market it looks like a great time to be a property owner, but it is a slightly different picture if you are a renter.  You might want to look into a smaller apartment, or even finding a roommate to take up that spare bedroom that you have been wanting to turn into an office or art room.


Dubai Marina: Still the jewel of Dubai

The Dubai Marina is popular for many reasons. The large man-made marina where hundreds of private yachts are docked, the hundreds of towering buildings, and countless restaurants and hotel bars all combine to create a feeling of luxury that makes up part of the Dubai lifestyle. The Dubai Marina forms a cocoon of concrete that is a haven away from the flat and sandy desert.Image

The Dubai Marina consists of 3 phases that stretch 3km down the Persian Gulf shoreline. One of the phases has come to be known as “The tallest block in the World” and another phase is Jumeirah Beach Residences, which is the largest single-phase residential development in the World consisting of 40 towers.

The Dubai Marina is mostly a residential area and can accommodate over 120,000 people in the current residential towers, with many more towers on the way. The worlds tallest all-residential tower is set to be opened in 2014 standing tall at 516m. This tower will be named the Pentominium and will take the title from the Princess Tower, also in the Dubai Marina.

The Dubai Marina is full of world record buildings and World firsts. Another one of these would be the Al Sufouh Tram which is the worlds fist tram that makes use of platform screen doors at the stations, as well as Supervised Vehicle Operation mode to help ensure that the tram stops accurately at the station platforms.

The Dubai Marina is one of the few places that people from the Western Countries make up the majority of the community, and this translates into a much more relaxed culture where you will regularly see people walking in the streets with clothes that might be seen as offensive somewhere else in the city.

The Dubai Marina is a jewel on the Dubai map and contributes to the city by providing an area propped full of entertainment, relaxation, and unadulterated joy.


Everything the Dubai Marina has on offer

The Dubai Marina is an area of Dubai with seemingly endless virtues making it one of the most sought after areas in Dubai. As it is, the Dubai Marina is full of amenities and can provide any resident with a lifestyle to that akin to Manhattans Upper East Side minus the string of haute couture stores, but there is a large mall to make up for the deficit.Image

The Dubai Marina Mall has 160 stores to entice the vibrant Dubai Marina community with fashion, food, lifestyle, technology and entertainment.  If shopping doesn’t tickle your fancy there is also a 7-storey Gourmet Tower with the top selections of restaurants from around the globe. Pier 7 offers 360-degree views of the skyline and Arabian Gulf, valet parking, or the option to moor your boat and enter via the dock if the entrance in the mall is too pedestrian for your taste.

Away from the Dubai Marina Mall you can enjoy a more casual atmosphere in one of the little shopping and dining options all along the creek. You can pick and choose from cuisines from all over the World. The views are always spectacular with the large yachts passing bye day in and day out and the monstrous skyscrapers looming up above. 

If you would like a view from a different angle you could quite easily charter a yacht to take you around a few of Dubai’s foremost attractions. There are a few agencies lined along the Dubai Marina Yacht Club where most sea goers go to enjoy a drink to ware off the sea legs.

If the Yacht Club is a little bit stiff-upper-lip for your taste, you can enjoy and array of Hotel clubs and bars or kick off your shoes and dance in the sand at Barasti Beach Bar.

And if that is not enough, need we mention that the beach is always at your doorstep with its adrenaline pumping skydiving and water sports, or a leisurely camel ride after sun lounging by one of the waterfront hotels.

Jumeirah Beach Residence and why you want to live there

Jumeirah Beach Residence

Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR) is a pristine development nestled between the Arabian Gulf, and one of the largest man made marina developments in the World. With an insurmountable list of community features this development can only be described as a pinnacle to which we pin our dreams.

JBR consists of 40 towers clustered closely together for 1.7kilometers to form a wall of beauty where over 15,000 people can put down their hats and call it home.  JBR is the largest single-phase residential development in the World and was developed by Dubai Properties.

Between these buildings you will find a plethora of quaint stores, beauty spas, restaurants, al fresco dining, and shopping options; most of which are open until the am hours of the night.

There are 5 hotels being operated in JBR, most of which are placed along the coastline. Stunningly luxurious dining and accommodation awaits those with pockets deep enough to venture into the 4 and 5 star hotels that cater to the tourists coming to visit Dubai.

At the foot of the JBR development lays the jewel of the Dubai Marina: The Walk. Cobble stoned walkways line the road all along The Walk where people can enjoy anything from fine dining to a relaxed take away on the bench. The Walk is always packed with people looking to enjoy the Tuscan styled surroundings.

With the Dubai Eye (a monumental Ferris wheel), hotels, and a very large shopping center busy being constructed just of The Walk in JBR,this whole development will definitely see a lot of positive growth in the future.

Right now JBR is the fourth most searched for development for rentals and 5th most searched development for property purchases.


Studio              AED 80,000

1 Bedroom       AED 110,000

2 Bedrooms     AED 135,000

3 Bedrooms     AED 190,000

4 Bedrooms     AED 260,000


Average Sale Price:

Studio              AED 1,150,000

1 Bedroom       AED 1.650,000

2 Bedrooms     AED 2,650,000

3 Bedrooms     AED 3,000,000

4 Bedrooms     AED 4,000,000 +

The Renters Handbook to Finding their First Apartment in Dubai


Renting in Dubai can be a daunting challenge for anyone who has never gone to find an apartment for themselves, or even for people who have been renting for years.

 There are a lot of available properties in Dubai and when you are new to the market it could seem to be a daunting task to find an apartment without being exploited for your ignorance of the Dubai market. is always looking to find the areas offering the best value for money and apartments that will suit your needs.

Currently the areas with the greatest value rental rates are between International City and Silicon Oasis which means that you could easily pick up a well sized, modern apartment for around 20 000AED and 27 000AED depending on your specifications.

The area that is proving to be the best value for money as on rentals index would probably be Discovery Gardens. The central location is a key attraction. This area offers many different apartments across a wide range of specifications and mostly includes free air conditioning, large floor space, and maintenance with easy access to public transport and Ibn Battuta Mall. has also seen significant increase in search traffic for apartments in Dubai, as opposed to only a moderate increase in Abu Dhabi. There are 25% more listings available as in the same time period last year. This is just one indication of the growing demand for Dubai rental properties, and accounts for the average increase in the price of rentals annually in Dubai.

The area that is searched for most on the portal is the Dubai Marina, which is almost certainly the choice for most expats due to the excellent views, modern buildings and the plethora of shopping, recreational and dining options.

Finding an apartment

Things you should consider before you start looking for an apartment to rent in Dubai:

 1)   Consider your budget. Select a budget that suits your pocket. It is advisable to keep in mind that you should only spend about 40% of your income on rent for an apartment and for your car so that you have enough money for utility bills and maintenance or any unexpected expenses that might arise.  As part of your budget consideration you will need to decide on the duration you are looking to rent. Rental contracts are usually monthly, short-term, or long-term.  You should also decide on the number of cheques you would need to pay the rent with. This might be something you need to negotiate with the landlord and would usually cost you extra per cheque.

2)   You need to have an idea of your basic needs before looking for an apartment. Decide on the amount of bedrooms you will need and the amount of bathrooms you require.

3)   Once you have decided on your budget and basic needs you can start narrowing down all the locations in which you can get apartments within your budget range. has an easy way to narrow down all the available apartments according to your specific needs.

4)   Keep in mind that different locations charge different rates and that you will have to weigh up cost of the apartment against the size of the apartment. Furthermore, you will have to consider the proximity to malls, restaurants, and whether there is easy access to public transport. offers a fantastic tool where you can draw up your searches on a map in the areas you are interested in. The map details public transport and restaurants in each area using Google maps.

5)   Once you have decided on a location you can find all the different listings in that area. Here you can find all of the available listings in a location as well as helpful photos and information about the apartments and the location. You can easily fill out an enquiry form and a real estate agent will get in touch with you about that listing. 

 Finalizing the rental

 Once you have passed the research phase you can start going out and viewing all the different apartments. Here is a short guide on what to look for while you are viewing the apartment, and while you are closing the deal.


1)   When you are at the apartment it would be wise to look and see whether everything is working properly. Take time to look at all the faucets to test the water pressure. Flush the toilets to see if they flush thoroughly and completely. Switch on and off all the lights and test the air conditioning. Lastly, look at all the pipes to see whether any of them are leaking. 

2)   Another thing to consider while at the apartment would be the walls and windows. If you are sensitive to sound it would be useful for you to listen to the noise coming through the walls from adjoining apartments. Double-glazing on the windows help keep out the noise from outside, as well as insulating the apartment from the heat outside.

3)    Speak to the estate agent about all the costs you will have to incur to close the deal on an apartment. These costs will usually include the rent, a 5% security deposit, DEWA connection fee, Ejari Fee, and the agency fee.  You should also ask what is included in the rent of the apartment. This could include air-conditioning, appliances, Wi-Fi, maintenance, and furniture. Finally, you should ask about the average utility bill for an apartment in that building so that you don’t get a shock at the end of your first month in the apartment.

4)   Before signing the contract you should raise concerns about any problems you might have found in the apartment. Ensure that these are resolved or at least brought under the attention of the landlord to ensure you don’t lose your security deposit at the end of your lease.

5)   Never sign the contract without looking through it first. Pay attention to early cancellation terms and whether the landlord has the rights to inspect the apartment without notice.


Dubai Marina’s multiple world Records and Firsts.

The Dubai Marina is a stunning development built up in 3 distinct phases. This project first broke ground in 2002 and has been growing at a rapid pace ever since, breaking World records all along the way.


1) The Marina

The marina is an artificial canal city that stretches over 3km of Persian Gulf shoreline.  Upon completion it is claimed to be the world’s largest man-made marina.

2) Jumeirah Beach Residence

JBR consists of 40 high-rise towers that span over two square kilometers. This makes JBR the largest single-phase residential development in the world.

3) Tallest block in the World

Phase II of the Dubai Marina consists solely of high rise towers clustered into a block with the height range between 250 meters, and a gargantuan 516 meters tall. This cluster is more commonly known as ‘The tallest block in the World”.

4) The Pentominium

The Pentominium is a 516 meter tall tower currently being constructed in the ‘Tallest Block in the World”. Upon completion the Pentominium will be the tallest all-residential building in The World. It will also be the second tallest building in Dubai after only the Burj Khalifa taking the title from the Princess Tower, which is currently the tallest all-residential building in the world.

5)Cayan/Infinity Tower

Also forming part of the “Tallest block in the World” is the Cayan tower (formerly known as Infinity Tower) standing tall at 306 meters tall. The Cayan Tower holds the World record for the tallest tower with a 90degree twist.

6) Al Sufouh Tram

When the Al Sufouh Tram is opened in Q4 2014 it will use 11 Alstom Citadis 402 trams and will measure 44 meters in length with a capacity of 408 passengers. The Tram will be the first and only in the World to make use of platform screen doors at the stations, as well as Supervised Vehicle Operation mode to help ensure that the tram stops accurately at the station platforms.

7) Dubai Metro

Not technically a Marina record, but it does run through the Dubai Marina. The Dubai Metro currently holds the Guinness World Record for the world’ longest fully automated metro network spanning 75km.

8) The Dubai Eye

The Dubai Eye is a planned project for JBR, which will see the construction of the Worlds Largest Ferris Wheel. As planned it will measure a total of 210 meters and could be completed on it’s own island within 3 years.


10 Things to know about your next property


As a real estate agent you pretty much need to be on your toes 24/7. Potential renters and buyers continuously come up with new and more creative questions that you will need to answer to reassure them that the property they are viewing is up to scratch. Find out about these 10 topics before your viewings to ensure you can step up to the plate on all the impossible questions that renters and buyers can possibly ask you.

1) Poor drainage.

No, it doesn’t rain much at all in the UAE but when it does everything seems to come to a standstill because all the roads get flooded. This might seem unimportant to your property sale, except when all the water runs down a channel into your back yard. Investigate the drainage of gutters and rain water of a property because one day a drain might get blocked and rain water will be the least of a buyer or renters worries.

2) Faulty electrical, plumbing and gas installations.

Here it is of utmost importance to go around the house testing that all the lights work properly, that the wall sockets are all supplied with power. Run all the taps and flush the toilets simultaneously to see whether there is sufficient water flow capabilities. The geysers and gas should also be tested to make sure they are functioning properly and well serviced.

3) Leaking roof.

This might not be a big problem with the UAE being a desert and all, but it does rain occasionally and you don’t want to have your beautiful carpets ruined. You could also have a good look for water marks caused by dripping geysers or air-conditioning units.

4) Defective, of non-existent insulation.

Insulation is designed to keep the bad weather out and the good weather in. Insulation also improves the energy efficiency of your home. Without some form of insulation the property could get excessively hot during the summer, which will run up massive cooling bills for the buyer or tenant.

5) Poor maintenance.

Maintenance is quite a difficult subject in Dubai at the moment with a lot of building operators raising the cost of annual maintenance. It is important to ensure that everything is being well maintained and that when something breaks, you will get the help you need when you need it. Also keep an eye out for DIY fixes. It might be a cheap fix, but it will cost the new owners or tenants dearly to fix it later on.

6) Structural damage.

Although just about the entire Dubai is brand new and structural damage isn’t a very common occurrence, it is still built on sand. Sweep through the property looking for cracks in the walls and places where the skirting is pulling away from the walls.  These are the signs of a weak foundation. Something else to look for might be whether water is pooling up under the foundation of the property.

7) Water seepage through windows and doors.

Once again, this might not be a huge problem in the UAE because of it being a desert, but if your windows and doors cant keep water out, they won’t keep the wind and dust from a dust storm out either.

8) Pests

There might not be such a large variety of insects in the UAE as expected in countries like India and most African countries, but there sure are cockroaches. Make sure there are no lurking pests around the property because once they are there, they are very difficult to get rid of.

9) Communal areas

Make sure that you know what forms part of the property you will be investing in. There have been many disputes over undelivered promises when it comes to the communal areas such as swimming pools, tennis courts, etc. Make sure that everything that is promised is actually there, and in good condition.

10) Poor Ventilation

Turn up the cooling system and feel the chill, or lack there of. Walk around the house and feel for dramatic temperature differences. The cooling system might work perfectly in one room and not have any affect on another.



PropSpace reaches 200 Clients

From it’s humble beginning in June of 2012 through it’s steam-train climb to the top of the poll only 13 months later, one thing has always been sure: PropSpace is a force to be reckoned with. We have officially reached 200 clients and we are so thankful for the support we have received from our followers and supporters.


PropSpace is an online, cloud based real estate CRM which enables Real estate agencies and brokers to manage their leads and listings, contacts ans calendars, to-dos and contracts in a centralized location. It minimizes a user’s personal paper trail and makes his or her day much more efficient. There simply is no other product like it.

In July, PropSpace surpassed all expectations and took the lead in terms of market share in the UAE. With the highly adaptable nature of the CRM and the constant upgrades to the CRM, nothing less can be expected. We never though we would achieve something like this, but as the time passed we realized that we could turn it into something big!

To Rent or To Buy

By George Schempers

Owning our own place is the pinnacle of our dreams as expats. We start our careers in a Dubai, thousands of kilometers from our homes, with the aim of launching our careers and becoming successful, achieving more than we possibly could in our home countries. Owning our own villa means we might have a little garden, and we could have a dog, and we can drill away into our freshly painted walls without fear that we will lose security deposits, or be scolded at by a landlord. Bliss.

The surge of sales in the property market coupled with increased consumer confidence in the UAE property market has seen growth in the Dubai real estate market. But, should all the statistics being floated around in the papers drive you Arabian Business recently reported that Dubai ranked forth among the best real estate investment cities in the world showing an average growth of 18.3% between March of 2012 and March of 2013.


This proves that Dubai is fast becoming one of the hottest real estate markets in the world, and with the planned Mohammad Bin Rashid City there will be plenty on offer in the coming years. But, as of late the surge of demand is outweighing the supply of apartments and villas currently available causing prices to surge.


Looking at the numbers confirms that Dubai is a fantastic place to invest in Real Estate, but is it really as easy and safe as it seems?


When you are looking to buy the cost of the house should never exceed 15 times the annual cost you would normally pay to rent. Keeping this in mind, you should also not pay more than 3 times your annual salary for a house. There are thousands of villas to pick from on


Villas are such an attractive investment with rapid growth and large returns from rental income (if you don’t live in the villa yourself). Areas that show great potential for renting your villa would be The Greens and The Gardens with a lower cost per square meter and a higher rental income. This makes these two areas great for rental income. offers a rental index, which you can use to determine what the average price per square foot is in a particular area. As a buyer it is important to ensure that you are not paying too much for your dream home because it will take too long for the property market to catch up with to the price you paid, so that you can make a profit when selling in the future.


The fact of the matter is that most of us won’t be able to buy real estate in Dubai even if we wanted to because of the restrictions and requirements that we need to comply with in order to get a mortgage.


Most banks in the UAE need sufficient proof that you will be able to afford the down payments. This, in most circumstances, means you need to provide 6 months worth of bank statements, as well as a minimum 20% deposit for expats. The mortgage laws have been changing often, and drastically, for the past few months so you might well find that the regulations have changed again once you are ready to buy. And government regulation will always be a factor when investing in Dubai.


But, according to real estate agents, between 70- and 90% of their property sales are cash and it is not uncommon for someone to walk in with a suitcase full of cash to buy a property on the spot.


As an expat just arriving in Dubai you will be hard pressed to find a bank that will give you a mortgage if you haven’t already served 6 months in your current job in the UAE, and that almost certainly dictates getting a rental, and that is not a problem.


Renting in Dubai can be relatively easy because most banks are willing to give you a personal loan to finance your rent expense for the year if you cant afford the lumps sum in the beginning of your tenancy. And on the most part, all you need is your residency visa to prove that you are new to Dubai, and a salary statement from jour boss to prove your monthly income.


It’s easy and immediate and there are many options to pick from in Dubai as more and more buildings are being completed, or have recently been completed. I would just advise you to check out the rentals index to ensure that you aren’t being charged too much for your apartment rental.


Just read your contract carefully and make sure you understand all the terms and conditions before signing the contract, and then its important to make sure you don’t drill away your security deposit into your freshly painted “rented” walls.




Discovery Gardens

Discovery Gardens


Idyllic gardens surround the buildings in this stretch of development. The lush gardens, an identifier of the area encompassing 260 multi story buildings, are well maintained and show no sign of the sand beneath their roots. This is a true urban living space, with all the amenities expected from suburban living.


With large apartments and a relatively low rental rate, free maintenance and cooling included in most of the Discovery Gardens apartments, Discovery Gardens is fast becoming a sought after area in Dubai. Swimming pools on nearly every street and tennis courts where people play into the late hours of the night add to the sense of community where people can come together and meet the other inhabitants.


Discovery Gardens has seen rental rates soar upwards of 23% in the past year and shows no sign of relenting. Discovery Gardens will fall into the upper class living areas such as Jumeira Beach towers and the Marina if the rental rates continue to rise, but that just might be the plan.


Developer Nakheel is set to launch the new and improved shopping center in 2014 and they have announced that they will have all the pools open and furnished by the end of 2013. They have also responded to complaints about the smell stating that the water purification system will be serviced to alleviate the problem. By adding these community areas and increased services they can indeed expect higher service charges, and thus, lead to the rent going up.


But, as it is, Discovery Gardens is still an affordable option for anybody looking to rent. The public transport around the area is fantastic, and Ibn Batutta Mall is just a stone throw away.