Dubai rents have plunged over the last year and property experts predict they are set to fall even further, causing an influx of people keen to move to the emirate.

Studios in International City can now be snapped up for as little as dhs22,000 a year down from dhs60,000 18 months ago.

At the other end of the market, a studio in the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, costs just dhs100,000 with one-bedroom apartments in the prestigious address starting at around dhs160,000 a year.

Property consultants say that although the prices may appear to be at rock bottom, they could fall even further in coming months.

“The present rents are the lowest in the last few years but we are expecting rents to fall even further, to the extent of five per cent or more and then stablilise after that,” said Amarjit Singh, a property consultant with the Centurion Real Estate.

Matthew Green, head of research and consultancy in the UAE at CB Richard Ellis Middle East, said the impact of falling rents is making Dubai attractive again to residents across the country.

Sharjah exodus predicted
“We will be seeing more and more people shifting to Dubai from Sharjah and the Northern Emirates due to low rents and the high quality of life. It’s a very good scenario for tenants,” Green said.

One family to benefit from the rent-rate crash told 7DAYS they are now paying dhs40,000 for one-bedroom flat in the Al Nahda area, having previously lived near the Mega Mall in Sharjah because Dubai was far out of their price range. They said it was impossible for them to think about moving 12 months ago.

“Dubai is much more affordable than it was one year ago,” said Sajith TK.

Sajith said that the same flat would have cost him dhs75,000 last year.  “A lot has changed in our lives since we moved to Dubai. Our travel time to work has reduced by half and we no longer worry about power cuts. I have more free time. Life is better.”

However rents in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi have also fallen. Lesley Preston, a director at Cluttons in Sharjah, said that a studio flat in industrial areas was just dhs18,000 now while in downtown it’s about dhs24,000 a year.

“We are expecting the prices to go down further due to the power crisis,” she said.

“People are struggling due to power cuts and are planning to move to Dubai which is not good for the Sharjah property market.”

Sunny CK and his family is one of those to up and leave. They now live in Al Qusais and pay dhs40,000 a year for a one-bedroom flat. “It doesn’t make any sense to live in Sharjah any longer.

There are a plethora of problems afflicting the emirate including power cuts and traffic jams.”

By Fareed Rahman