Known around the world as a place of luxury, growth and exciting opportunities, moving to Dubai is getting more and more popular with time.

There was a time when the only options for expats in the most popular areas of Dubai were apartments in skyscrapers. Those who preferred houses or villas were limited to the outer suburbs of the city.

Luckily, these days are over and expats interested in moving to Dubai’s best spots now have the option of choosing between apartments and villas.

While more options are always a good thing, this can actually make it much more difficult to make a decision.

Here are just a few of the aspects that should be taken into account when making this decision:

View, or Lawn?

Many people moving to Dubai do so because they wish to be a part of one of the most stunning cities in the world. If you like the idea of standing on your balcony every evening, watching the incredible Dubai skyline, then a high-rise apartment may just be the best option for you.

However, this doesn’t mean villas don’t have their own benefits.

Trading a city view for a view of your own garden, perhaps consisting of a lawn and a pool, may well be preferable to others, especially those who prioritise peace and privacy over lights and glamour.

It’s also worth considering that many apartments don’t allow pets, and keeping a dog in an apartment without a garden could even be considered cruel. If you are bringing pets with you to Dubai or planning to get one in the near future, a villa is often a better option as it gives them a private, walled off area in which to play and explore.


For a family moving to Dubai with the hopes of raising a family, safety, security and a quiet place to bring up a child is likely the main concern. People in this situation will almost always choose a villa, even if it means travelling a little further to work – living in apartments with children can simply be too cramped.

However, a single person moving to Dubai, or a recent couple with no imminent plans to make a family, will likely have a completely different outlook, preferring to stay somewhere cheap, convenient and as close to work as possible – and as such, you will struggle to do better than an apartment.


Of course, for most people, cost is the primary concern. This includes the monthly rent cost and any potential up-front fees, but ongoing maintenance fees are a major aspect to take into account too.

Whereas villas are almost always more expensive than apartments, the location of course is usually a major influence too.

This means that even for the single business-people we discussed earlier, it may well be the best option to locate yourself slightly outside of the more expensive areas like Dubai Marina.

If you are interested in moving to Dubai but aren’t sure what you can afford, Bayut has some excellent information on renting in Dubai, including prices, location guides and more.

Typically Al Nahda is one of the most popular areas, thanks to it being near the water, only 20-30 minutes from the Marina for those who work there, yet still offering plenty of residences for considerably cheaper than those in Dubai Marina.

It’s also worth considering that costs such as maintenance, upkeep, power and even furniture can be considerably more in villas than apartments, due to the increased space required to fill with furnishings (and air conditioning!).


As discussed, children are often a good reason to go for a villa, not least because of the extra space and privacy. However, more and more apartments in Dubai are making strides in this area.

For instance, some offer communal nurseries, soft play areas, or even daycare services in order to make things easier for you and give your children the chance to meet others in the area.

One thing is for sure, if you are planning on moving to Dubai, you have some big decisions to consider. However, the most important thing is to be aware of exactly what you want out of your new home. If you can first decide on your ideal location, how much space you need, how your life within the residence will develop over the next few years, and even your ideal view – making the final decision on where to rent will become a lot easier!