Demand Surges For Family-friendly Villas In The Capital While Prices Stabilise For Apartments In Abu Dhabi

Press release
Published July 26th, 2021 - 07:47 GMT
Demand Surges For Family-friendly Villas In The Capital While Prices Stabilise For Apartments In Abu Dhabi
Infographic - Abu Dhabi H1 2021 Rental Market Report.
Based on consumer interest observed on both Bayut & dubizzle, the UAE’s leading property portals, there has been a steady increase in interest for both affordable and luxury villa communities in Abu Dhabi.

Based on consumer interest observed on both Bayut & dubizzle, the UAE’s leading property portals, there has been a steady increase in interest for both affordable and luxury villa communities in Abu Dhabi. Demand from both homebuyers and tenants have stayed high, resulting in a corresponding increase in prices for family-friendly homes in Abu Dhabi.

  • According to the combined data released by Bayut & dubizzle for H1 2021, properties for sale in Abu Dhabi have seen price increases of up to 9% in most popular neighbourhoods. 
  • Prospective investors and buyers interested in luxury apartments have turned towards waterfront communities such as Al Reem Island and Al Raha Beach, while Saadiyat Island and Yas Island have continued to receive a high level of attention from those keen on buying premium villas in the capital. 
  • Consumers keen on smaller ticket properties have preferred freehold suburbs such as Masdar City, Al Reef and Al Ghadeer for apartments. When it comes to the more affordable villas for sale in Abu Dhabi, Al Reef, Shakhbout City and Hydra Village have been the popular options.
  • In the rental market, apartments in Abu Dhabi have experienced minor price declines of up to 7% in the first half of 2021. On the other hand, villa properties have seen an uptick in rental prices between 2% and 18%.
  • Suburban communities and older neighbourhoods such as Khalifa City A, and Al Khalidiyah have dominated the attention of tenants in search of affordable apartments, whereas Mohammed Bin Zayed City has remained the firm favourite with those looking to rent reasonably priced family-friendly villas.
  • Al Reem Island and Al Raha Beach have also appealed to tenants in search of luxury flats in Abu Dhabi while Al Bateen and Yas Island have garnered the most interest for luxury villas for rent in H1 2021.

As per the data released by the Department of Municipality and Transport, Abu Dhabi has recorded real estate transactions worth AED 11.5B in the first quarter of 2021 alone, with the value of mortgages exceeding AED 6.5B. Abu Dhabi-based developer Aldar Properties also reported the rapid sell-out of the newly-launched Noya villas on Yas Island, highlighting the growing appetite for high-quality, family-oriented homes in the emirate. 

Properties For Sale In Abu Dhabi


Consumer trends on Bayut & dubizzle for H1 2021 have revealed that Saadiyat Island has remained a firm favourite for luxury villa sales in Abu Dhabi.

  • The average price-per-square-foot for villas in Saadiyat Island has seen an uptick in H1 2021, going from AED 1,343 to AED 1,357, pointing to the steady demand for luxury waterfront properties in the capital. 
  • The upscale villas in Yas Island have experienced an 8.7% increase in average sales price-per-square-foot, standing at AED 1,075 in H1 2021. This uptrend has largely been attributed to the handover of certain luxury projects in Yas Island such as Yas Acres. 
  • The price-per-square-foot for houses in Al Raha Gardens has increased by 2.15%, averaging at AED 830 in H1 2021.

According to the data released by Bayut & dubizzle, the competitively-priced suburb of Al Reef has been the most popular choice for affordable ready villas for sale during H1 2021. 

  • The sales price-per-square-foot for villas in Al Reef has increased by 5.1% during H1 2021, rising from AED 626 to AED 658.
  • Suburban communities such as Hydra Village, Shakhbout City (Khalifa City B), Mohammed Bin Zayed City and Khalifa City A have remained popular for affordable houses in Abu Dhabi. 


Consumer preferences on Bayut & dubizzle have also revealed that investors and buyers have shown a clear inclination towards waterfront and island communities for luxury apartment sales in Abu Dhabi. 

  • Al Reem Island has remained the most popular choice for high-end apartments in Abu Dhabi. Sales prices for apartments in Al Reem Island have remained largely steady in H1 2021, with the average price-per-square-foot standing at AED 999.
  • Saadiyat Island, Al Raha Beach and Yas Island have also garnered the interest of investors and buyers interested in luxury units, experiencing slight price increases between 1% to 4%.  

When it comes to reasonably-priced apartments, buyers have shown a strong preference for suburban neighbourhoods on the mainland, with Masdar City remaining the firm favourite in H1 2021.

  • The sales price-per-square-foot for apartments in Masdar City has experienced a 3.2% decline, going from AED 1,222 in H2 2020 to AED 1,184 in H1 2021.
  • Apartments in Al Reef and Al Ghadeer have also appealed to smaller investors in H1 2021, with the average price-per-square-foot remaining fairly steady at AED 667 and AED 704 respectively.

Rental Yields in Abu Dhabi 

  • Masdar City has been generating healthy rental returns of 8.8% for affordable apartments based on projected rental yields, while Yas Island has offered high ROI of 7.1% in the luxury segment.
  • For affordable houses in Abu Dhabi, investors can earn rental returns of up to 8.1% in Shakhbout City, whereas the luxury villas in Al Raha Gardens have been offering strong ROI of 5.8%. 

Off Plan Projects in Abu Dhabi 

  • Based on the data released by Bayut & dubizzle, Diva in Yas Island has been the most popular option for buyers keen on affordable off-plan apartments, while Water’s Edge has taken the lead for upscale off-plan apartments. 
  • Investors looking at competitively-priced off-plan villas in Abu Dhabi have preferred Noya on Yas Island, whereas Yas Acres has remained the firm favourite for luxury off-plan homes.

Properties For Rent 


As per the combined data from Bayut & dubizzle, Mohammed Bin Zayed City (MBZ) has remained the first choice for affordable villa rentals in Abu Dhabi.

  • The average rents for 3 and 5-bedroom villas in MBZ City have remained fairly stable, standing at AED 92k and AED 146k respectively. The asking rents for 4-bedroom villas in MBZ City have increased by 4.1%, averaging at AED 129k in H1 2021.
  • Khalifa City A, Al Reef, Shakhbout City (Khalifa City B) and Al Shamkha have also captured the interest of prospective tenants. The rental costs in these neighbourhoods have largely experienced an uptick between 1% to 13% overall throughout H1 2021.

In the luxury category, Al Bateen has emerged as the most popular choice for villa rentals among prospective tenants, experiencing moderate fluctuations up to 5% in average rental costs. 

  • Average asking rents for 4-bed villas in Al Bateen have increased from AED 219k to  AED 226k, while 6-bed houses have become more affordable during H1 2021, with rental costs going from AED 249k to AED 238k.
  • Integrated communities such as Yas Island, Al Raha Gardens and Saadiyat Island have also continued to attract tenants’ interest for high-end villas in H1 2021. 


In the first six months of 2021, Khalifa City A has remained the top choice for tenants interested in affordable apartments in Abu Dhabi. 

  • The asking rents in Khalifa City A have experienced moderate fluctuations in H1 2021. Studio flats have seen rental prices dip by 2.6% to AED 27k, while asking prices for 1-bed flats have stayed steady at AED 42k. The 2-bed apartments in Khalifa City A have seen an uptick of 7.9% in rental costs, averaging at AED 63k.
  • Tenant interest has been largely concentrated on suburbs and older districts, including Al Khalidiya, Al Muroor, Hamdan Street and Mussafah. Rental costs for apartments in these neighbourhoods have observed minor decreases up to 6% in the first half of 2021.

Al Reem Island has remained the firm favourite for tenants seeking luxury apartment rentals in H1 2021, with asking rents experiencing minor decreases up to 3%. 

  • The average rents for apartments on Al Reem Island have seen slight decreases during H1 2021, averaging at AED 59k for 1-bed apartments, AED 83k for 2-bed flats and AED 126k for 3-bed units.
  • Similarly, rental apartments in Al Raha Beach, Corniche Area and Corniche Road have experienced minor price fluctuations under 5%. On the other hand, Saadiyat Island has seen average rents rise between 13% to 19% for apartments, which could be attributed to newly handed-over projects in the area.  

Haider Ali Khan, the CEO of Bayut & dubizzle and the Head of EMPG MENA said: "Over the last year, Abu Dhabi has sent a strong message to the global community with the way it has handled the public health implications of the pandemic, highlighting its appeal as a well-integrated family-friendly city where you can build roots and be secure. This has also played a part in creating more demand for the residential property market and particularly family friendly villas in Abu Dhabi, both among tenants and prospective homeowners. 


The proactive containment measures and widespread vaccination drives have also enhanced the attractiveness of Abu Dhabi for investors and buyers. Coupled with this, the drive towards developing the portfolio of affordable, sustainable communities with high projected rental yields and luxurious island communities with amenities that are at par with most global investment hubs has also resulted in rising demand for properties in Abu Dhabi.”


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