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With residential property prices looking to soften this year, now may be the ideal time to buy. Where you choose to buy will, of course, be influenced by your lifestyle as well as what you are looking for in a property.
Depending on your budget, background and future plans, there are certain areas in the UAE that offer freehold properties. Deciding on what you want from a residential property before you start looking will help you focus on your search.
What are the aspects that are most important to you and your family? Are you looking for value appreciation over a certain period of time, a guaranteed income from rent, or an ideal location for you and your family to live?
If your reason for buying a home is to turn it into a rental property rather than as a home to live in, apartments tend to be the preferred choice as these can be easily rented out. Popular areas in Dubai are Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), Dubai Marina (including Jumeirah Beach Residence), Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah and International City. In Abu Dhabi, Reem Island has a wide range of apartment choices.
However, the high demand for family homes means that villas can prove to be an equally worthwhile investment, although they do obviously come with higher price tags. There are many villa communities to choose from including Arabian Ranches, Emirates Living, Jumeirah Village, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Jumeirah Park and Jumeirah Islands in Dubai; Al Raha Beach and Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi; and Al Hamra Village, Mina Al Arab and The Cove in Ras Al Khaimah.
There is even a huge number of mixed-use projects, which feature both villas and apartments, currently being developed in most parts of the country.
Therefore, those who want to live in the UAE for a longer period may be wise to buy a property and combine the benefits of monthly savings with long-term investment.
• Apartments are a wise investment especially in popular areas like Dubai Marina
• Reem Island and Al Raha Beach are popular areas to buy property in Abu Dhabi
• Villa communities in Ras Al Khaimah include Al Hamra Village and Mina Al Arab
Find out where to buy a Dubai apartment for just Dh349,000
Source: Nicholas Baker, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer