Where to live in Dubai is the first question that expatriates ask after securing employment in the emirate. The accommodation options are plentiful. You can choose between different types of housing – apartments and villas with any number of bedrooms and varying amenities. There are various residential areas to select from as well. Sharing a villa is a popular accommodation option. You should definitely look into it in more detail.
Despite the common misconception, not all villas in Dubai are luxury estates with huge gardens, pools and other facilities. In fact, in most cases, this term refers to houses. They are usually two or three-story buildings with a number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Given their features, villas are quite popular to share. Families do it as well as young unmarried expatriates, usually single men.
Sharing a villa is an appealing option due to the lower rent you will have to pay compared to renting an entire apartment. The monthly rent varies between 2,000 Dhs and 7,000 Dhs per room. You will get to share all facilities in the house – the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room as well as any other amenities. The cheapest rooms costing around 2,000 to 3,000 Dhs per month do not offer the best in terms of furnishing, comfort and cleanliness. In addition, you might have to share it with a roommate or even two. If you want a cozy en-suite room in a villa in a popular neighborhood, you can expect to pay between 5,000 Dhs and 7,000 Dhs per month. For this price, you will probably get an en-suite bathroom as well.
Apart from being cheaper, the shared villas often come with a more relaxed rent payment deal. You might have the option to pay every three months or two months or even monthly instead of annually. This is extremely beneficial for those who are coming without much savings in Dubai. Still, given the economic downturn and slam in rental prices and accommodation demand, more landlords are insisting on being paid for the whole year in advance.
It is relatively easy to find offers for shared villas. Ads are readily available online. You can also find some in local newspapers. The supermarket notice boards usually have a lot of ads for shared accommodation as well. Still, you should be careful before deciding to room with strangers. It is always best to share a villa with friends or, at least, acquaintances. In addition, you should not expect tenants to live as a small community. In some cases, they do not gather together at all to cook or to watch TV.
Another thing you should be aware of is the “One villa, One family” campaign of the Dubai Municipality. It was actively carried out in 2008 and had the purpose of making tenants sharing a villa split up. The campaign was more relaxed in 2009 and is believed to have ceased now, even though this has not been confirmed officially. For this reason, you might want to do some personal research to see how things can work out in your individual case.