Khalifa City is Abu Dhabi’s most sought after rental neighbourhood

Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa City has become the most searched for rental neighbourhood in the capital new research has found.

Khalifa City accounted for 18 per cent of all rental searches in Abu Dhabi during the first quarter of the year, according to the UAE property website, as tenants in the capital seek out more affordable neighbourhoods.

Khalifa City, located on the Abu Dhabi mainland has long been seen by residents as a cheaper alternative to living in the city centre and has attracted droves of teachers working in the many nearby schools.

But last year’s decision by the government to remove a rent cap in Abu Dhabi coupled with a decree requiring all Abu Dhabi government employees to live in the emirate to qualify for housing allowance, has increased the area’s popularity.

“Whilst high rents in the capital have always been a concern for residents, the recent removal of the rental cap has caused rents to rise further,” said Bharat Kumar, the marketing director for “Up until the beginning of 2013, rents in Abu Dhabi were traditionally considered to be higher than those in Dubai. However, the price gap between the two emirates has now narrowed.”

Khalifa City beat Reem Island, last year’s most searched rental location, into second place in Abu Dhabi where it accounted for 16.5 per cent of all searches.

Another of the capital’s typically cheaper locations, Al Reef, came third with 8.4 per cent of all Abu Dhabi searches, followed by Raha Beach, Khalidiya, Airport Road, the Corniche and Mohammed Bin Zayed City.

At the same time Dubai Marina remained by far the most searched rental location in Dubai, accounting for 17 per cent of the city’s rental searches – keeping it in the same position as last year.

Downtown Dubai was the second most searched location, accounting for 7.7 per cent of Dubai searches. It was followed by Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubailand, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Village Circle and The Springs.

Researchers found that the highest number of rental searchs were made for properties costing between Dh80,000 and Dh100,000 annually, which accounted for 12.2 per cent of all searches.

Properties costing between Dh120,000 and Dh140,000 a year came in second, accounting for another 10.3 per cent of searches.

Searches for properties costing between Dh40,000 and Dh60,000 fell to eighth place, accounting for just 6.5 per cent, down from fourth place in the first quarter last year..

Al Reem Island in Abu Dhabi was the most searched location for those looking to buy in Abu Dhabi, accounting for 28.1 per cent of all searches. It was followed by Al Reef, which accounted for 16.2 per cent.

Dubai Marina was Dubai’s most searched location for potential buyers, accounting for 18.6 per cent of searchs. It was followed by Downtown Dubai, which accounted for another 10.6 per cent.

The research was based on the searches of more than 2 million users, who visited the site during the first three months of the year, looking at about 300,000 listed properties for sale and rent across the UAE.