How is the Real Estate Market in Abu Dhabi?

The complete details on Abu Dhabi Real Estate Market Trends

One of the commercial drivers in Abu Dhabi asides oil is Real estate. Over the last decade, there has been impressive growth in the property market; the high rate of investment has opened the trade opportunities to other nations. Unlike Dubai, the neighbouring emirate, most transactions are made by locals or GCC nationals. One of the laws governing the real estate market in Abu Dhabi makes it legible for non-GCC-nationals to buy and have full ownership of properties in Abu Dhabi with the additional benefit of long-term visa. Due to that, the property market yielded an increase in sales and ROI.

Over the last decade, the real estate industry in Abu Dhabi has experienced some form of fluctuation in prices, vacancies and investment returns. In recent years, prices of some properties in lush neighbourhoods witnessed some reduction in costs in late 2019, according to reports from, there was further drop in sales and rental fee due to the acute uncertainty of the pandemic in the middle of fourth quarter and beginning of the first quarter of 2020. Middle and high-quality property noticed a substantial rental reduction in price, giving investors who could afford the new sale price and the opportunity to invest in this prestigious neighbourhood to do so. Additionally, off-plan properties continued to be a decline compared to the secondary market property since the rise of the unpredictable pandemic for financial and investment security.

Despite the circumstances, information from one of UAE most reliable property websites, Bayut, shows that the second quarter of 2020 has seen a slight price increase compared to the first quarter of 2020 and fourth quarter of 2019 that witnessed a restraint on economic growth in marketable areas. Areas like Al Reem (highest value of the total sale at AED 2bn), Saadiyat Island (total amount at AED 1.5 bn), Al Reef (AED 911m), and Yas Island (AED 837m). There’s been a 34% increase in the sale at the end of April 2020 from reports given by the Department of municipalities & transport, Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi property market offers a variety of homes in upscale and fast-developing neighbourhoods for those who are seeking to invest. The following information provides the latest insight to these neighbourhoods as of 2019 and 2020.

  1. Al Reem Island, which has been the most popular area to buy or rent apartments for its leisure projects, and excellent community facilities. A fast-growing district which comprises of high rise towers with a view of the Persian Gulf and becoming a prospective investment location for buyers looking for apartments. It is suitable for families and working professionals; the community has facilities such as schools, malls, play area for kids, and hospitals. The Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities announced in 2019 seventeen freehold areas. Therefore, individuals of any nationality can be owners of properties making this location for ideal for business people and investor. This location boasts of some of the most prestigious and marketable studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments, villas, and penthouses. Although the ROI was affected towards the last quarter of 2019, data from shows better ROI at the beginning of 2020. For Off-plan project, there’s been an increase in Shams Abu Dhabi within Al Reem island.

  2. Al Raha Beach is ranked the second-most popular community for apartments for sale in Abu Dhabi; Known for its iconic waterfront apartments, proximity other neighbourhoods, suitable for families as well as working professionals.

  3. Al Ghadeer, not the most popular community but highly marketable. This project hopes to offer investors an ROI as high as 8.6%. Al Ghadeer, being located at the border of Abu Dhabi border, which will be great for the frequent traveller in and out of the emirate and notable for apartments in low-rise buildings, townhouses and villas.

  4. Al Khalidiya is one of the older districts in Abu Dhabi, where potential renters covet. Its accessibility to the corniche, malls, parks and restaurants makes it ideal for working professionals and families. This neighbourhood has seen an increase in ROI by an average of 5% and has recently become popular for commuter of Dubai and Abu Dhabi route, tourists to have a view of where tradition intersects with contemporary lifestyle. The community boasts of modern high rises, villas, and gated residential buildings. The sight of the waterfront is a fantastic gaze.

  5. Saadiyat Island is a region in the prestigious Abu Dhabi city known for its cultural preservation and a hub to one of the most iconic attractions- the louvre. Homes in this area are highly prized, part of a tourist destination and a family-friendly community. The prestigious beach turned an island has many four, and 5-star hotels has been the usual lodge for tourist and residents intending on a staycation. According to research, there were an increase in ROI for the second quarter of 2020 by 8.7% for Studio, 7.8% apartments, & 5% villas.

  6. Al Reef: this region is located on the mainland of Abu Dhabi and has two parts: al reef downtown and al reef villa.

– Al reef downtown is the centre of all development around the al reef community and regarded as one of the most affordable areas to invest. It consists of studios, 1 to 4 bedroom apartments. Residents of the region are usually singles and families of working status. ROI has often realized 9.3%, which is an increase compared to previous quarters.

– Al reef villas:

This residential area has become increasingly popular among ex-pats and average income buyers. Recently, most investors have made a massive move in this area for its villas and family-friendly environment. Fully equipped to bring comfort to families living in the community, this area is a good location for investment. Enjoy walks around the neighbourhood at sunset and a cosy rest in the balconies. The highest ROI realized is 7.1%

  1. Masdar City is a community prides itself as one of the most sustainable cities in the world.

Its initiative promotes a low-carbon development, renewable energy and effective water-efficient solution. Affluent investors and renters with lifestyles that support advanced technology and innovation, eco-friendly system make this relatable community home. Off-plan investors have taken to The Gate in this city to secure major projects. Apartments in this neighbourhood consist of studios, 1-2 bedroom apartments and villas. Research shows that ROI received for apartments is on an average of 8.7%

  1. Yas Island is the most sort after location by renters for several reasons- its proximity to

area of attractions, beach view, nearness to other communities, natural mangrove is engulfing the island and facilities within the neighbourhood. Ranked amongst the popular site to invest in villas by this area has seen an increase in sales, primarily due to the fall in price and increase in investment recently. Typically, the West Yas area is the most lucrative marketable area in Yas Island. This area has many upscale 4 and 5 bedroom villas suitable for the affluent and prestigious families or single working professionals who can afford this lifestyle. An interesting fact is the World Travel Award 2020 recently nominated Yas Island for the World’s Leading Tourism Development Project. The light of this, more investors may look towards investing more in various areas on Yas island.

The real estate market in Abu Dhabi has therefore made it convenient for renters and buyers to move into an ideal home with communities boasting of facilities that are of benefits to all its residents, and private residential islands.

With the list of the most popular and promising neighbourhoods above, this article will further guide ex-pats who plan on acquiring a property in Abu Dhabi an insight into the property market- off-plan and secondary market.  

  1. Off-plan Market

Off-plan also is known as the primary market offers investors properties from the developer before the completion stage- as early as the initial stage of the project. The off-plan project usually has investors from within the emirate or a close emirate/country for a personal inspection of the development and progress of the properties. This way, they can be in the building phase and have close monitoring in case there is a disagreement or disapproval at any stage. This investment plan has been popular in Abu Dhabi for several reasons by investors and develops.

– The cost of purchase is less expensive as compared to a complete project.

– It offers investors the opportunity to plan by paying on instalment

– Gives investors direct access in terms of transaction and communication with the developer

– Leads to transparency

– Properties are designed to your specification

According to here are the top five off-plan projects to invest.







Yas Island

Yas Acres


Villas and Townhouses


Al Reem Island


Shams Abu Dhabi




Saadiyat Island

Jawaher Saadiyat


Villas and Townhouses


Al Maryah Island


Al Maryah Vista





The Gate




                                                 (see reference below)


A detailed analysis from the table above offers investors a variety of benefits. For instance,

  1. Yas Acres, located in the most fascinating neighbourhoods, offers buyers impressive townhouses and villas. Benefits of living in this great area are:

– Access to renowned themed park, schools, and beaches

– Astonishing architectural designs

– The view of the waterfront

– Brilliant facilities

– Nearness to the airport

  1. Shams Abu Dhabi, located in Al Reem Island, the most preferred investment location, allows its investors to be owners of an impressive-looking apartment with a view of the lovely neighbourhood. This area which has become a prominent bustling community has several benefits such as:

– Accessibility to main Abu Dhabi island

– Stylish infrastructures

– Facilities such as leisure and recreational areas.

– Suitable for singles and families.

  1. Jawaher Saadiyat is an excellent waterfront region in Saadiyat Island. Here, investors have a choice between villas and townhouses. Benefits for investors include:

– World-class amenities

– Nearness to Saadiyat Cultural District.

– Become members of the Saadiyat beach club.

– Close to the renowned Louvre Abu Dhabi.

  1. Al Maryah. If you are planning to invest in a contemporary apartment in one of the exotic neighbourhoods, you should consider Al Maryah Vista. Benefits of buying an apartment in Al Maryah Island include:

– Fascinating waterfront view

– Top-notch amenities

– Suitable for families

  1. And finally, The Gate in Masdar city features several luxury apartments, the benefits of living in this sustainable neighbourhood include:

– Proximity to the airport

– Environmental Friendly living

– Splendid amenities.

  1. Secondary market

Secondary real estate market gets its definition from the form of transaction and the participation of investors and owners. In this form of market, investors acquire already built estates with the use of an agent in most cases. Research shows a stable real estate investment in the secondary market means a healthy supply and demand balance. This form of investment has seen a higher demand from prospective buyers and investors in Abu Dhabi because

– Of the safety associated with investing in an already built property

– There is an ability to take into account the visibility study of the neighbourhood

So why rent or invest in Abu Dhabi? There are some reasons ex-pats or foreigners Abu Dhabi as their ideal destination. The capital city is known for its family-friendly and luxurious lifestyle. Not only does it feature a vibrant mix of properties, but it also is a hub of cultural activities and leisure destinations. With so much on offer, there are many benefits to investing in Abu Dhabi.

 In summary, the real estate market has stayed resilient despite the fluctuations in the past years and the recent pandemic proving how competitive the market can be when faced with unforeseen circumstances. With the progressive status of the real estate market in Abu Dhabi, there will be trends of more investors buying properties in up-coming luxurious properties. Therefore, expanding economic and tourism status, thinking of getting a property soon? Visit for the most affordable and prestigious home of your choice.


Compare listings