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Prices in Abu Dhabi used to be much higher than Dubai, so people would often live in Dubai and commute to Abu Dhabi. But post recession, the scenario has flipped. “In addition, the government put in place a rule that if you work for a government agency or ministry, you have to live in Abu Dhabi and that helped feed demand,” Neill said. Now prices in the older buildings on Abu Dhabi Island are falling as people leave for newer communities. In modern developments and luxury buildings, there is a high demand in both rentals and sales. “Sale value tends to be going up because there is a low supply on the market,” Neill explained.

Most expats rent while living in Abu Dhabi. A two-bedroom flat in a high end building on the Corniche, Saadiyat Island or in Al Raha Beach rents for between 140,000 to 200,000 dirhams a year (it is typical for rents to be paid yearly in Abu Dhabi). On Al Reem, a similar property rents for 110,000 to 130,000 dirhams a year. In these prime areas, apartments currently cost 14,200 dirhams per square metre.

Further information
The Fashion Hub: street style and high fashion in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

7 Days Abu Dhabi: local English-language news, sport and events around town

A Canadian in Abu Dhabi: expat blog about life in the emirate

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