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Co-living - the latest trend in Dubai residential market

12 July 2019

The latest residential trend that has been in vogue in Dubai for some time now, is the concept of 'co-living', particularly, among professionals and entrepreneurs who work from home, suggests a new study.

What is Co-living?

The concept of co-living is rather new to Dubai. It is not to be confused with sharing rooms or accommodation. If actually refers to a small section of private apartments, sharing common spaces, such as an office or business centre, or other facilities. They are spaces that are generally targeted towards younger people who have jobs that permit them to work remotely, and hence, the space they live-in is also one where they can work from, socialize, and meet ‘like-minded’ individuals.

Co-living is a blessing in disguise for small business owners, and for people who work-from-home, as they get to access work spaces from close to their homes, rather than spending a fortune on renting an office or making the time and effort to commute to a job.

co-living in dubai

Co-living, the growing trend

As the Director of Research and Data at Property Finder, Lynette Abad,  mentions, the trend has just begun, and is likely to grow in Dubai, because, apart from being affordable, it is also popular with millennials, as they wish to be part of a community, but, also have their own personal space.

Noticing this new trend, several developers in Dubai have even launched co-living projects to cater to young professionals and millennials, says Property Finder, and noted that Dubai has witnessed 902 registered transactions for co-living spaces till date.

“We have also noticed some creative schemes with Emaar and DMCC offering a trade licence and residency with a unit within a co-living project. This is a great incentive for small, home-based businesses or freelancers,” Lynnette said.

Popular locations

Projects like Collective and Socio at Dubai Hills Estate in Mohammed bin Rashid City account for majority of the sales in the co-living segment.

Another such co-living project is the UNA developed by Nshama at Town Square, which features 192 studios and 764 single bedroom apartments. The KOA’s Canvas project, located off Mohammad bin Zayed Road is also a project that targets millennials.

A Senior Research Analyst at Property Finder, Carla M. Issa said that co-living spaces are not a new concept globally, but, are relatively new to Dubai. Spaces have cropped up in this sector in Dubai, mostly in Dubai Hills Estate, where units are a bit smaller in size than a typical single bedroom, but they include convertible spaces such as sliding glass door, that shuts off the bedroom from the living space.

How affordable are co-living options?

In terms of sales price, Nshama's UNA is priced at the most competitive rate with a studio costing around Dh.450,000 for purchase. This is in comparison to a studio at the Collective costing Dh.680,000. A single bedroom apartment at the UNA costs Dh.558,000 followed by Socio at Dh.673,000 and Collective costing Dh.700,000.

A single bedroom in KOA's Canvas is more expensive at Dh.982,000. The double bedrooms in all the above-said co-living projects are priced around Dh.1million, with Canvas being the costliest at Dh.2.75 million.

As for rental rates in these spaces, these co-living projects in Dubai are now under construction. When ready, their rental rates would surely be cheaper than a regular apartment. This is the trend in bigger cities, where co-living spaces offer a ‘major discount’ in comparison to regular apartments.

The Collective at Dubai Hills Estate is likely to be ready by June 2021, while NShama’s UNA will be ready by December 2020, Socio by March 2021 and Collective 2.0 by 2021.

Registered Transactions

As for registered transactions, Collective has recorded 372 deals since its launch, Socio is at 200, Collective 2.0 is at 135, KOA's Canvas is at 7, and Nshama’s UNA is at 183.

As all the co-living projects are under construction at present, the focus is on off-plan sales. Since the beginning of this year, Collective 2.0 has recorded 123 off-plan transactions, Emaar has sold 221 off-plan homes in Collective, 193 homes in Socio and Nshama has sold 9 such homes in UNA this year.

Both Collective and Socio top the first quarter off-plan sales in 2019, reports Property Finder, a leading digital real estate platform in the MENA region.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries

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