As rental levels increase and mortgage rates remain low, the value of annual rents and mortgage repayments has become comparable and, in most cases, it is now cheaper to buy.
Taking into account a 20 percent deposit, which is the level most UAE banks expect, the average mortgage rate of 3.99 percent plus fees and a 25-year loan, annual mortgage repayments for an average one-bed apartment in Dubai Marina equal AED70,941, according to the HSBC online mortgage calculator.
That is a saving of more than AED14,000 compared to the average annual rent of AED85,000.
The savings are similar in Downtown Dubai, where a one-bedroom apartment costs an average AED1.7m and annual mortgage repayments using the same calculations equal AED86,143.
With the average annual rent at AED100,000, paying off a home loan could save AED13,857.
Buying a two-bedroom apartment on the Palm Jumeriah, worth an average AED3.2m, could save nearly AED13,000 compared to paying the average AED175,000 rent each year.
Families looking for a three-bedroom villa also can save by buying.
A villa in Arabian Ranches is worth an average AED3.65m, with annual mortgage repayments totalling about AED185,000, the same as the average annual rent.
Starting smaller, with a studio, also produces large savings of more than AED13,000 in an area such as Jumeirah Lakes Towers.
Similar savings can be made across the emirate.
However, the largest properties in Dubai, such as a four-bedroom villa in Jumeirah Park still cost more to buy than rent.