Singapore vs. Dubai: Which is the best to invest in?

Both of these new cities have equal appeal. But who wins out more?

12 Aug 2018, words by Aneesha Rai in The Guides

Singapore vs Dubai

With Crazy Rich Asians releasing this week, we've decided to measure up the Lion City against Dubai in terms of real estate in order to see who wins out. When you compare Singapore vs. Dubai, there's actually not much different. They're both extremely successful ports, with a lot of nationalities calling it home. For those who are looking to permanently settle, Singapore does give a lot more leeway due to its citizenship program. Even though Singapore has one of the lowest income taxes in the world at 28%, the UAE still doesn't charge taxes on personal income. When you look at the standard of living, both Singapore and Dubai are quite parallel. Alcohol is notoriously expensive, but both cities attract a lot of families and his home to a great dining scene. Both countries are also viewed as safe, with minimal crime rates. In terms of real estate however, it looks like Dubai shows more opportunity. Infrastructure -wise, Singapore is an older city and so is excellently connected by ways of public transportation. You still need a car if you live in Dubai, despite having a metro.

1. It's easier to own a property in Dubai

Singapore

While Singapore has some of the most exotic properties, not all of its housing can be bought as they are government housing. Dubai on the other hand has leasehold and freehold property, but a lot of traditionally leasehold areas such as Za'abeel have new developments that have now turned into freehold.

2. Dubai property is cheaper for prime areas

Dubai

Singapore is currently experiencing a spike in prime residential housing according to Singapore Property Guide, whereas Dubai's prime residential market is flattening. While it may be difficult to buy new property in Singapore, there are still a lot of brand new and off-plan options for investors & buyers in Dubai, from Downtown Dubai to Dubai Marina. A report by the Financial Times claims Singapore's prime property runs at about  US$1,763 per square foot, whereas Dubai's prime property pricing rests at US$ 243 per square foot. A starkling difference. 

US$1 million can buy you up to 138 square metres of prime property in Dubai. In contrast, it can only buy you 39 square metres of prime property in Singapore, according to Knight Frank's latest study.