Where to stay in Dubai

Looking for student accommodation? Here's a brief guide to Dubai's affordable places.

Real estate brokers are everywhere in Dubai but your first stop for apartment hunting advice should be your university admissions department. Online property portals such as bayut.com, propertyfinder.com and dubai.dubizzle.com are helpful resources with up-to-date listings and area guides.

Whether you're planning to study at a top tier university or college out at Dubai International Academic City or headed to a similar campus located within Dubai Knowledge Park, monthly studio rental for students on a shoestring budget starts from US$450 in purpose-built shared accommodation, with other affordable options found in strategic locations near popular educational hubs.

Where: Dubailand
Why: Just 15 minutes from Dubai International Academic City, Dubailand is home to a smattering of high-rise apartment blocks that come in at affordable rents. Skycourts Towers' six buildings is a popular option with all mod cons onsite and annual rents in the area starting from US$8,170 (studio) and US$10,900 (one-bed). Great for Dubai International Academic City.

Where: Dubai Silicon Oasis
Why: An affordable residential community just a few minutes' drive from Dubai International Academic City where Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road meets the Dubai-Al Ain Road. Apartment style living with excellent facilities and local amenities, and student budget-friendly rents starting from studios at US$725 with a one-bed unit averaging US$1,300 per month.

Where: International City
Why: Another self-contained low-rise residential community that's student friendly on all counts, modestly-priced apartments include studio and one-bedroom options priced at US$6,800 and US$8,170, respectively. Sharing with friends? Two- and three-bed apartments are also freely available. It's also a stone's throw from the Dragon Mart retail complex. Best for Dubai International Academic City access.

Where: Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT)
Why: Tall towers dominate the skyline of this humongous Sheikh Zayed Road development and there's an infinite number of apartments on offer, many with fantastic views. Two metro stations, a pedestrian bridge connecting you to Dubai Marina Mall, supermarkets, pharmacies and endless restaurants add to the appeal as does its relative affordability with a studio yours for US$16,400 annually. Best for Dubai Knowledge Park access.

Where: Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC)
Why: A 15-minute drive from Dubai Knowledge Park, this is a wallet-friendly option in a landscaped community offering apartment and townhouse living. Go solo in a studio from US$800 per month or a decent one-bed from US$1,200 per month. Shopping and dining at Dubai Marina is a short ride away and there's also a direct bus route to Mall of the Emirates.

Where: Uninest Student Residences
Why: On the doorstep of Dubai International Academic City this is purpose-built student accommodation with a raft of amenities including large gym, WiFi, laundry facilities, shuttle bus services and utilities included. The perfect starter home for first-timers to Dubai, a twin en suite room in a seven-bed apartment costs around US$450 on a sharing basis.

Where: Business Bay
Why: Fantastic views with a reasonable price tag, Business Bay offers easy access to Downtown Dubai, and all its marvellous offerings, including The Dubai Mall, Dubai Opera, Dubai Canal, and plenty of trendy restaurants and entertainment hotspots. Studio apartments from as little as US$13,000 annually.

Where: Dubai International Academic City
Why: KSK Homes provides vibrant student residential communities located directly at the heart of Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), with a range of amenities including gym, pool, gaming area, amphitheatre, WiFi, shuttle bus services and utilities. It takes few minutes to get to the university at DIAC, starting from $ 598 per month on sharing basis.