Townhouses vs. Villas: What’s the difference?

renting a property in Dubai

In a market where housing choices are vast and endless, there is no one-size-fits-all. The popular choice of dwelling in Dubai usually ranges from apartments, townhouses, to villas. But more predominantly U.A.E nationals or ex-pats with larger families and long-term goals opt for standalone units.

The main difference between a villa and a townhouse is mainly their appearance. Townhouses are residential buildings of 2 or more floorings, located side by side in rows; they are ideally not more than 3 bedrooms, although 4-bedroom townhouses do exist in the minority. Villas on the other hand are equipped with their own set of amenities to work as a standalone unit. In the case of villas, their surroundings are emphasized, including the backyard, landscapes, and gardens. They are also found in suburban settings with a lot more privacy when compared to their counterparts.

Now that we’ve covered the elements that set these two apart, it’s time to pick a side. While navigating through the abundant options, one must essentially consider the involved responsibilities, long-term expectations, chosen locale, and key differences.

Finding you the right fit

Things to consider before you rent:

Lease Price

Townhouses are a preferred choice, mainly because of their communal features, the presence of a welcoming community, and the reiterated interactive features. Moreover, a townhouse is in a lower rental bracket compared to villas. For instance, the average lease price for a townhouse ranges from AED 49K- AED 75K. Whereas, the average lease price for a villa is AED 100K, depending on the no. of bedrooms, location, and available amenities.


Several townhouse communities featuring both low-end and high-end properties in Dubai now accommodate growing communities. Communities such as DAMAC Hills 2 (known as AKOYA), JVC, Dubai Hills, JVT, and Jumeirah Golf Estate have numerous townhouses. However, several communities in the city now offer established mixed communities containing both villas and townhouses.

If you are new to Dubai, an ex-pat, or someone who could generally use some guidance in terms of location selection, feel free to check out our area guides.


As a tenant, if you are more focused on privacy, consider villas that are standalone units or detached homes. Many developers such as Emaar and DAMAC have introduced newer additions by introducing private villa properties. Arabian Ranches and Palm Jumeirah offer detached homes with much more privacy than before.

On the other hand, if you believe that being part of a community is more beneficial to you, and you require a comparatively smaller space – then townhouses in areas such as Townsquare, AKOYA by DAMAC, Emaar South, and the springs, may be the way to go.


Renting a villa or townhouse comes with its own set of responsibilities. Often, maintenance and upkeep are added on costs that would essentially cause a spike in your overall annual costs. The most important factor to consider is the size of the unit. Larger units inevitably lead to larger living costs.

Considering that townhouses are often small and are situated as part of a community, rather than a detached unit. Maintenance and upkeep of smaller units are, therefore, far more affordable.


One of the perks of townhouses and villas is the convenience of parking. However, Townhouses are perfect if you require fewer parking slots. There are few townhouses that offer indoor parking.

However, villas come with a facilitated garage and extra storage capacity, as well as additional on-street parking depending on your requirements. This is also great for large families, and those that like to indulge in gatherings and entertain regular guests.


Growing families with children, often prefer to go for a property that brimming with top-notch amenities. Townhouse communities such as AKOYA by DAMAC now provide fully-furnished units adjacent to several communal entertainment and leisure centers, a well-equipped community center as well as many F&B outlets.

Detached homes, or standalone units, especially villas in Palm Jumeirah, are also given more private access to amenities such as beach access and a private pool.

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