Most recently, however, some villa landlords are becoming quite firm at the negotiating table. ValuStrat has analysed more than 5,400 unique rental listings for last year and found that as of December 2018, leasing rates registered a slight decline.

“On a quarterly basis, [rents] were stable in the second quarter and third quarter and saw a minor increase of 1.5 per cent in the fourth quarter,” Haider Tuaima, head of real estate research at ValuStrat, told Gulf News.

“This shows that most villa landlords during that period were no longer willing to list at lower asking prices, particularly in most sought-after locations, such as Khalifa City, Al Reef and Raha Gardens, as this comes at a time when only 927 villas were supplied during that year. It remains to be seen whether this trend will continue in 2019.”