Residential rents in Abu Dhabi declined in the final quarter of 2009 but at a slower rate than at any point during the previous year, CB Richard Ellis said in a new report.

One-bed apartments showed the strongest performance with just a four percent drop compared to the third quarter with a typical property fetching AED90-130,000 per year.

But many sectors fell as a result of more affordable rental rates in neighbouring Dubai, the report said.

It added that further softening of rents were likely in 2010 as more new units enter the market.