What you Need to Know about Rentals in Dubai: Short-Term Vs. Long-Term

October, 2023


It’s without a question that renting is the perfect option for expats living in Dubai in search of better job opportunities with a better standard of living as a whole. Or perhaps for expats in general because in most cases expats are not yet sure how long they’ll be staying in the country they are moving into. And until they decide on that there’s absolutely no point in making such a huge investment. Renting in UAE is just more practical because there’s always the choice to leave whenever.

When it comes to moving to a new country you need to take your time to get to know its people and its culture. Different options of renting agreements give you the chance to explore different units with different prices, for instance, studios, condos, apartments, or villas. Also, you’ll have the flexibility to move anywhere in the UAE and eventually settle on what suits you the best.

Not to mention that buying a property for the buy-to-let scenario in Dubai has become an investment opportunity for most investors. In other words, they buy the property with the intention of renting it out as a great way to cover their monthly mortgage installments and to create a profit from the investment. As this happens the rental market expands giving more property options for tenants to choose from. However, there are two main types of property rental plans in Dubai: short-term and long-term.

Short-term rental plans are popular with tourists and business travelers as it is typically for less than a year. Short-term rentals can generate higher returns than long-term rentals, but they also require more work from the landlord. This is because the landlord needs to find new tenants on a regular basis and manage the property more closely.

Long-term rental plans are typically for more than a year. This type of rental plan is popular with families and professionals who are living in Dubai for a longer period of time. Long-term rentals generate lower returns than short-term rentals, but they are also less work for the landlord.

Learn more about landlord rights and responsibilities here

Renting in UAE

Learn the difference between short-term and long-term rentals in Dubai:

Short-term rentals:

Pros of short-term rentals in Dubai:

● Flexibility: from tenants perspective short-term rentals offer non-residents the flexibility to leave or move if needed, and to pay on a monthly or weekly basis. This is ideal for those who are unsure of how long they will be staying in Dubai, or for tourists.
● Convenience for tenants: Short-term rentals are typically fully furnished and equipped, including utilities, parking, and cleaning services. This makes them a convenient and hassle-free option for non-residents who do not have the time or resources to set up a long-term rental.
● Affordability: Short-term rentals can be a more affordable option than hotels for non-residents who are on a budget.
● The owner can use the property when needed: if the owner happens to need the property for personal use s/he is not bound to any contract and can easily decide to put renting it out on hold for as long as s/he needs.

Cons of short-term rentals in Dubai:

● Higher maintenance and cleaning costs: Short-term rentals require more frequent maintenance and cleaning than long-term rentals, as tenants come and go more often. This can be costly and time-consuming for owners, especially if they are not managing the property themselves.
● Vacancy risk: Seasonal variations in tourism and other factors can lead to periods of vacancy in short-term rentals. This can affect the rental income for the owner, especially if they have a high mortgage payment or other fixed costs associated with the property.
● Management challenges for owners: Managing short-term rentals can be complex, especially if they are not living in Dubai. This may require them to engage a property management company, which comes with additional costs.

Overall, short-term investment in Dubai can be a bit of a risky proposition for investors in the rental market who should carefully consider all of the potential pros and cons before making their decision on which they’ll be able to manage best.

Long-term rentals:

Long term rentals

Pros of long-term rentals in Dubai:

● Stability: Long-term rentals offer more stability for tenants than short-term rentals, both financially and in terms of your living arrangements.
● Predictable costs for both owner and tenant: Annual rental rates are typically fixed, so either can budget their expenses more accurately.
● Privacy for tenants: Long-term rentals allow tenants to make a space of their own, with their own furnishings and decorations.
● Security: Long-term rentals are subject to UAE laws, which protect tenants from sudden eviction.

Cons of long-term rentals in Dubai:

● Less flexibility for the tenant: Long-term rentals typically have a fixed lease period, which can make it difficult to move if the tenants' circumstances change.
● Higher upfront costs for the tenant: Long-term rentals often require a larger security deposit and/or upfront rent payment than short-term rentals.
● Moving expenses: Long-term rentals are typically unfurnished, so tenants will need to factor in the cost of moving and furnishing their new home.

Rental Market

Overall, long-term rentals can be a good option for expats in the UAE who are looking for stability, predictable costs, and privacy. They are also a convenient option for owners so as not to hassle themselves in frequently managing the property.

Here are some additional aspects for tenants to consider before deciding on which option is best for them:

The best way to decide on your rental agreement in Dubai is to consider your individual needs and preferences. If you are looking for stability, predictable costs, and privacy, then a long-term rental may be a good option for you. If you need more flexibility or are on a tight budget, then a short-term rental may be a better choice.

● How long do you plan to stay in Dubai? If you are only planning to stay in Dubai for a few months, then a short-term rental may be the best option. However, if you are planning to stay for a year or more, then a long-term rental may be more cost-effective.
● What is your budget? Annual vs. monthly rent: Short-term rentals typically have higher monthly rent rates than long-term rentals, but they may also have lower upfront costs like annual rent for long-term rentals. Make sure you can afford the monthly rent and other associated costs, such as utilities and maintenance.
● What is your lifestyle? If you are someone who likes to move frequently, then a long-term rental may not be the best option for you. However, if you are looking for a more permanent place to live, then a long-term rental can be a good value.
● Your needs: Consider what is important to you in a home. Do you need a furnished or unfurnished rental? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? What amenities are important to you?

Once you have considered all of these factors, you can start to narrow down your choices and find the right rental for your needs.

Remember to consult with professionals in the real estate market such as RE/MAX UAE for any specific inquiries or assistance related to the rental market in Dubai. You can contact us by calling +971 4 589 7376 or contact us here.