Renting vs buying property in Dubai

Renting vs buying property in Dubai

You made the decision to uproot, swapping the small, suburban country life for the bright, bustling metropolis that is Dubai. Next, you part ways with that small, yet oh-so-reliable rental car and join the commanding army of 4×4 owners that patrol the city’s highways.

Dubai is becoming more like ‘home’ as the time all-too-quickly passes by.

And now you’re here, where many have stood before, at the next crossroads in an expat’s life, looking at the numerous billboards advertising property for sale in Dubai and wondering: To buy or not to buy your very own home-away-from-home?

Just like you, the majority of expats arrive to start a new life in Dubai with renting accommodation the preferred – if not only – option on the table. “What happens if we don’t like the community that we have chosen?” “What happens if I change jobs and my new office is the other side of the city?” “What if my favourite shawarma take-out relocates and no longer delivers to my apartment block?” “Yikes, what if I don’t even like Dubai?”

But as is the case for many, the trepidation and uncertainty soon give way to calm and familiar thoughts of “Why did I not make this move earlier?”

You start seeing a real future here in Dubai.


There is a plethora of rental properties available in Dubai; from high-rise, modern-day apartment blocks to villa-style garden communities, there really is something to suit all tastes. Rentals are also short-term – even though you sign a one-year tenancy agreement – therefore much easier to manage and get out of than a purchase contract.

And with Dubai being the ever-changing city that it is, with new residential projects, quite literally, popping up over night, renting allows you to reside in the latest must-live areas in the city, year after year.

But with rental figures high – Dubai is the world’s 10th most expensive city for high-end rentals, according to data analysis company ECA International ­– it could be time to consider having a look at property for sale in Dubai. If you have lived in Dubai for a few years or more, it is worth calculating the amount you have spent on rent; it really does add up – and fast.


Similar to Dubai’s rental market, properties in Dubai are diverse and appealing in equal measure, meaning there is something to suit all tastes and budgets. And with so many new communities being built, there is no better time than now to jump onto the property ladder. And with numerous ‘affordable housing’ plans being unveiled, you could get a good deal, to boot.

Investing in a property assures you financial gain, whether you’re planning to live in it, rent it out or sell it. One of the many joys of owning your own home in Dubai is being able to choose its desired location and decorating it exactly how you want, while for those that buy-to-rent, the extra income often affords them to live off revenue generated by leasing.

However, being a homeowner here in Dubai does have some extra costs. These mainly comprise mortgage fees, maintenance fees and insurance fees, along with mortgage payments, and that’s not including initial costs of buying the property, such as agent fees and DLD charges. It’s essential to have all of the costings done before any deal is struck; a mortgage broker can help calculate these with you.

And, of course, a fluctuating rental/sales market will effect rental yields and profit margin when it comes to selling.

There are many pros and cons when it comes to renting or buying. So take a look at the property for sale in Dubai and do your research: that’s the key.

And whatever the decision you make, becoming a homeowner or new tenant in Dubai, the next big decision is just around the corner: do you rent/buy somewhere with an extra room so the in-laws can visit?

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