Buying vs Renting – this debate goes a long way. You will find most people preferring buying a property over renting because you get the ownership. And there’s no hassle of sorting through a huge number of rental properties to find another one after the tenancy contract is over and the landlord doesn’t want to renew it.

In a city like Dubai where you can practically find any kind of residential property, buying is often cited as the best option in comparison to renting. However, when it comes to ex-pats, the scenario changes significantly. A lot more comes into play other than merely owning a property. Resultantly, renting a residential property is often termed as a better choice for them.

These are some of the factors that make renting more beneficial for ex-pats in Dubai:

Suitable for Short-Term Stays

Most foreigners, particularly jobholders, stay in Dubai for a limited period of time. Furthermore, they live alone i.e. without their families. Thus, buying a home may not prove to be a sound idea for them. They mostly opt for shared apartments for rent in Dubai that prove to be a rather inexpensive option.

Buying a home for your short-term stay in Dubai will bring along numerous hassles. Before you leave the emirate, you would want your property to be sold at profitable rates. And this is where the situation can become problematic for you. It can be hard to sell a property at good rates in quick time when the market is flooded with residential properties laced with modern amenities.


Expats can only buy properties in selected neighborhoods in Dubai. These localities are termed as “freehold areas”. This is a major limitation that hinders their ability to buy residential properties in this emirate. However, with renting, there’s no such limitation. As an ex-pat, you can rent properties anywhere in the emirate. It is one of the main factors that go in the favour of renting as compared to buying. 

No Hassle for Maintenance

Some people believe that even if you have to go back to your native country, there’s no need to sell your property. It can prove to be a passive source of income for you. However, it’s easier said than done. A property, whether it’s residential or commercial, requires regular maintenance. Furthermore, if you put it up for rent, you would have to deal with tenancy-related issues as well. This can prove to be a rather daunting task to manage remotely. So, the ultimate resort could be to hire a property management company, which can be an additional burden on your pocket.

More Flexible

Renting an apartment, villa, townhouse or hotel apartment in Dubai comes with more flexibility. Being an ex-pat, you won’t have many ideas about different neighbourhoods in the emirate. Of course, all the information is available on the internet but you can’t be sure about how an area treats you until you have lived there.

This is where the option of renting a living space becomes more suitable for ex-pats. When you have purchased an apartment or villa in a particular neighbourhood, it will be tough for you to switch between communities to find the one that suits you the most. However, with rental places, the element of flexibility allows the tenant to experiment a little.

Less Upfront Cost

Excluding the cost of the residential unit, the property buyer has to bear a lot of other expenses, including DLD fees for property transfer, registration fees, mortgage, DLD mortgage registration fees, maintenance etc. Some of them are to be borne one time only but they can burn a hole in your pockets.

With renting, you won’t have to bear these expenses. There’s annual Ejari fees and broker fees, along with the monthly/annual rent but that can be managed effectively depending on how you earn every month.

Suitable for Frequent Travellers

If you are a frequent traveller, buying a home may not prove to be a suitable option for you. Since you will be changing base every now and then, completing the formalities and procedures for buying and subsequent selling of properties can prove to be an additional hassle for you. Thus, renting makes for a better option. And Dubai has got abundant options for those looking to rent a property. Whether you are looking for apartments, penthouses or villas for rent in Dubai, you can find them easily in your budget-bracket.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, based on the factors discussed above, it is safe to conclude that renting a living space can prove to be a more practical and feasible option for ex-pats. If you are also looking for rental properties in this emirate, check out the extensive listings for apartments, townhouses, villas, penthouses and full floors for rent in Dubai.

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