Renting versus Buying : Which is the best option for expatriates in Dubai?

July 21, 2022

Dubai - the hub of business, offers lucrative options in terms of investment. However, despite the choices being available at your fingertip, it can be hard to pick the right one. A property investment is amongst one of those choices and is indeed hard to make.

After all, picking the one that aligns with your long-term goal can seem difficult. Once the zeal wears off, one is often striked with the reality of life and with so many decisions to make, choosing a place to live should be the last of your concerns.

Infact, we believe this is one thing that should come easy to you. Being an expatriate, it is not easy to choose between renting and buying. Especially in a place like UAE, where you can buy a condo in Abu Dhabi, an apartment with beach-view in Dubai or a 3-bedroom villa for sale in Sharjah.

To help make that decision easy for you, we take a closer look at the factors that play a crucial role in your decision. These factors will allow you to have a greater insight into what will suit your needs better. Read on to find out more!

Property Options

The UAE, especially Dubai and Sharjah, offer high-end luxurious options to individuals all around the globe. Whether you plan to buy or rent these, each one has something exclusive to offer. These property options include;

Villas in Compounds

Depending on the area you choose, these are equipped with 24-hour security and host an array of facilities like community centers, shopping areas, and pharmacies. You can quickly get 2,3, and even 4-bedroom villas equipped with a garden.

Standalone villas and townhouses

This property includes five or six bedrooms, extensive gardens, and a private swimming pool. Depending on your contract, maintenance may or may not be a part of the deal.


Starting with studios and going up to lavish penthouses, there exists a gamut of housing options for expatriates in Dubai. Most buildings have a gym, swimming pool, and round-the-clock security as well.

Factors to Consider

Before you dive into the world of real estate, you need to consider some factors. These play a crucial role in determining whether you should rent or buy property in Dubai.

Length of stay

Before you start your search for properties in Dubai, it is essential that you take a look at your future plans. If your plan to stay in Dubai is just for a few years, then renting seems like a good option. Renting provides you with the freedom of flexibility and a wide array of choices when deciding where you want to stay. By the time you choose to move back, all you would need to do is abide by the terms of your rental contract and vacate.

However, suppose you will be in Dubai for a more extended period. In that case, it is possible you should start considering buying a property. There are certain viable options for that. These include Apartment and Villas.

However, keep in mind, purchasing property in Dubai is suitable for you, only if you have at least 25% of desired property value in cash along with 8% additional value for registration charges. Moreover, if your stay is going to be long, you can look into properties elsewhere as well. After all, UAE does offer feasible real estate options. These include a 3-bedroom villa for sale in Sharjah, 2-bedroom apartments in Dubai, and a 3-BHK townhouse villa in Abu Dhabi, to name a few.


The best option for expatriates in Dubai is purchasing a property. Expatriates have to pay a minimum of 20%-30% down payment, while the remaining amount can be paid in installments. They can also avail bank mortgage facilities for purchasing a property.

On the other hand, the majority of real estate experts believe buying a property in Dubai is a better deal since paying rent is sort of dead money. If you avail mortgage facility for long term like 10, 15 years then down the line, you will have an investment in Dubai.

The mortgage value may not be lower than rent, but at least the money is not going in vain. The icing on this cake of investment is that you can rent out this property and enjoy a steady secondary source of income if you move out of the UAE.


Now before you make an investment, you need to remember, the devil is in the details. It is often the intricacies that dictate long term plans. For real estate investment, you must ensure the timing is correct. As compared to other countries, UAE takes the prize for real estate investment because the property is cheaper and better.

The Expo 2021 has created a hype around Dubai, and historically speaking, property pricing often seeks to ride afterward. So, now would be an ideal time for expatriates to buy property in Dubai.

Arranging Your Mortgage

By this time, you must have a rough idea of whether you want to buy or rent a property in Dubai. In case you plan on buying, you will need to set up a mortgage account. Lucky for you, Expat Mortgage options in Dubai are extensive! Making Dubai a luxurious choice for expatriates.

Renting VS Buying - which one should I choose?

Now that you know the available options, you should browse the online listing. While completing your research, you should opt for an agent and developer to help find you a suitable property in Dubai. Just remember, not to settle for the first property you set your eyes on.

To conclude,

Before deciding to buy or rent a property in Dubai, make sure that the one you choose meets all your needs. If you have a family, you would need a lot of space. So, a better option would be a villa instead of an apartment. However, if you live alone; a studio or apartment will be an ideal fit.

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Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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