Short-term Rentals Vs. Long-term Rentals in Dubai: Which is Right for You?

May 28, 2024

Dubai's rental market is one of the most dynamic and diverse in the world. You can find everything from a high-rise apartment to serene villas. As a global hub for business, tourism, and expatriate living, the city offers many rental options, making it crucial to understand the distinctions between short-term and long-term rentals.

This guide aims to help you make an informed decision by exploring the key aspects of short-term rentals vs. long-term rentals in Dubai. Whether you're new to the city, a frequent traveler, or considering a long-term move, this guide will provide the insights needed to choose the best rental property in Dubai.

Understanding Short-term Rentals

Short-term rentals in Dubai refer to residential properties leased for a short period, typically ranging from a few days to several months. Holiday homes in Dubai are fully furnished residential properties rented out for short periods. These homes cater to tourists, business travelers, and temporary residents seeking comfortable and flexible accommodation options in the city.

Professionals visiting for conferences, meetings, or short-term projects often prefer holiday homes for their convenience and home-like environment, offering more space and amenities than typical hotel rooms. Additionally, individuals or families relocating to Dubai, undergoing home renovations, or needing interim housing find holiday homes a practical solution. Several properties are available as holiday homes, including apartments, villas, and serviced apartments.

Understanding Long-term Rentals

Long-term rentals in Dubai refer to residential properties leased for a long period, from one year to more. These rentals are designed to offer stability and a more permanent living arrangement. Individuals and families moving to Dubai for permanent residence often opt for long-term rentals. Professionals on extended business assignments find these rentals ideal for creating a consistent living space throughout their stay. Various property types are available for long-term rentals, including apartments, villas, and townhouses.

Pros and Cons of Short-term Rentals


  • Flexibility in Lease Terms: Suitable for short stays with no long-term commitment.
  • Convenience: Fully furnished and equipped, with utilities and amenities included.
  • Cost-effective for Short Stays: Often more economical than hotels for short durations. 


  • Higher Monthly Cost: More expensive on a per-month basis compared to long-term rentals.
  • Limited Availability: High demand during peak seasons can make finding a rental difficult.
  • Less Stability: Frequent moves and temporary nature can disrupt routines.
Short-term Rentals Vs. Long-term Rentals

Pros and Cons of Long-term Rentals


  • Lower Monthly Cost: Long-term rentals generally offer a lower cost per month compared to short-term rentals. This affordability makes them an economical choice for individuals and families planning to stay in Dubai for an extended period.
  • Personalization: Tenants in long-term rentals often have the freedom to personalize their living space. They can decorate, furnish, and modify the unit to suit their tastes and preferences, creating a more comfortable and personalized home.
  • A Sense of Community: Living in the same place for an extended period allows tenants to build relationships with neighbors and become part of the local community. This sense of belonging can enhance the overall living experience and provide a support network.


  • Long-term Commitment: Long-term rentals require a significant commitment, usually involving leases of one year or more. This long-term obligation can be challenging for individuals who prefer flexibility or anticipate potential relocations.
  • Utility and Maintenance Responsibilities: Tenants are typically responsible for paying utilities such as electricity, water, and internet, as well as handling routine maintenance. This responsibility can add to the overall cost and effort of managing the rental.
  • Less Flexibility: Long-term leases provide less flexibility for moving compared to short-term rentals. Breaking a lease early can result in penalties and financial implications, making it difficult for tenants to relocate on short notice. 

Cost Comparison: Long-Term Vs Short-term Rentals

Short-term rentals depends on the property type, location, and season. Utilities such as electricity, water, and internet are usually included in the rental price, eliminating the need for separate payments. Short-term rentals often include amenities like housekeeping, concierge services, and access to gyms and swimming pools, which are factored into the overall rental cost.

Long-term rentals generally have lower monthly rents than short-term options, and the cost depends on the property type and location. Tenants are responsible for paying utilities and maintenance costs. Here are a few case studies to illustrate the cost difference between long-term rentals vs short-term rentals in Dubai.

Example 1: 1-bedroom Apartment in Downtown Dubai

Short-term Rental:

  • Rent: Starting from AED 12,000 per month
  • Utilities: Included
  • Amenities: Included
  • Total Monthly Cost: AED 12,000

Long-term Rental:

  • Rent: Starting from AED 8000 per month
  • Utilities: Around AED 800 per month
  • Maintenance: About AED 300 per month
  • Total Monthly Cost: AED 9,100

Example 2: 3-bedroom Villa in Jumeirah

Short-term Rental:

  • Rent: AED 20,000 per month
  • Utilities: Included
  • Amenities: Included
  • Total Monthly Cost: AED 20,000

Long-term Rental:

  • Rent: AED 15,000 per month
  • Utilities: AED 1,200 per month
  • Maintenance: AED 400 per month
  • Total Monthly Cost: AED 16,600

By evaluating the pros and cons of short-term rentals vs. long-term rentals, it’s been understood that the choice depends on various factors, including budget, duration of stay, and lifestyle preferences. Short-term rentals, such as holiday homes, offer flexibility, convenience, and immediate comfort but come with a higher monthly cost and less stability. In contrast, long-term rentals provide greater affordability, stability, and the opportunity to personalize the space, though they require a significant commitment and added responsibilities.

When choosing the right option, consider your budget and how it aligns with the cost of rent, utilities, and amenities. Evaluate your lifestyle preferences, considering flexibility versus stability, furnished versus unfurnished options, and required amenities. Research property types, including apartments, villas, townhouses, and serviced apartments. All in all, finding the right rental property in Dubai involves thorough research and planning. Utilize online resources, visit properties, and compare options. Consult with local real estate experts for insights and personalized advice tailored to your needs

FAQs About Short-Term Vs Long-Term Rentals in Dubai

In Dubai, short-term rentals are better if you want more flexibility in terms of rental agreement and are planning to stay for a short period.

Unlike their long-term rental contracts, short-term rental agreements in Dubai do not need to be registered in the Ejari system. Properties intended for short-term rentals in Dubai must obtain a permit and approval from the DET before being leased to tenants. Homeowners seeking a permit for short-term rentals can either register themselves as individual operators on the DET website or hire licensed operators to handle the process on their behalf.

Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), and Business Bay are prime locations for short-term rentals. This area offers residents proximity to the city's landmarks, leisure destinations, and commercial centers.

For more information, get in touch with us at Provident