As housing cost in Qatar continues to rise due to rapid expansion and growth in population, seeking suitable accommodations for you and your family can seem difficult.
Understanding how and where to search can be the difference between ending up in comfortable living spaces and not-so attractive accommodations.
At Commercial Bank of Qatar, we understand the challenges faced by expats looking to make a smooth transition to life in Qatar so we reached out to experienced expats to get their best advice on renting.
Here’s what experienced expats have to say about renting in Doha:
“Work through a housing agency if you can. If you have kids, bring your own furniture to create the type of home atmosphere you want for your family. If you don’t have kids then rent a fully furnished apartment.”
– Cyril, Indian expat in Qatar 18 Months
"Choosing housing really depends on whether you have a family. If you have a family, rent within easy reach of schools. If you don’t have kids, rent based on personal preference. Think about what’s important to you, outdoor life or apartment living."
– John, British expat in Qatar 3 years
"Consider newly built apartments. Look for rental agreements that are inclusive of maintenance cost. You can end up paying a lot for repairs if your flat gets damaged."
– Daphne, American expat in Qatar 1 year
"Seek housing based on proximity to schools and/or office. Consider journey time because traffic in Doha can be bad."
– Stephanie, British expat in Qatar 8 years
"Depending on the economic segment you fall into, one should look for a place outside of Doha. Consider Wakra or Abu Hamour. A lot of availability in these areas and apartments are reasonably priced."
– Sammie, Egyptian expat in Qatar 4 years
"Better to go for a fully furnished accommodation. Accommodations outside of Doha are usually fully furnished. Do not spend a lot of money on new furniture because it is hard to resell and you will not get the same amount that you originally paid. One shouldn’t spend more than 25% of their salary on rent."
– Kishore, Indian expat in Qatar 4 months
"If your schedule doesn’t allow you to search for an apartment yourself, connect with a housing agency and have them do the work for you. You tell them your preference and they will get back to you with options that match what you’re looking for. I preferred to search online using various classified websites, which allowed me to compare apartments right away."
– Kathryn, Filipino expat in Qatar 7 years
"Most people will advise against spending way too much for housing, but I don’t mind spending a little more to get the comfort that I want. After a long day of work I like to feel relaxed. I preferred a semi-furnished apartment because it allowed me to decorate to my liking and I paid less over time for it. Some fully furnished apartments can have unsanitary furniture so make sure that the furniture is new."
– Simon, Lebanese expat in Qatar 2 years
This article was cross-posted on Qatarliving.com. Tips for renting houses, villas & apartments in Doha