Renting Accommodation in Qatar
A Practical Guide To Finding And Renting Accomodation In Qatar
Also see Qatar Property Horror Stories - and how to avoid them! by Shabina Khatri. If you are looking to buy see our Guide to Buying Property in Qatar.
Types Of Accommodation
Compounds are probably the most popular type of accommodation. These vary from a few houses to village size. Compounds generally have very tight security, and some offer excellent facilities: tennis courts, swimming pools, club houses and so on. Individual villas can be rented too, often with an attached swimming pool.
Serviced and non-serviced apartments are also available, and many of the hotels have apartment blocks, usually with a balcony.
Update: When we first wrote this article in 2007, prices were sky high, and villas in good areas of Doha could reach QR30,000. Rental prices are now falling rapidly, with some reports saying rents came down 30% in 2009 alone. With tonnes of accommodation still being built this trend is predicted to continue.
Check out our blog for regular updates on housing prices and the cost of living.
The most sought out areas are those in Al Dafna, West Bay and Lusail. Al Hilal, nearer the airport, and areas in the centre of town are cheaper (though some of these areas may face demolition in the future.) There are no dangerous areas in Qatar - some places are just not as attractive as others. Poorer people are being edged out of the city along Salwa Road and Al Rayyan.
For more information about the different areas of Doha check out our Guide to Where to Live in Doha, and navigate to the areas you are interested using either links or our interactive map.
It is generally advised to use a letting agent rather than to negotiate a deal with an individual owner. Getting repairs done can be a hassle, communication can be difficult if your landlord has limited English and you do not speak Arabic, and disputes are common. Check out our list of letting agencies to get you started.
Some workers share villas to cut down costs. If you are considering this option, bear in mind that there may be problems if the sharing consists of unmarried people of the opposite sex.
Finding A Place
Accommodation is also advertised in the local papers, on supermarket walls and occasionally on Qatar Living.
At the time of writing there is a rent cap in force. In an effort to control inflation the Emir has ordered a 10% cap on rents. However, this only applies to unfurnished apartment. On occassion, a landlord may provide cheap or used furniture in order to be able to increase rents above the 10% limit.
Utilities are not normally included in the bills, and you will have to set up an account with Kahramaa, Qatar's utility company. See our section on utilities for further information.
If the contract is in Arabic, and you cannot read Arabic, it is advisable to have the contract independently translated before signing it. You will need to provide a copy of your ID and your sponsor's ID to be attached with the contract.
Planning on using the local papers to find accommodation? Make sure you understand the following abbreviations:
D/S Double Storey
Homes to rent
Telephone: +974 44 134 839, 44 134 837, 44 134 817
Century 21 Qatar
Telephone: +974 44 372 121/44 371 212
Mirage property consultantsTel: +974 44 444 431
Fax : +974 44 310 408
Location: Salwa Road (Jarir Book Complex)
Address: Mirage International Property Consultants
P.O. Box 22621
Fax: +974 44 969 112
Post: PO Box 23488, Doha, Qatar
Location: Al Dafna
Tel: +974 44 355 677
Four Seasons Hotels Serviced ApartmentsTel: (974) 44 948 888
Fax: (974) 44 948 282
Post: P.O. Box 24665
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