Why short-term lettings in Dubai are becoming the go-to for new expats

Originally published on Sep 05, 2021 | Arabian Business

Returns on short-term lets tend to be anywhere between 20-40 percent more than the usual long-term rental yields.

Dubai-based real estate brokerage, Allsopp & Allsopp, has revealed a 107 percent rise in enquiries for short-term lets, fuelled by demand from UK expats, according to CEO Lewis Allsopp.

He revealed the spike in interest came in the two weeks after the UAE was removed from the UK’s controversial red list for international travel and downgraded to amber.

Allsopp said: “We are seeing a lot of UK nationals enquiring for a maximum of two-month stays in our short-term lettings units. This is mainly because they are unsure as to which area they would like to be when committing for a long-term basis or while they wait for their visa and Emirates ID to complete the long-term process.

“Short-term lettings are growing ever popular within the expat community, especially with those who are looking into life as an expat in Dubai. The enquiries we are receiving are for trial runs in a ‘home’ environment and people coming over for interviews and looking for jobs.”

Short-term lets have mushroomed in the last 12 months, designed to serve those coming here for work opportunities, to escape the lockdowns in their own countries and, in many cases, simply in the absence of any other viable options.

“The Covid-19 pandemic flipped a lot of people's lives upside down and some residents of the UAE were unfortunately left in wonderment of their future jobs and lives in the city. Short-term letting was a great option for these residents whilst they navigated their way through uncertain times. People were less reluctant to commit to an annual lease during turbulent times and were far more interested in renting on a month-by-month basis whilst they made big decisions,” said Allsopp.

“The pandemic also left tourists less inclined to book into hotels and rather stay in a private apartment or villa with their families for their vacation to keep themselves safe and have more control of their exposure to others. This has seen short-term lettings' popularity snowball and continues to do so,” he added.

Returns on short-term lets tend to be anywhere between 20-40 percent more than the usual long-term rental yields, even accounting for week-on-week inconsistencies and Dubai’s high and low seasons.

Allsopp said: “Our short-term lettings department has seen an increase in landlords signing up by 75 percent from the two weeks before the UAE’s addition to the UK’s amber list when compared to the two weeks after.”