With its high-income economy, abundant gas and petroleum reserves, and expat-friendly policies, Qatar has established itself as one of the best countries for foreign professionals to work and reside in. Doha, Qatar’s capital city, serves as the nation’s link to the world economy and is home to almost 3 million people, 88% of which are foreign nationals.
Located along the coast of the Persian Gulf in the eastern part of the country, Doha is considered as a beta-level global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Not only is it the commercial and cultural center of Qatar, but it also houses the state’s Education City, Hamad Medical City, and Aspire Zone (Doha Sports City).
Since Qatar’s best resources and amenities are in Doha, it’s not surprising that almost 90% of the nation’s population – the vast majority of which are expats – choose to live in the capital city and its surrounding suburban communities. In response, Qatar established new rules that allow non-Qataris to own and invest in even more freehold and leasehold properties in the city.
For expats, purchasing a property in Doha can come with many benefits, such as permanent residency and government-subsidized education and healthcare. However, if your lifestyle and profession require frequent travelling and the need for flexibility, renting might be a better option. It is also the wiser choice if you are still acclimating to life and culture in the Middle East.
But finding the right apartments for rent in Doha can be challenging. As an expat, you can run into various kinds of problems, ranging from language barriers to tedious paperwork and legal documents. Working with an established real estate company can help you resolve these issues smoothly and navigate other complex processes involved in renting apartments in The Pearl-Qatar and other Doha residential communities.
One of the first steps to finding the perfect apartment is knowing which neighborhood fits your housing needs and lifestyle. To help you get started, here’s our list of the best places to rent an apartment in Doha, Qatar:
In this article:
West Bay and West Bay Lagoon
What you need to know about renting an apartment in Doha, Qatar
Find the best apartments for rent in Doha today
The Pearl-Qatar is an award-winning urban development project that spans 4 million square meters of reclaimed land offshore Doha’s famous West Bay District. This architectural marvel is the pinnacle of Qatari living, with its intricately designed residential communities and world-class commercial and recreational districts.
Like its name, “The Pearl” is a luxurious and prestigious residential and business area. Residents enjoy a high quality of life, with its public plazas and parks, sophisticated cafés and restaurants, and eclectic shops and boutiques. It is also a community that embraces environmental sustainability, and have received global recognition for its smart and energy-efficient engineering.
What to expect from apartments in The Pearl-Qatar
There are three types of apartments in The Pearl-Qatar, which vary mostly in terms of size, number of rooms, and access to services and amenities:
Serviced apartments. This apartment type provides luxurious comforts and concierge-level service, such as buffet breakfast options, room service, valet parking, and laundry and cleaning services.
Multi-bedroom apartments. As the name indicates, these apartments have more than two bedrooms, and often cater to families. These rental properties typically offer large living spaces, with some penthouse units sized at around 940 square meters and up. Tenants get access to the building amenities that often include a private gym, spa, swimming pool, parking, and others.
Studio and one-bedroom apartments. These units are perfect for single residents, and typically include sufficient space for a living, dining, and sleeping area. Their sizes range from around 42 square meters to 90 square meters or more, and many come with a balcony for extended living space. While these apartments are smaller, tenants usually have access to the same amenities as those residing in multi-bedroom units.
Most apartments in The Pearl-Qatar are fully or partly furnished, making it easier for tenants to quickly move in. However, if you’re keen on decorating and furnishing your apartment to your own taste, there are also several unfurnished apartments to choose from. Rent per month (as of October, 2021) can be anywhere from 5,067 QAR (1,392 USD) to around 84,000 QAR (23,352 USD) depending on the size, number of bedrooms, and available services and amenities.
With over 25,000 residential units across 10 distinct precincts, there is a wide range of apartments in The Pearl-Qatar to choose from. The top choices include:
The Abraj Quartier, also known as the Avenue of Towers, serves as the grand gateway to The Pearl-Qatar. It is home to two of the highest towers on the island, which straddle the access road to Doha’s mainland. Although this area is primarily designed for commercial use, you can find several residential properties for rent in Abraj Bay, Hilton Doha The Pearl Residences, and some of the main towers.
The highlight of living in the Abraj Quartier precinct is having access to the most breathtaking views in Doha. The towers provide a gorgeous panorama of Doha’s mainland as well as the Arabian Gulf. Moreover, as a predominantly commercial area, you can find Qatar’s most popular restaurants and cafés on the ground floor of the towers.
Located at the heart of the Pearl-Qatar, Porto Arabia is the primary harbor of the island as well as its cosmopolitan and recreational hub. Its romantic Mediterranean architecture adds a glamorous aura to the area’s urban environment and hi-tech facilities. It is also home to around 7,200 residential properties, including 1-to-4-bedroom apartments, penthouses, and townhouses.
Designed and developed to be an upscale leisure and recreational destination, Porto Arabia is perfect for those who like to live at the center of activities. Renting an apartment here gives you direct access to the precinct’s climate-controlled shopping districts, international and luxury boutiques, and the 3.5 km waterfront promenade and boardwalk, lined with luxurious yachts and world-renowned dining spots.
The peaceful beachfront community of Viva Bahriya is made up of 28 Morrocan-inspired towers, exhibiting the highest points of Arab Maghreb art and architecture. With 2 kilometers of pristine beaches right outside these towers, life at Viva Bahriya goes at a more leisurely pace than its neighboring precincts. As such, this community is perfect for those who want a home away from the hustle and bustle of the cosmopolitan city, but still near its amenities and conveniences.
With the district’s sophisticated and family-friendly lifestyle, residential units in Viva Bahriya consist of one-to-four-bedroom apartments, penthouses, and townhouses. Some of the notable apartment complexes and residential towers include the Al Mutahidah Towers, Bilal Pearl Suites, the Imperial Towers, and the Costa del Sol.
Romance is alive and well this Venice-inspired precinct. This visually stunning district is filled with intricate canals, charming piazzas, and low-rise buildings painted in soft hues. Planned and developed as a residential community, Qanat Quartier has around 1,164 residential units, consisting of 1-to-5-bedroom apartments and beachfront townhouses.
One of the defining qualities of Qanat Quartier is its walkability. Its extensive waterway system is crossed with bridges and bordered with pedestrian-friendly streets. Residents and visitors also enjoy a lovely beachfront with excellent views, as well as a myriad of chic boutiques, cafés, and restaurants.
Sitting across the bay from Porto Arabia is Medina Centrale, a residential area filled with family- and pedestrian-friendly spaces. Like Porto Arabia, Medina Centrale features Mediterranean architecture. However, this precinct offers a more idyllic atmosphere with its canopied plazas, gardens, terraces, and piazza. Medina Centrale offers over 538 residential units, including studio and 2-bedroom apartments.
Much like the rest of The Pearl-Qatar, Medina Centrale has a vast collection of restaurants, cafés, and fashion retail stores. But what sets this neighborhood apart is its selection of family entertainment and leisure activities, such as the state-of-the-art NOVO Cinemas and the hi-tech Megapolis.
More importantly, Medina Centrale is walkable and kid friendly. Children are free to run around and play in numerous play areas and parks while parents can enjoy themselves in adjacent sidewalk cafés.
To learn more about renting apartments in The Pearl-Qatar, you can read our comprehensive guide here.
Lusail City is located along the coast on the southern part of the municipality of Al Daayen. This planned city is about 23 kilometers north of Doha’s city center, and covers around 38 square kilometers. It’s estimated to accommodate around 450,000 people upon completion.
Also called the “City of the Future,” Lusail is envisioned to be a model city built with groundbreaking smart technology, eco-friendly structures, and Qatari heritage and culture. Although construction and development are still on-going, a number of residential, commercial, and recreational districts are already open and in use.
What to expect from apartments in Lusail City
Qatar’s City of the Future consists of 19 multi-purpose residential, mixed-use, entertainment and commercial districts, as well as four exclusive islands. Apartments for rent are currently available in the following districts:
Fox Hills North and South
Waterfront Residential District
Al Erkyah City
Most 1 to 5 bedroom apartments in Lusail City are partly or fully furnished. Rental prices per month can range from around 3,850 QAR (1,058 USD) to 16,000 QAR (4,396 USD) or higher (as of October, 2021). Units in popular entertainment and tourism districts such as Entertainment City, Marina District, and Waterfront Residential District tend to be priced higher than those in other districts. The number of bedrooms, level of furnishing, and available amenities are also factored in the rent price.
Lusail City districts are designed around the idea of “communal living in a self-contained model.” This means that each district will have their own residential and commercial areas, as well as their own schools, mosques, medical facilities, shopping and entertainment centers, and other recreational destinations.
One of the destinations you can look forward to are Lusail’s interconnected parks – Al Khor Park, Crescent Park, and Wadi Park. These sprawling green spaces provide residents and visitors with various relaxation and recreational spots, walkways and bike lanes, and park seating where one can appreciate Lusail’s natural landscapes.
There is also the Place Vendôme, the Parisian-inspired retail, leisure, and entertainment destination at the heart of Lusail’s Entertainment City. For the foodies and gourmands, you can sample the best local flavors at the street eateries, food kiosks, and cafés along Lusail Marina Promenade and the Marina Food Arena. Lastly, there is the iconic Lusail Stadium, the venue of the upcoming final of the FIFA World Cup 2022.
West Bay and West Bay Lagoon
West Bay encompasses all of Doha’s east coast districts, including Al Qassar, Al Dafna, Onaiza, and West Bay Lagoon (Leqtaifiya). Because of its prime location at the bay and proximity to key business districts, embassies, and the Hamad International Airport, the West Bay area has consistently been a popular choice for both expats and local Qataris.
The wide array of sites and activities found in the area are among the reasons many people choose to live in West Bay. Simply walking along Doha Corniche allows one to appreciate the impressive high rises and architecture of stunning towers like the Burj Doha. Shopping is a luxurious experience in the Galeries Lafayette, the Gate Mall, and the City Center. Qatari art, heritage, and culture is shared and appreciated by locals and foreigners alike in the Katara Cultural Village.
There’s also a wide range of apartment types to choose from, whether it’s a studio apartment, a multi-bedroom rental property in a high rise, or a serviced penthouse.
What to expect from apartments in West Bay
Like most apartments for rent in Doha, West Bay apartments are typically semi- or fully furnished with central air-conditioning units. Apartment buildings and complexes typically have 24/7 maintenance, security, and electricity-backup facilities. Some apartments for rent offer concierge services and access to a multitude of building amenities, such as a gym, spa, swimming pool, meeting room, and others.
Rental prices for studio apartments range from 7,500 QAR (2,060 USD) to 9,500 QAR (2,610 USD) per month, and most of them can be found in exclusive locations such as West Bay Tower or the City Center Towers. Apartments with one or more bedrooms, including serviced apartments, have a more varied price range of around 4,500 QAR (1,235 USD) to approximately 26,000 QAR (7,143 USD) per month (as of October, 2021, depending on factors like the number of rooms, level of furnishing, and features or amenities.
What you need to know about renting an apartment in Doha, Qatar
The renting process in Doha is relatively efficient and fast if you have all your paperwork and requirements in place. Similarly, you can avoid future problems with your landlord and relevant authorities if you’re familiar with the typical practices and rules that come with apartments for rent in Doha.
Here’s a brief overview of what you need to know when renting an apartment in The Pearl-Qatar and other areas in Doha.
Before you start your search for the perfect apartment, its highly advisable that you have the following documents on hand, as these will typically be required by your landlord or property manager when signing the contract.:
Residence permit or visa
Qatar ID card
Proof of employment (such as your employer or sponsor’s ID card or trade license with your salary certificate)
A cheque book with at least 13 blank cheques
All tenancy contracts in Qatar are binding for a year. You should receive both the English and Arabic versions of the contract, and your real estate agent will help verify if the English translation matches the Arabic original. Note that in case of a dispute, the courts will consider the Arabic version as the only legally binding document.
Before signing, make sure to double-check the following contract details:
The rental fee and payment terms
The duration of the contract, specifically its beginning and end dates
Notice periods and conditions relating to it
The landlord’s limits and responsibilities, such as utility bills covered, repairs, payment of maintenance dues, etc.
The tenant’s rights and duties, including strict limits on certain kinds of construction or changes to the property, management of the premises, etc.
Any rules or restrictions that the tenant must follow, such as no smoking rules, noise restrictions, etc.
An inventory of all items in the apartment prior to the tenant moving in (if the apartment is furnished)
Typically, rent is paid via post-dated checks covering 12 months (or the duration of the contract) and the security deposit. Remember to ask for a security deposit receipt, which you will need at the end of your tenancy to claim your refund.
Should you run into any dispute that’s difficult to resolve with your landlord, you can present the matter to the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee at their office along Rawdat Al Khail Street or request for a hearing here.
Find the best apartments for rent in Doha today
Doha, Qatar is heading towards a future where urban living and a multicultural economy are strengthened by environmentally sustainable structures and Qatari heritage. With extensive knowledge and expertise in Doha’s real estate market, our team at 25 Spaces Real Estate can help you find the perfect apartment to be your home in this pioneering global city.
You can start your search for the best apartments for rent in Doha today by calling us at +974 4464 2525 or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach us by filling out this short contact form, where you can send us any questions or concerns.