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The Pearl - Qatar, Medina Centrale
Al Hambra St. Building No. 8, Unit No. 64
PO Box 14050
Doha, Qatar

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The Complete Guide to Renting an Apartment in The Pearl-Qatar

Aerial shot of a portion of The-Pearl-Qatar

In this article:

  • What's in The Pearl-Island?

  • Types of apartments that expats can rent

  • Finding a suitable apartment 

  • Basic rights and duties of tenants under Qatari law

  • Requirements prior to moving into an apartment in Qatar

  • Special concerns for tenants in Qatar

  • Why expats should consider living in Qatar

  • Find an apartment in The Pearl-Qatar with 25 Spaces Real Estate

What's in The Pearl-Island?

The Pearl-Qatar is a man-made island located off the Doha coast. It is divided into 10 distinct districts that consist of the following:

  • Abraj Quartier – The island’s business district, Abraj Quartier is home to the offices of various local and international companies. It also has the tallest buildings on the entire islands; specifically, two 42-storey towers that serve as the iconic gateway to The Pearl-Island . 

  • Porto Arabia – With hundreds of upscale shops and restaurants to choose from, Porto Arabia is one of The Pearl-Qatar's busiest recreational spots. It’s a Mediterranean-inspired neighborhood with a bevy of housing options, including multi-bedroom apartments, townhouses, and penthouses. 

  • Qanat Quartier – Qanat takes inspiration from Venice's charming waterfront communities. Colorful low-rise buildings and a wide array of stylish boutiques and establishments are connected via a water canal network. 

  • Costa Malaz – Evoking the quintessential tropical island lifestyle, Costa Malaz is lined with stunning beachfront villas. The canal network is connected to nearby Qanat Quartier, giving residents and visitors easy access to different amenities and leisure activities. This district is also the home of the five-star luxury hotel, Marsa Malaz Kempinski. 

  • Giardino Village – For those who value utmost levels of calm and seclusion, Giardino Village is the ideal setting. This discrete district is centrally located near The Pearl Qatar's main retail hubs. Families can enroll their kids to United School International.

  • Medina Centrale – Designed to be a premier entertainment district for residents and tourists, Medina Central has nearly 200 retail shops, cafés, restaurants, as well as spacious public plazas and gardens. One day is barely enough to fully explore this brilliant district. 

  • Perlita Gardens – To the south of Medina Centrale lies the lush oasis of Perlita Gardens. Built for those looking to buy or rent high-end apartments in The Pearl, this gated residential community is composed of beautiful villas and luxury townhouses. 

  • Viva Bahriya – Characterized by its iconic Moroccan-style apartments and townhouses, Viva Bahriya is one of the most serene residential areas on the island. The district's beach, which spans two kilometers, is a great spot to relax and enjoy the views. 

  • Floresta Gardens – Floresta Gardens styles itself as a Mediterranean-inspired and family-friendly community with three gated compounds, 10 residential towers, a mall, and several play areas for children to enjoy.

  • Isola Dana – The most exclusive district in The Pearl-Island and one of the highly coveted addresses in the world, Isola Dona consists of nine private islands, each offering space for bespoke and palatial residences. Each island has its own beach and harbor for private boats and yachts. 

What's accessible

When you live in The Pearl-Qatar, you’ll have access to several key locations in and around Doha. 

Just six kilometers from the island is West Bay Lagoon, home to an array of public parks, museums, and upscale restaurants. To the north lies Lusail, a master-planned smart city that is expected to draw about 500,000 residents and tourists. 

About 15 kilometers to the south is Msheireb Downtown, one of the oldest commercial districts in Doha that's recently been redeveloped. From here, you can explore Doha's prominent souqs or street markets, where you can find an eclectic mix of food, jewelry, fabrics, and other handicrafts. If you’re a constant traveler, The Pearl-Island is less than 30 kilometers or approximately 30 minutes away from Hamad International Airport.

Types of apartments expats can rent in The Pearl

If you’re an expat living and working in Qatar, you have many living options to choose from. These include villas, townhouses, and apartments. 

Out of these three property types, apartments are the most popular option not only for expats but locals as well. Rental prices can cost anywhere from QAR 3,500 to over 18,000 per month. Units below QAR 7,000 are usually semi-furnished or unfurnished.  

Much like the rest of Qatar, apartments for rent in The Pearl-Island can be categorized into the following: 

  • Serviced apartments – With hotel-like services and amenities, serviced apartments provide high levels of comfort and convenience. Staple offerings include buffet breakfast, room service, as well as laundry and cleaning services. Because of this, serviced apartments are often not the cheapest option in the market.

  • Multi-bedroom apartments – Many apartments in The Pearl-Island have two to four bedrooms. These apartments are quite spacious and equipped with all the essentials and more. There is typically a private gym, swimming pool, parking space, and a common lobby or concierge. If you’re looking to live with flatmates or planning to bring your family with you, multi-bedroom apartments may be the ideal choice.

  • Studio apartments –Despite their smaller size, many studio apartments throughout The Pearl-Qatar still have access to the same amenities that are accessible to larger apartments. Additionally, units usually come with a living room, dining room, private bathroom, and balcony. This can be the most affordable option for single young professionals who don't require a large living space. 

Finding a suitable apartment

There are several ways to find apartments for rent in The Pearl. One approach is to communicate with a property owner. You can negotiate lease terms and discuss living concerns directly. However, this option is only ideal if you already know someone who owns property in The Pearl-Island and can converse in Arabic. 

Another way is to go through classified ads and online listings. Since it can be difficult to verify the state of the properties based on a quick description or single photo, some of these properties might not live up to your expectations.

Exploring online real estate marketplaces can be a more assuring way to look for suitable apartments to rent.  With just a few taps or clicks, you can get a detailed description of property that is backed up by multiple high-quality photos. 

Working directly with a real estate agent is often the hassle-free approach. These professionals are good communicators (be it in English or Arabic) who can clear up any misunderstanding with Qatari property owners or landlords. 

Professional agents can also walk you through different apartment units in person while pointing out pros and cons with ease and clarity. For high levels of client service and extensive knowledge of The Pearl real estate market, consider contacting 25 Spaces Real Estate.

The Pearl-Qatar at night

Basic rights and duties of tenants under Qatari law

Lease agreements must comply with Qatari Property Leasing Law, which grants both tenants and landlords certain rights and duties. Some of the salient provisions that apply to the tenant or lessee include:

  • The right to report a landlord's failure to act on an essential repair that affects the safety and usability of the property. 

  • The right to pay not more than two months' worth of rent for a security deposit. 

  • The responsibility of looking after the leased property and ensuring that only approved changes or repairs will be carried out in the premises.

  • Paying rent on time and not later than seven days from the due date provided. 

  • Avoiding situations where the property is subleased to third parties without informing the landlord. 

  • Giving two months’ notice to inform the landlord about non-renewal of the lease and intent to move out.

The 12-month lease duration is standard practice in Qatar. You can move out after one year and claim your security deposit in full if there is no serious damage to the property, as verified by the landlord or a valid representative. 

To avoid any complications upon moving out, you should leave the property in the same condition as when you moved in. It's best to fix small damages out of pocket rather than having the landlord spot these minor issues and potentially deduct a sizable amount from the security deposit. 

In the event of a major dispute between you and the landlord, the Rental Disputes Settlement Committee (located in Al Muntazah, Doha) can mediate. 

Requirements prior to moving into an apartment in Qatar

Before you move into an apartment rental, you must prepare the following documentation and payments:

  • Qatar residence ID Card

  • Passport

  • Employer's ID card

  • Employer's trade license

  • Most recent salary slip 

  • Company endorsement letter (applicable in some cases)

  • Marriage certificate (applicable in cases where a couple or family is renting the property)

  • Post-dated checks covering 12 months' worth of rent

  • Security deposit worth one or two months of rent

When you’re ready, you can proceed with examining the tenancy contract or lease agreement. This document is written in both Arabic and English. If the landlord hasn't provided an English copy, you can request for one before you affix your name and signature.

This is likely the most important step in the process of renting an apartment in Qatar. Do remember that in the event of a dispute between you and your landlord, only the Arabic version of the lease will be legally binding. Before you sign the lease, have both versions reviewed by a professional for any discrepancies to avoid any issues in the future. 

Special concerns for tenants in Qatar

New to Qatari culture and norms? Take note of the following considerations when searching for apartments for rent in The Pearl:

  • Co-habitation is illegal for unmarried couples As a Muslim country that draws heavily from Sharia Law, Qatar considers it a criminal offense for unmarried couples to live in an apartment together. This applies to both Muslims and non-Muslims. While some hotels and certain residences may turn a blind eye to non-Muslim expats, it's unrealistic to expect that same treatment in most places in Qatar. It's best to exercise caution.

  • Partitioned apartments are against the law – Some property owners and employers will offer expats cheaper accommodation in the form of partitioned apartments or villas. It's illegal to modify properties to accommodate an unusually high number of inhabitants. The Ministry of Municipality and Environment regularly cracks down on these types of leased properties throughout Qatar.

  • Disturbances will warrant a visit from the authorities – Qatar is a country that takes peace and order seriously. Causing a ruckus or commotion in the property premises may prompt neighbors to contact the police to check up on the neighborhood. When organizing parties and get-togethers, remember to keep noise levels at a minimum.

  • The weekend schedule is different – Workers in Qatar usually take their days off on Friday and Saturday. As such, cleaners and other apartment staff may not be available in those days. Plan your laundry and cleaning services around this weekend schedule.

Why expats should consider working and living in Qatar

Out of Qatar's 2.8 million population, approximately 85% are foreign nationals who are residing and working in the country. This makes Qatar one of the few Middle Eastern countries that is truly a cosmopolitan destination and a melting pot of various cultures from around the world.

Income and living expenses

A big reason why skilled foreign workers are drawn to Qatar is the competitive salaries in a few key industries. According to most recent figures from Expatica.com, median income is QAR 13,000. Whether it's oil and gas production, financial services, construction, healthcare, or tourism, you can expect to earn a decent income that's commensurate with your skills and experience. 

Rent is likely the biggest expense to consider. In Qatar, renting a home can often be pricey. However, this is offset by the country's lax taxation system. Apart from levying a small tax on businesses and some specified sectors, Qatar doesn't impose taxes on salaries, wages, and allowances. Additionally, Qatar doesn't collect value-added tax on sales purchases. In other words, you can keep all your hard-earned income and have enough leeway to spend on both essentials and leisure as you wish.

Culture and a host of attractions

Aside from being one of the richest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita, the small peninsula of Qatar is proud of its fascinating culture and many spectacular attractions. Expats and tourists can immerse themselves in Qatar's unique traditions, landmarks, and cuisine. Here's a glimpse of what's in store: 

  • Downtown Doha's iconic souqs – You can find all sorts of rare artisanal products and savory street food in souqs. Souq Waqif is a popular destination among locals and tourists alike. Recently restored, this marketplace complex is the site of thousands of years of trade and commerce in the heart of Qatar. 

  • Khor Al Adaid – Otherwise known as Qatar's Inland Sea, Khor Al Adaid is a captivating natural wonder that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This unique landscape is one of the few places in the world where sand dunes come into direct contact with the sea. One of the best ways to experience Khor Al Adaid is to go on an overnight camping expedition. 

  • Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) – This one-of-a-kind museum contains over 1,000 years’ worth of Islamic art and relics. MIA's massive collection has been sourced from three continents. These priceless items are on display in a cream-colored limestone building complex that's been masterfully built on reclaimed land. As of writing, the museum is closed for major renovations.

The prospect of property ownership 

In 2020, Qatar further expanded the list of areas where expats can own and rent property in the country. There are now nine locations for freehold properties and 16 locations for leasehold properties. 

This presents a lucrative opportunity if you want to translate your contributions to the Qatari economy into a solid real estate investment — securing your families' future and long-term financial prospects in Qatar. Learn how you can buy property in Qatar from this blog post.

Find an apartment in The Pearl with 25 Spaces Real Estate

Whether it's looking for apartments for rent in The Pearl Qatar or buying property in designated freehold areas, make sure you're working with seasoned real estate professionals for the best experience possible. 

25 Spaces Real Estate can help you find properties that are up to par with your tastes and preferences. The team has made a name for themselves by listening carefully to client concerns and finding the best possible solution to any situation. 

For more insights, read our recent articles:

Get in touch with 25 Spaces Real Estate by phone at (+974) 4464 2525 or by email at info@25spaces.com. You can also get in touch with by completing this short inquiry form.

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