Dh3000 for a month in a hotel: Are long-stay deals in Dubai now cheaper than paying rent?

Several hotels in Dubai have low monthly rates for those checking in for the long haul

Fully furnished apartments at Radisson Red Dubai have bespoke wallpaper designed by local artists. 
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Free housekeeping, no internet bills and a constant stock of miniature bathroom toiletries – what’s not to love about hotel living? And with several hotels in Dubai introducing long-stay offers that give travellers reduced room rates for extended check-ins, you could save money on your rent by switching to life in a hotel.

What's on offer?

One of the latest long-stay hotel offers to come on the market is from the newly opened Radisson Red Dubai in Dubai Silicon Oasis.

The trendy hotel, located at Dubai Digital Park, has opened its 59 long-term homes for booking with options to stay in a studio, a one-, or a two-bedroom apartment.

Located in Dubai’s first ever smart city project built with the latest AI technologies, long stay rates start from Dh4,500 per month.

"There is currently no maximum stay on the apartments. Each contract can be negotiated, so if someone wishes to stay for two years, for example, then we can review that for them."

For that price, as well as having access to all hotel facilities including a 24-hour gym and rooftop pool (when operational again), guests get 20 per cent off food and drink at the hotel restaurant and bar.

The new fully furnished apartments are all modern, with high quality fixtures and fittings accompanied by unique design features such as custom-made wallpaper inspired by local UAE artists. With free Wi-Fi throughout, guests can also stream content from their mobiles on to the smart televisions, meaning there's no need for additional bills.

“RED is all about community and this feels like the final piece in the puzzle for us," said Stuart Birkwood from Radisson Red Dubai.

Radisson Red Dubai has 59 pet-friendly, long-stay apartments available to book from a monthly rate of Dh4,500. 

"We’ve already got to know a lot of regular friendly faces and we can’t wait to welcome our more long term guests as well. This place really has its own unique vibe that I think will appeal to a lot of people looking for both comfort and style," he added.

Those with furry friends can also check-in at the hotel which has extended its pet-friendly policy to its long-stay apartments.

Rates for a one-bedroom apartment start from Dh7,500 per month, while two bedroom rates are from Dh10,500. If you are looking at the hotel as a long-stay option, you might be able to negotiate these rates even lower.

"There is currently no maximum stay on the apartments. Each contract can be negotiated, so if someone wishes to stay for two years, for example, then we can review that for them," explained a spokesperson at Radisson Red Dubai.

A one-month stay ar Rove at The Park costs Dh2,999. Courtesy Rove Hotels

Another hotel brand that's offering long-stay promotions is Rove Hotels, where monthly rental rates are valid until September 30.

The price of a long-stay varies across Rove's five properties with the cheapest rates to be found at Rove at the Park, where guests pay just Dh2,999 per month (including taxes) to bed down at the hotel located near Dubai Parks and Resorts.

The most expensive monthly rate can be found at Rove Downtown, located in DIFC where a month-long stay costs Dh4,999.

All Rove hotels offer self-service laundromats or 50 per cent off hotel laundry services, free Wi-Fi and complimentary parking, as well as 20 per cent off for guests at on-site restaurants  and co-working spaces. Some of the hotels also have on-site leisure amenities such as a PlayStation corner, foosball and tennis tables that guests can use free of charge.

Cheaper monthly payments

Rove Hotels' monthly rates start from Dh2,999 per month, including taxes. That's a lot less than what many people are paying for rent in Dubai.

Comparing Rove rates to UAE rental rates is a good way to highlight that hotel living might be the cheaper option.

Rooms at Rove Healthcare City, Rove City Centre and Rove Trade Centre start from Dh3,499 per month. A quick look on Propertyfinder – a leading real estate website in the UAE – shows that the cheapest listed apartment to rent in the same area as Rove Trade Centre costs Dh75,000 per year. Divided into monthly payments that's Dh6,250 per month, excluding household costs like rental deposits, utility bills and internet services.

And even when the difference in rental is small, there's savings to be made as guests have no monthly bills to pay. A report by property consultancy Cavendish Maxwell  published in January 2020, revealed that rental prices in Dubai Marina averaged Dh54,040 for a studio apartment. Monthly stays at Rove Dubai Marina swoop in at just under that figure with a long-term stay rate of Dh4,490.

Living a four-star lifestyle

Studio One Hotel in Dubai's Studio City is offering long-stay hotel rates that could be cheaper than your monthly rent. Courtesy Studio One Hotel

In Dubai's Studio City, the four-star Studio One Hotel has long-stay promotional rates for UAE residents and visitors.
Guests can check-in to the boutique hotel for a one-month stay at a rate of Dh3,750, excluding taxes which are an additional Dh450 per room. Extend the stay beyond 30 days, and no additional taxes are charged, capping the monthly rate at under Dh4,000.

As well as in-room coffeemakers and daily housekeeping, guests have plenty of choice when it comes to dining and socialising with Larte, The Maine Street Eatery, The Irish Village, El Chapo’s Tacos and Mr Miyagis all on-site at the hotel. And at the weekend, entertainment is free via classic movie screenings in the hotel's film room.

Why would you want to live in a hotel?

Guests checking in for a long-term stay at any Rove Hotel will get 20 per cent off dining at The Daily restaurant. Courtesy Rove Hotels

Radisson Red Dubai says its long-stay apartments are a good pick for anyone who doesn’t want to recommit to a 12-month rental contract.

Right now, with more people facing uncertainty over their employment in the UAE thanks to the pandemic, checking into a place where you can pay month-by-month and cancel at any time rather than committing to another full year of rent could make sense.

It’s also a good option for people who don’t plan on being in the country for an extended period of time. As all the apartments are fully furnished and connected, there's no need to go furniture shopping or spend time trying to set up things like individual water, electricity and internet accounts. Not having that monthly utility bill expense is another bonus.

And for people who adore a crisply made bed, fully-stocked minibar and housekeeping services on tap, long-term hotel living ticks all the boxes.

The downside of hotel living

If a crisply-made bed and endlessly-stocked mini bar appeal, long-term hotel living might be what you're looking for but if space is the priority, you might want to look elsewhere. Courtesy Studio One Hotel

Despite the possible financial perks, there's a few things to consider about long-term hotel living before emailing your landlord to tell them you won’t be renewing your tenancy.

Typically, you might be paying less, but you’re also likely to have a lot less space. Most of these long-term rates mentioned are for a studio room only. There also might be a lack of community at some hotels, where the majority of visitors are only staying one or two nights, and you could be dealing with noisy neighbours from time to time if the people on the other side of the wall from you are holidaymakers.

It's also worth checking how long hotel rates are valid for. Rove Hotel's long-term rates are currently only valid until September, so if you're looking to stay on longer than that you could be faced with a higher rate when summer is over.

Finally, guests living in hotels might face some restrictions in what is and isn't allowed, with different hotels having different policies on things like ordering in food and inviting people to sleep over.