Are you studying in UAE and looking for cheap student accommodation? Want a peaceful living without breaking the bank? Be glad as there are several good budget-friendly options to live a good life as a student in the Emirates.

UAE has emerged as a global education hub, attracting students from almost all corners of the world. With its world-class universities and vibrant academic environment, the country offers a range of student accommodation options. This variety of housing facilities cater to the diverse needs of its international student population.

In this article, we will take a look into the types of accommodations available for students in the UAE. Along with that, we will discuss valuable tips to help make an informed choice and find the best possible option that suits your budget and personal preferences.

You might also like to read: 15 Best Student Discount Deals in UAE

5 Types of Student Accommodation Available in the UAE

There are two major types of accommodations that a student can choose when pursuing higher studies in UAE, i.e. on-campus and off-campus. Students generally prefer on-campus living facilities as they are relatively cheaper than living in private accommodation.

Out of many universities and colleges in UAE, very few provide on-campus living. Some universities have joined hands with local hotels to offer decent accommodation to their students at a competitive rate. Besides this, there is a diverse range of options available where students can live off-campus.

Let’s explore all the options available and see which one works best for your needs.

  1. University Dormitories (On Campus Accommodation)

Many universities in the UAE provide an on-campus housing facility in the form of dormitories or student residences. These accommodations are not only convenient but are cheaper and offer a strong sense of community. On-campus accommodations typically come furnished and are well-equipped with amenities such as laundry facilities, Wi-Fi, mess, study lounges, and round-the-clock security. Such housing options offer a fantastic opportunity for students to immerse themselves in campus life and make lifelong friendships.

  1. Private Student Residences

Private student accommodations have gained popularity over recent years. These are purpose-built residences designed specifically for students. They usually offer more luxurious amenities than university dorms. Swimming pools, game rooms, fitness clubs, and dining rooms are some of the most notable amenities one can enjoy in private student residences. However, these accommodations can be a bit heavy on the wallet than on-campus housing options but they provide a high level of comfort and convenience.

Popular private accommodation providers in the UAE include:


  1. Shared Apartments

Sharing an apartment with a fellow student is a cost-effective way to live as a student in the UAE. You can split the rent and other expenses with a friend, making it a budget-friendly option to live a peaceful and comfortable life.

Sharing an apartment also allows for greater independence and flexibility in terms of choosing roommates and location. There are a lot of online platforms and real estate agents that specialize in student housing. Such websites make it easy to find shared apartments that suit one’s preferences and budget.

Following are popular online platforms to find affordable shared apartments for rent in the UAE

  1. Homestays

For those who seek a more immersive cultural experience, homestays can be an excellent choice. In a homestay arrangement, students live with a local family in UAE. This not only provides an opportunity to learn about the traditional Emirati culture but also offers a supportive environment for international students.

Homestays often include meals, cleaning services, laundry, and Wi-Fi, which can be a significant way to save money as a student. Organizations like Airbnb and can be of good help in finding a reasonable option for student homestays in the UAE.

There are a lot of online platforms that might be of help in finding a suitable family to stay with. The following are reliable websites that you may use to find good options for student homestays in the UAE.

  1. Hostels

Hostels are another budget-friendly choice for students who seek short-term accommodation or prefer a communal living environment. While generally hostels in UAE are associated with tourists and travelers, many offer dormitory-style rooms that cater well to the students. Hostels provide a social atmosphere and are a great way to meet other students and travelers from around the globe.

9 Tips to Find the Best Student Accommodations in UAE

When you decide to pursue higher studies in UAE, one of the essential and foremost aspects is to find yourself a suitable student accommodation. Here are some valuable and practical tips for navigating the UAE rental market. These suggestions would help you find a comfortable and convenient living arrangement during your academic journey in the Emirates.

Let’s get going and see how to find the best yet affordable student accommodation in the UAE.

  1. Start Early

The key to finding good student accommodation in UAE is to start your hunt well in advance. Competition for comfortable, quality and budget-friendly student housing can be fierce, especially during the beginning of the enrolment period. Begin your house hunt at least months before your scheduled arrival to ensure you have ample suitable options to choose from.

  1. Set a Budget

Before you begin your hunt, establish and set a clear budget for your accommodation. UAE offers a variety of rental options when it comes to housing. There are rooms, apartments, villas, shared accommodations, hostels, homestays, and private student accommodations, each with its unique price range. Be realistic about what you can easily afford and stick to your budget. This would help make sure that you avoid draining your wallet and keep financial stress at bay during the academic year.

  1. Opt for a Convenient Location

UAE is a sprawling destination. The location of your accommodation can greatly impact your daily life. Keep into account the proximity to your educational institute, public transportation options, and other essential amenities when choosing where to live. It’s better to find a place near your University so that you can save up on the traveling cost.

  1. Explore the On-Campus Housing Facilities

Many universities in the UAE offer on-campus student accommodations. These housing options can be convenient as they are typically located within the campus. You can simply walk to your class, roam around the campus, be with friends, and enjoy a supportive environment. Check with your College or University to see if they provide on-campus housing for local and international students. If they do have on-campus dorms, apply early to secure a good place.

  1. Search Online

The Internet is a valuable tool for finding student accommodation in UAE. A lot of websites and apps are available to find rooms, apartments, homestays, and hostels. We have already mentioned reliable options earlier in the article. You may use filters to narrow down your options based on your personal needs and budget.

  1. Check for Inclusive Utilities

When evaluating potential accommodations, inquire about what amenities are included in the rent. Some properties include utilities like water, electricity, and internet connection while others may require separate payment for essential amenities. Understanding these essential details can help you budget effectively and find a suitable accommodation that’s light on the pocket and comfortable.

  1. Visit the Property in Person

If possible, visit the property you wish to rent in person or request a virtual tour of the accommodation. This will allow you to assess the condition of the apartment/room/hostel/private student residence and meet the potential roommates and landlord. There are a lot of things that you might not be able to assess online. That’s why we recommend to visit the accommodation in person whenever possible.

  1. Read Reviews and Request for Recommendations

Online reviews and recommendations can be a great way to gain valuable insights into the quality of student accommodations. Current or former students can share their real-life experiences of living in a particular facility. You may join a social media group or online forum designed for international students in UAE to connect with peers and seek helpful recommendations.

  1. Review and Go Through the Legal Agreement

Before signing an agreement, carefully review all the terms and conditions. Pay special attention to the duration of the lease, security deposit, advance payment, and any penalties for early termination of the rental contract. Seek legal advice if and when needed to ensure you understand your rights and obligations as a tenant.

Final Word

UAE offers a diverse range of options for student accommodations, ranging from on-campus housing facilities to off-campus rentals and everything in between. Many students prefer the independence and freedom that comes with renting a room, apartment, or house off campus.

While this option offers a lot of flexibility in terms of location and choice of accommodation, it also comes with the additional responsibility of managing household expenses including rent, utilities, and groceries. It is important to research the rental market in UAE thoroughly and understand the local laws before pursuing to live off-campus.

At the end of the day, the choice of accommodation depends on individual preferences, budget, and the desire for independence. Finding suitable student accommodation in the UAE may seem daunting. However, if you move with careful planning and research, you can secure yourself a comfortable, convenient, and affordable home away from home in the vibrant and welcoming Emirates.

Also read: 8 Best Scholarships in Dubai for Expat Students


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