Finding a home to rent in Dubai is one of the most important decisions you'll make as an expat in the UAE
4 September 2017| Last updated on 8 September 2019
It doesn't matter if you're new in Dubai or a seasoned expatriate, it's always sensible to make sure you're clued-up with the processes of renting a property in Dubai.
Especially when some regulations and laws can change from time to time. So to help you be fully prepared for finding somewhere to rent in Dubai, here are 6 helpful pieces of advice to set you off in the right direction - and fully prepared!
1. Work with an agent
There are a lot of property listing sites in Dubai and the UAE, but finding a great agent who you know and trust can really help to make the whole process much smoother.
There are thousands upon thousands of apartments and villas to rent in Dubai listed on the Internet by numerous agents, so it is understandably a little overwhelming to navigate. Many are often left feeling frustrated and, and thinking like they're never going to find their dream villa or apartment in Dubai.
Because of this - it is far better to find an agent that gives you confidence that they understand your needs. Share with them a list of your 'must-have's and 'would-be-nice-to-haves', and even your 'must-nots' so you can give them a realistic expectation of what you're looking for. Plus, be honest about your budget.
2. Arrange multiple viewings
There's no denying there are some great properties in Dubai - and then there's the bad ones. Be prepared to view more than one property at a time, which will provide you with opportunity to check out the area and the different types of properties that are available in that community or apartment building.
After all, a 4M type villa might be better suited for your likes and needs than a 4E tye - fpr example. So make sure to ask lots of questions, give the agent your honest feedback and be open to suggestions too.
3. Once decided, make an offer
When you've found the right apartment or villa in Dubai, it's important to act and make an offer quickly. Dubai's real estate market is extremely fast-paced, often with tenants finding their next place in less than 24 hours of it being listed. If you're 100% sure that you want the property, make an offer and make sure to carry your checkbook.
4. Your offer has been accepted
Congratulations! Now your offer has been accepted by the landlord, you need to be prepared to provide the following things:
- a copy of your passport
- residency visa
- Emirates ID
- 5% agency fee of the rental value
- 5% deposit cheque of the rental value (if unfurnished), or...
- 10% deposit cheque of the rental value (if furnished)
For example - if you have secured an unfurnished property that costs AED 130,000 per annum, you'll need to pay AED 6,500 for the agency fee, and a AED 6,500 deposit.
Once these have all been shared with the agent, your tenancy contract will be drafted and sent over to you for your (and the landlord's) final approval.
5. Signing the contracts
After your tenancy contract has been signed by both you and the landlord, you will need to register your lease with Ejari and connect your Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).
Be mindful of the fact that your DEWA deposit will vary depending on the rental type you have chosen: if it is an apartment, it will be a AED 2,000 deposit and an admin fee of AED 130. If it is a villa, it will be a AED 4,000 deposit and an admin fee of AED 130.
Ejari costs the same for both villas and apartments in Dubai, and the price is AED 215.
6. Move in permits
Depending on the community or building you have secured, you might need a move-in permit from the developer/management company before you are able to physically move your things in. Clarify this with your agent, and allow up to 5 working days to get the documents you need.