Are you moving house in Dubai soon? Here’s a step-by-step guide to keep things simple
16 October 2017| Last updated on 8 September 2019
Moving house anywhere can be particularly daunting, but if you’re due to move in Dubai – there are a few hurdles you’ll need to be prepared for.
From closing your DEWA bill, to transferring your Internet provider to booking a maintenance team to repair any damages to your previous and/or new place.. There’s lots to take into consideration when moving house in Dubai.
So to help ensure you’re fully prepared, and to help you move house in Dubai – without too much stress – here’s our step-by-step guide to follow.
1. Notify your current landlord that you’re moving out
As per Dubai’s property laws, a tenant must give at least 90 days notice prior to the end of the tenancy contract to inform the landlord that they are not renewing and wish to move out.
If you secured your current tenancy through a real estate agent in Dubai, it would be wise to let them know too – as they’ll no doubt be a huge, helping hand during your moving process… And will probably be able to help you start finding your new apartment to buy, or villa to rent in Dubai.
2. Book a Dubai moving company if necessary
There are moving companies in Dubai that sell packages you’re able to purchase to ensure a smooth move – in fact, many movers offer a maintenance/decorating/moving package that spans two or three days so you can plan accordingly.
For instance, you can find offers that include a package for AED 3000, which involves re-decorating your current home as well as packing and moving your items and furniture – and re-building them in your new place. Definitely worth the money!
3. Return current apartment/villa back to its original condition
Unbeknownst to many tenants living in Dubai, the law that used to stipulate that any property be returned to its original condition has now changed. In fact, it is no longer the tenants' duty to return a unit back to how it was when they first moved in.
However, good tenants will no doubt want to ensure the property is in a good state before moving out and may wish to fill in any holes, apply a fresh lick of paint and fix any broken handles, doors or bannisters.
4. During this time – go house hunting!
Browse websites like Property Finder or Dubizzle, visit your chosen Real Estate Agent’s office and discuss with them exactly what you’re searching for and your requirements. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that Dubai’s real estate game is a fast-paced one, with new properties listed on an hourly basis across the entire emirate – so we’ve no doubt you’d be able to find your new place easily, granted you aren’t too picky.
5. Arrange inspection of current apartment/villa
Your landlord, their power of attorney (if involved) and/or your real estate agent will arrange a time to come and visit your current place to double check and inspect the condition of it. If there are any outstanding issues they notice, they will allow you to rectify these still – or arrange for them to be fixed once you’ve moved out, which your original deposit will be used for.
6. Pay necessary deposits, sign tenancy contract and hand over cheques
In the meantime, once you’ve found and picked your new home, it’s time to pay the necessary deposits. Expect to pay 5% of the overall rental amount for the deposit to the landlord, 5% for agency fees (if applicable. At this stage, you’ll also sign your new tenancy contract – hurray!
Please note: Dubai’s real estate still operates on a cheque basis, meaning your annual rent and your deposits will need to be written cheques.
7. Move in/out permit from new building/community management
If you’re moving to an apartment, you’ll need a moving permit from the building management. Or for example, if you’re moving to a place like The Springs – you’ll need a move/in out permit from the community management, which in this instance would be EMAAR.
8. Gain NOC from current landlord allowing you to move out
One small step that many forget is gaining an NOC from your current landlord to move out of your apartment or villa in Dubai – this would then be handed to the building or community’s management and/or security to ensure they know that your landlord has said it’s fine for your to move out without any issues or cause for concern.
9. Pay your final DEWA bill
On the last day of your current tenancy, you'll need to ring DEWA up to let them know you're moving out and you'd like to settle your final DEWA bill. Alternatively, you may also use their move-in feature on the DEWA website, which allows you to transfer your account (and deposit) to your new property.
One of our own staff experienced this recently - as they transferred their DEWA account, but because they moved from an apartment to a villa they had to pay the 4k deposit. For DEWA deposits in Dubai, it's AED 2k for an apartment, and AED 4k for a villa.
If you transfer, you might find your deposit is credited into your DEWA account to be used towards your first bill in your new property. If you cancel your DEWA account altogether, you should receive the remaining deposit after your final bill is paid. This leads us to our next point...
10. Pay for your EJARI
In 2017, we saw the law change when it comes to Ejari in Dubai - now all tenants MUST have their Ejari completed and approved in order to activate the DEWA supply in their new apartment or villa. Timing is important here, as you might find yourself without power for some hours as you wait for your new property to be reconnected under your account. DEWA states up to 24 hours, but generally, it can take between 6 to 10 hours so you'll want to plan your move-in date accordingly.
11. Fill property inspection form
When you first move in to your new apartment or villa in Dubai, you will be presented with an inspection form that you must fill. Basically, this form should be where you note down any snagging issues with the property, and outstanding damages that the landlord needs to rectify quickly either before you move in fully, or in the first week or so.
Most contracts stipulate that you have up to 48 hours for this process, and any issues noted after these 2 days becomes the responsibility of the new tenants, unless they are of a higher value of what you might have agreed in your Dubai tenancy contract.
12. Transfer Internet service provider
First of all - double check which Internet service provider (ISP) is being used in your new building/community... Some are already wired up to use du or Etisalat. If you're already with the same provider, you can transfer or upgrade your package. If not, you'll have to cancel you previous account and create a new one with whatever ISP is connected.
13. Go home shopping!
Now for the best part - you can go home shopping for your new pad! If you've upsized, you'll probably need some new furniture, or white goods. Shops like Carrefour are great for white goods at affordable prices, and there's a whole home section of Mall of the Emirates that you can browse through. Not forgetting ACE Hardware and IKEA down in Dubai Festival City that are prime locations for buying some new pieces.