It’s no news that the UAE is a home away from home, contrary to the belief that it is just a vacation destination. Renting an apartment in Dubai isn’t as daunting as it may seem whether you are looking for short or long-term rental, interested in moving with your family, or alone. In fact, it is possible to move into a new home within a month once all necessary protocols have been observed. 

This article will furnish you with major information regarding renting a property in Dubai.

With the increasing number of job seekers, students, and ex-pats in the UAE, apartments are becoming easier and more flexible to search for. However, notable factors to consider when searching for a property are location, budget, amenities, and type of property- Townhouse, Apartment, or Villa. Once this is put into consideration, you can proceed to search for the property either via real estate property websites or by visiting a real estate office, complete the required process and move into your ideal home.

Searching Property in Dubai on Internet

The fastest and easiest way to search for a property is via the internet, this provides candid information at your fingertips. The advantage is that the renter is exposed to a wide range of features to streamline your search. Additionally, you will have an idea of the best home to rent based on the virtual representation of pictures on the websites. This makes it less time-consuming to create a mental picture of what property to choose from. The next step afterward will be to contact the agent and set up a viewing appointment.

Although you don’t have to go through the millennial way of searching the internet if that isn’t your style, you can still acquire an apartment the old-fashioned way by visiting a real estate company. Once you meet with an estate agent and provide the necessary information about your needs and other important information, the agent will show you various options and also elaborate on what needs to be done before renting the apartment. 

Next, you'll set up an appointment with the real estate agent to view the apartment as discussed in the office. This gives you the opportunity to have a physical opinion of the property, ask as many questions as possible, check out the community in Dubai, and negotiate the fees. This phase is one of the most strenuous and time-consuming phases as it could sometimes take a whole day so it’s wise to have a list of questions to ask, make some jottings on the way, and check out various landmarks in case you want to visit on your own and be ready to ask a series of questions. The agent will also play an important role in advising you on the various properties and how they may suit your needs.

Once you are done visiting the apartments with the agents, you can take some photographs of the various apartments to compare and make a choice. Before making payments for the apartment, it's imperative to be aware of this essential information.

Price of Property in Dubai

You may be wondering why apartments have varying amounts. Well, here is a breakdown of possible reasons for variations in the prices.

  • Type of property: the most common types of property are villas, townhouses, and apartments.
  • Size.
  • Quality or age of the building.
  • Design.
  • Location.
  • Proximity to malls and places of attraction.
  • Furnished and unfurnished.
  • View from the property.

        These reasons can influence the price of the property listed on the websites.

2. Budgeting: Understanding your budget is the perfect way to get ahead with house hunting. Creating a budget for your annual rent, charges and living expense will determine the property to choose from and the neighborhood to live in. Nonetheless, your choice of the apartment may be highly influenced by your lifestyle. For instance, you can choose to increase your budget for wellness and entertainment and have a lower budget for housing, this choice can lead you to search for properties at a convenient distance to your places of interest. Overall, budgeting gives a holistic picture of how to search for a property in Dubai.

3. Filter: It is not uncommon to find a variety of properties that may suit the tenants’ needs whether you are an ex-pat or new to Dubai, however, it is imperative to be specific of what you need by filtering your search by entering the minimum and maximum price, neighborhoods, type of property, amenities ( number of bedrooms and bathrooms, maid’s room, gym, sauna, swimming pool, kids’ play area) unfurnished or furnished apartment, and so on. This can be searched for on property websites. It is advisable to carefully choose what you need to get the best out of your choice.

4. Neighborhood: Dubai is home to all, it accommodates the lifestyle of various people- families, students, innovators, and so on. Based on this, the tenants might decide to live in a community that appeals to their lifestyles.

5. Proximity to malls and other attractive centers: Dubai boasts of an impressive number of malls and fantastic recreational areas. You can find a home close to one of these centers.

6. Transportation: The major means of transportation in Dubai are taxis, buses, and the metro. A majority of the residents make use of these transportation systems although taxi is usually more expensive than the others. Therefore, the proximity of the property to one of the nearest bus stations or metro stations is a great advantage.

7. Family residential areas: You may be informed by your agent that the building of your choice is designated for families alone, If you intend to move in with your family, you will need to submit the necessary documents:

  • A copy of your marriage certificate.
  • Emirates IDs.
  • Passport copy. 

Also, some family-centered properties are equipped with kids’ play areas, and amenities, and are at close proximity to schools, hospitals, pharmacies, and groceries.

8. Amenities: Most buildings have indoor gyms, recreation areas, swimming pools, and saunas. The amenities usually have separate areas for males and females.

9. Parking situation: In case you have more than one car, be sure there will be extra space around the vicinity to legally park your car to avoid being fined.

10. Location: Some properties are located in the hustling and bustling parts of Dubai where everyone seems busy while other properties are located in tranquil neighborhoods. While some people may want a feel of New York in Dubai, others may want more of Texas. Furthermore, your lifestyle and needs may affect your decision to live in a certain part of Dubai. For instance, if you are a student, your ideal location will be close to school i.e. Academic City, Silicon Oasis, International City, or Jumeirah. Families will consider their long term as well as immediate needs like proximity to schools, hospitals, and so on. For work purposes, you will consider living quite close to where you work. While for commercial property, the location of the business can give rise to the outcome of its success. Therefore, location plays a major role in choosing a property. 

11. Entry and exit points in the building: It is important to be aware of the fire exits, main entrance, and the rear entrance, stairwells, and elevators in case of emergencies.


12. Maintenance: It is important to ask the agent about the maintenance of the building in case there is a need to repair damages.

13. Security deposit: This payment is usually made before moving into the apartment and 5% will be refunded once you are ready to leave. The main reason for this is to hold the tenant accountable for the property as it is expected to be without damages. 5% of the rent is paid as the security deposit in an unfurnished apartment while 10% is paid in a furnished apartment.

14. Agency fee: For a job well done, 5% of the rental fee is given to the agent for the services rendered.

15. Utility bill: Payment of DEWA (Dubai electricity and water authority) is not included in the rental fee. An apartment will cost about 2130 Dirhams while a villa will cost 4130. The 2000 and 4000 Dirhams will be refunded when the tenant vacates and clear all outstanding fees while 130 Dirhams is the connection fee which is non-refundable. In some buildings, you will be required to pay an amount for a chiller at a cost of 2000 dirhams. It is important to find out if the property includes a free chiller.

16. Housing fee: Some properties in Dubai require the payment of housing fees. If you choose to live in such a property, you will be required to pay 5% of the annual rent each month as a fee to DEWA.

17. Rent payment: Cheque is an acceptable means of payment. In some cases, based on your negotiation with the agent, you will be allowed to pay in installments for example 4 cheques, 6 cheques, and so on. The tenant should ensure they are given copies of each rent cheque

18. Tenancy contract: There are documents that will need to be available in order to prepare a contract for the tenant. Such documents include:

  • Passport copy
  • Emirates ID copy
  • Residence Visa copy
  • Confirmation of security deposit payment.

It is important to read through the contract thoroughly and understand each clause, and if possible, ask questions for further information before signing the contract.

19. Tenancy contract registration with Ejari: The contract signed by the tenant and the landlord will have to be legally binding, a means to prove the authenticity of the contract. As such, it should be registered with the Ejari system. This system is a registration platform for tenancy contracts administered by the Dubai Land Department. It can either be done online (APP) for a fee of 172 Dirhams or at a typing center at 220 Dirhams. To proceed with this mandatory process, you will need the following documents:

  • Original tenancy contract signed by the tenant and landlord.
  • Payment confirmation of rent cheques and security deposit.
  • Copy of title deed which can be gotten from the landlord.
  • Passport copy.
  • Residence visa copy.
  • Emirate ID copy.
  • Passport copy of the landlord.
  • DEWA Premises number.
  • Ejari registration fee.

This is usually managed by the real estate company. Once the process is complete, you will be given the official Ejari contract and ID number. This number is useful in registering for DEWA account.

Although some apartments like hotel apartments are inclusive of the bills which makes it more expensive and less stressful to move into your dream home. This is designed to accommodate the needs of renters while taking off the stress of major tenancy agreements and utility payments.

20. Move-in forms: there are communities that will request a move-in form before the tenant can proceed to occupy the property. Such areas include Arabian Ranches, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, The Springs, and The Meadows. This should be an important question to ask the agent before and after viewing the property and where to get such forms. There will be a process to be completed in order to obtain a move-in form. This process will involve the review of service charges, if there are outstanding payments, your move-in form won’t be approved. Some documents that are needed in addition to the move-in form include:

  • Property ownership copy.
  • Signed tenancy contract copy.
  • Passport and Emirates ID copy.
  • Copy of the property’s service charge receipt. It’s advisable to include the most recent receipt.

In conclusion, renting a property in Dubai requires due process to be followed, whether you choose to rent an apartment, villa, or townhouse or choose to find a property online or via a real estate company. Once all these have been completed, you will be ready to move into your new home in Dubai.

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