Tips for Renting an Apartment in the UAE

  • February 22 2024
Tips for Renting an Apartment in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates, as one of the most sophisticated countries, offers an amazing lifestyle with comfort and affordability.  

A lot of people come to the UAE to live, work and invest because of the lifestyle, security and job opportunities.  

The process of renting real estate in Dubai, UAE has been made easier with relevant laws and initiatives.  

In fact, many people find renting to be a better alternative due to the availability of rental apartments on short term as well as long term lease.

With that in mind, we have formulated this detailed guide on handy tips for renting an apartment in the UAE. Read on to know all the necessary details.

A Quick Overview of The UAE Rental Market

UAE rental market

Demand and price slightly vary in each emirate. Although the real estate markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been among the most profitable recently, many affordable deals can be found in Sharjah.  

After the COVID-19 pandemic, the prices have skyrocketed in popular regions. For example, apartments in Dubai have increased by an average of 30 percent since 2020.  Whereas the rent on certain villas has increased by 50 percent.  

For a detailed overview of the rental market in Dubai, get help from our report on property market in Dubai.  

How To Find an Apartment in the UAE: Guidelines and Tips

Here’s you go to guide to rent an apartment in Dubai or other cities in the United Arab Emirates.

Searching For the Apartment

In a vibrant market like Dubai, properties change very quickly, so it is recommended to schedule visits or get in touch with your agent online to look for an apartment not more than two weeks in advance.  

A lot of property portals and real estate websites offer helpful area guides that display facilities, amenities, locations, proximity and the typical cost of buying and renting property in the UAE.

It is advisable to visit the neighborhood before relocating to get suggestions from any locals who may already be residents. Some buildings have unoccupied apartments, you can also stop by the front desk, inquire about the options and explore the building.  

Community groups can also share information about living in a particular neighborhood. So, try joining such groups on Facebook.

Read also: Al Muteena Dubai: Area Guide

Location Matters A lot!

location of apartment

We have talked about some of the best and cheapest areas to rent in Dubai earlier. Even while the lifestyle or rental prices in some areas may draw you in, it is crucial to consider practical things.  

You should look for an apartment that is closer to your office or shop to avoid spending hours each day stuck in traffic.  

Living far away only because it’s less expensive doesn’t make sense as you might not have appropriate access to public transport. And driving might be expensive (hello, rising fuel prices).

The location of your apartment is important and will determine whether or not it’s a good choice. Therefore, you should thoroughly investigate the location.

Here are a few things you should consider:

- Travel time: As mentioned earlier, you should estimate how long it will take you to get to work, your child’s school, community centers or any other area you frequently visit. This is to ensure that the location you are choosing is convenient.  

- Traffic: You can assess the flow of traffic in the region. This is an important issue to take into account, especially during rush hours. Traffic in Dubai can affect the time stated in the advertisement to go back and forth from the apartment.  

- Locality: You must do proper research regarding the locality of the apartment you are choosing.  

Read also: Pros and Cons of Living in A Rental Property

Get To Know the Laws and Rules of The Area

Renting property in the UAE offers a unique set of rules and regulations. To prevent any confusion or misunderstanding later on, make sure you are aware of the rights and duties that apply to both the tenant and the landlord.

So, get help from a reliable real estate company in Dubai like Al Majid Property Co. LLC. The quality of your rental experience can be greatly improved by our trustworthy agents.  

You can also ask about the property rules for reference from agencies or landlords with a solid reputation.   

A Visit to The Property

visiting the apartment

The next step after looking for a rental apartment is to go see it before renting. Analyze whether the property needs maintenance while you are there. Also, see if the apartment meets your needs by testing its functionality.  

After I Locate an Apartment, What Comes Next?

You found your dream home—there comes the documentation, agreements and legalities.  

Throughout the year, a number of upfront postpaid cheques will be required to be deposited and cashed by landlord. Well, this can be used as a negotiating chip for price.

While a thriving property market may make it less typical for landlords to accept multiple cheques, a single cheque can promote a discount on the overall rent.  

A copy of your passport must be provided to your agent prior to contract drafting. Once the details of the contract have been agreed upon by both parties, cheques should be given out.

The first cheque should typically be dated 2 before moving in. Before giving a tenant the keys, the agent responsible should make sure the house is spotless and well maintained.

To have fully connected utility services before you move in, a copy of your passport and tenancy agreement is needed.  

The relevant authorities will set up your water and utility account once your contract has been legally registered.  

Get a written rental agreement  

Make sure you always get a written leasing contract. By doing this, you can protect your rights and make sure that both you and your landlord are in agreement.  

It is important to clarify the terms of the lease to prevent future misunderstandings.

Understand the end-of-tenancy procedures

Make sure you are aware of the end-of-tenancy procedures before your lease expires. This will guarantee that you have enough time to leave the existing property in good shape and make plans for your new place.  

Get Ejari registration  

You must present an Ejari contract to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to access all the basic utilities.   

Ejari is essentially a structure that governs and protects the lease between landlord and tenant. The main points of the tenancy agreement are highlighted in an Ejari certificate.  

Make everything legal

As we know, renting an apartment in Dubai has some legal implications. It makes sense to handle everything legally if you want to stay out of any problem.  

To begin with, when searching for an apartment to rent, most of the people use the services of a real estate agent. Usually, the real estate agent or broker will set up everything and complete the transaction as per the agreed conditions.  

So, to guarantee that everything is completed in accordance with the laws and that you aren’t being overcharged for the services, make sure the agent is registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA).

Read also: A Guide to Tenants’ Rights in Dubai

Things To Remember Before Preparing for the Move

rental apartment in Dubai

Before moving to the new place, here’s what you should remember:  

- Before moving in, confirm that the landlord has paid all service fees. This should be verifiable and transcribed to review.  

- Make sure all the maintenance issues are resolved before moving in.

- Verify the building’s entry points and make sure that you have been given the right keys and swipe cards.

- Ideally, the landlord should hand over the place in a livable state. If not, request that your apartment be cleaned before you move in.

- Verify that the amenities in your apartment complex are functional and that you are able to utilize everything that the landlord or the contract specifies.  

- One important thing to keep in mind is that—you must cross check with previous tenants about the reputation of the landlord. Ask around whether he/she caused any problems for the renters or other related issues.  

Read more: Can Tenants Change the Locks Without Landlord Permission?

Short Term and Long-Term Rentals in Dubai

Dubai is home to thousands of foreign visitors and residents. It offers two types of rentals—short term and long term.  

For short-term rentals, there are options for daily, weekly or monthly rentals. For example, if you are on a business tour or simply on vacation, you can choose short term rentals.  

For long-term rentals, you have to sign a tenancy agreement for longer than six months. While short term rentals do not need registration, long term rentals require Ejari registration.  

There is another prominent difference between the two rental options, i.e., short term rentals are usually fully furnished apartments or homes including utilities like electricity, gas, water, etc.  

In long-term rental options, you can have furnished, semi furnished or unfurnished spaces with separate utility bills.  

Read more: Landlord and Tenant Responsibilities for Repairs



What to check before renting an apartment in Dubai?

There are some important things that you need to check before renting an apartment in Dubai. You must verify the legal status and legitimacy of the property before renting. We would recommend you check all the tenancy agreements to know the length, terms and renewal policies.  

Before signing, check the apartment for any maintenance issues (if there are any) and make repair requests. You must be aware of additional expenses such as utilities and security deposits, etc., to avoid any surprises.

Not only that, but you should also take a look at the neighborhood—safety, accessibility and basic amenities. Talk to previous renters to learn more about how responsive the landlord is. Lastly, review the rules and regulations of the community. So, for a hassle-free and pleasurable stay, you need to have a complete inspection of the rental apartment beforehand.

Is it easy to rent your apartment in Dubai?

Yes. It is quite easy to rent your apartment In Dubai only if you follow the proper approach.  To ensure a hassle-free transaction, follow RERA regulations. You can also use RERA Dubai calculator to estimate your annual income.  It is important to make sure that all the necessary paperwork is done.  

Check for the utility connections, key and card inventory (it should be created, signed and gathered before turning over the keys to the tenant. Once everything is settled, the tenant is free to use the space.  

What do I need to be able to rent in Dubai?

To rent a property in Dubai, make sure you have the necessary documents and relevant budget. The following documents are needed to rent a property in Dubai:

- A copy of your Emirates ID (for residents)

- A copy of your passport

- A copy of your resident visa

- A cheque for 5% of the total annual rent

The lease agreement should be documented to make it legally binding for the landlord and tenant. For this, you have to provide Dubai Department of Property (DLD) with a number of papers, official documents and security deposit.  

Besides, DLD provides a simple and quick way to record your rental agreement. For this, you have to abide by their policies and procedures by providing all necessary documentation.  

When moving into a new property in a different location, you need a moving permit. Before moving, you should consult with your real estate agent or landlord if the new place you are moving to needs this kind of permission letter.

To obtain this permit, you need to submit the following documents:

- A copy of the signed rental agreement

- A copy of the most recent service charge receipt for the apartment

- A copy of your passport

- A copy of Emirates ID  

- Title deed

Does rent in Dubai include bills?

No. The rent in Dubai doesn’t cover the utility bills. The majority of the buildings in Dubai require you to pay for services like WI-FI, electricity, gas, water, etc., unless you are renting a furnished apartment.  Some buildings provide the choice of a “chiller-free” option.  

This means that your monthly electricity bill is reduced by the building—which pays for your air conditioning. You can save a significant amount of money, especially in the summers, as air conditioning is probably going to account for a large portion of your bills.  

Ahmed Creek Residence

Some apartment buildings in Dubai provide additional amenities like parking facilities, gym, swimming pools, etc. These can be paid for as well as free facilities. However, a few older buildings lack underground or outdoor parking facilities. And if you have a car, you have to pay extra each month for public parking.  

Now, another important question is, who is responsible for the maintenance of the apartment?

Well, most apartment complexes in the UAE have an annual maintenance fee along with the rent. Usually, your landlord pays this fee but that depends. For example, there might be the issue of costs linked with normal wear and tear. The Ejari document will have all of the information related to this. So, read it carefully and thoroughly.  

Read also: Ejari Registration in Dubai: An Ultimate Guide

Summing It Up

Let’s summarize things for you.  

You should do the following things if you are looking to rent an apartment in the UAE:

- Setting up an appropriate budget.  

- Looking for a place that is close to schools, offices, retail centers and hospitals. We would advise you to choose a place close to Dubai public transport stations if you don’t have a car.  

- Inspecting the facilities and amenities in the apartment complex such as parking space, gym, swimming pool, library, etc.  

- Carefully examine the condition of the property.

- Verifying the landlord’s renting history by acquiring the rental good conduct certificate (one of the perks and benefits of living in Dubai).  

- Keeping an eye out for unpaid bills.

- Calculating the hidden rental expenses to prevent financial problems in the future.  

- Getting familiar with the rules and laws related to renting in Dubai.  

- Looking out for rules and stats when renting with roommates. Avoid housemates who are messy, nasty, and toxic.  

Knowing the right to register a rental dispute (if either party, tenant or landlord, causes problems).  

So, by following the above-mentioned guidelines and tips for renting an apartment in the UAE, you can rent any place stress free. If you are looking to rent a studio apartment in Dubai, get help from our crisp guide on useful tips to rent a studio apartment.