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First Time Renting in Dubai? Everything You Should Know

Being a multi-cultural hub of major commercial activities, Dubai stands favourite among those who are looking for excellent career opportunities and a luxurious life. Around thousands of expatriates move into Dubai every year and this cosmopolitan city is continuously adding new residential properties to accommodate its burgeoning population.

From a mansion to a studio, the city of gold has everything to offer. You just need to select the one that fulfils your expectations and lifestyle. So, if you are new to town and not sure where to start on finding your first home, you are in the right place. Here is everything you should know about renting in Dubai for expatriates.

Search Property Listings

This is one of the most important things to consider. Do online research to find a perfect property for rent in Dubai for yourself from a multitude of Dubai rental property listings. You can narrow down your search by placing your budget and number of rooms on the websites as well.

However, the most significant point to remember is that the major chunk of your expenses is going to be for rent. It may constitute about 30 to 40 per cent of the household budget. So, put this filter first before you put any other filter.

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Set Up A Site Visit

While looking for a home, apartment or villas for rent in Dubai for the very first time, it’s imperative to visit the property with your real estate agent. Do it on the weekends, so that you can get the maximum information about the area.

Try to reach there an hour earlier, in this way you can spend your time walking around the neighbourhood. You could even talk to the people there and ask them about their experiences.


Once you actually see the apartment to rent, you must check for the following

  • Inspect the security system such as security guard, cameras, and an intercom
  • Analyze the state of the apartment air, conditioning, tiles, kitchen chimney, water faucet, etc.
  • Check on the maintenance available is it by the landlord or the tenant?
  • Are the rooms spacious enough? Take a measuring tape with you, it will help you when you furnish the apartment.
  • Check if there are parking facilities.
  • Analyze the facilities and amenities that the area offers.
  • And, most importantly, make sure that your real estate agent is registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). Ask for their broker number as well.

Make an Offer

Once you are done with your research and selecting an apartment, the next step is to make an offer. Usually, landlords agree on lowering the annual rent if you can pay the amount in fewer cheques. However, before you make such decisions, make sure you are prepared to stay in a house for some time period. Otherwise, you may land in troubled waters.

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If you still face any difficulty, then look for short-term rentals instead, such as hotel apartments. This will help you get more flexibility in terms of payment methods.

Reserve the villa or apartment by paying the security fee. In order to do this, you will have to pay a refundable security deposit; this will be written by your landlord. If you break the deal at any point for any reason, then the landlord will retain all this security deposit.

Documents Required

  • Passport copy
  • Residence Visa copy (or you need to give an official document from your employer or sponsor stating that your visa is being processed)

It’s pertinent to take pictures of the vacant property. In this way, you can claim the full security deposit amount by the end of your tenancy contract. Don’t forget to ask for the receipt once you make this payment. Retain this.

Reexamine & Sign the Tenancy Contract

When you pay the payment, your real estate agent will share the tenancy contract with you. Make sure that it is according to the Dubai tenancy law. Read the contract, make amendments if required, and analyze all the terms and conditions carefully. If you have any concerns, then discuss it with your agent.

This will be followed by signatures, and submission of the tenancy contract along with rental cheques and the agency commission to the agent. Take the receipts of all the payments you make.

The agent will then ask the landlord to sign the contract by handing them over rent cheques, procuring a copy of the contract and an acknowledgement receipt for you. Then your agent will give you keys.

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Things to Consider Before Signing the Tenancy Contract in Dubai

  • Check if there are any maintenance issues.
  • Make sure to get all the swipe cards and keys.
  • Inspect whether you get all the facilities mentioned in the contract.
  • Analyze if all service charges have been resolved by the landlord before you move in.

Register your property with Ejari and then apply for a connection to get water and electricity through Dubai Water & Electricity Authority (DEWA).

Once you get your move-in permit, you are ready to move into your new house to start a new chapter in Dubai. While it may seem like a challenging task, the process becomes relatively simple when you follow these guidelines.

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