This guide provides you with a step-by-step, easy to follow outline of the entire process of renting an apartment in Dubai. The rules are different here. The items which we categorize as "necessary" in this guide are in fact crucial. We can guarantee that if you do your homework, the process will flow smoothly for you. Assume that there are no exceptions to the items on these lists.
Conditions for Renting an Apartment in Dubai
As a guideline, you can expect to pay 25% of your gross annual salary for rent if the employer will include a housing allowance in your package or most of the time the employer will provide you with a house to live in for the duration of your contract in Dubai.
To qualify for tenancy, most landlords require a valid Dubaii residence visa and current bank account with a personal cheque book and some of the Landlords require that your monthly earn to be 2 to 3 times the amount of the monthly rent. Payment terms depend on the Landlord, and usually you will be required 12 cheques to be handed upon signing the Tenancy Contract. Additionally a security deposit with a value of one months’ rent will be held by the Landlord in case any damages will be incurred to the property during the tenancy period.
Tenancy Contract Terms
All contracts are drawn up in English and Arabic. If you are only presented with an Arabic contract, you are well within your rights to ask for a translation. Take your time to have the translation verified by a trusted party as the Arabic version of the contract is the only one considered binding by the courts. Contracts are usually drawn up for a year and are renewable on an annual basis. Once the contract has been signed, the landlord has 30 days to register it with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture, along with a registration fee of 1% of the annual rent.
We recommend that you review your rental contract thoroughly, paying particular attention to the terms and clauses outlined below. The list given below is recommended and is by no means exhaustive.
- Rental fee and its payment
- Any terms relating to a deposit
- Duration of the contract, including the start date and finish date
- Any notice periods and related conditions
- The landlord’s liabilities and responsibilities (i.e. are utility bills covered, what maintenance and repair issues will the landlord take care of, etc.)
- Any restrictions that the tenant must abide by (i.e. no pets or smoking in the house, noise restrictions, etc.)
- If the apartment or villa you are renting is furnished, you should insist on an inventory of all items to be included as an appendix to the contract
If your salary level and total financial picture does not meet the landlord's requirements, you will need a co-signor, or guarantor, to guarantee the lease. Landlords prefer a family member who lives with you in Dubai or sometime they will require a guarantor. Employers will seldom guarantee on behalf of employees.
Are pets allowed?
They are allowed at the discretion of the Landlord or Developer; however some communities do not allow pets and is stated in the community rules.
If you have a housing allowance from your employer, wherever the case is your eligibility will be evaluated differently depending on the owners. Discuss these areas with your company's relocation department and with your agent.
How do I connect electricity and water?
MD Properties’ relocations team can do this on your behalf. For all details of connections and transfers, please or call MD Properties' Relocation Division at +974 40 166 511.
Registering the Lease
After the contracts have been signed, the landlord must register a copy of the agreement with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Agriculture.
The landlord must also pay the associated registration fee, which is one percent of the annual rent, and face a fine if they do not do this within 30 days following the signature of the lease.
Any disputes between tenant and landlord should be taken to the Rental Dispute Settlement Committee (at the time of writing located next to Rawdat Al Khail Park).