Your step-by-step guide to rent a house in Dubai

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  • The real estate market in Dubai is constantly buzzing with action.
  • There is a continuous supply of new developments in all areas of the city.
  • The renting process in Dubai can be overwhelming.
  • Below is a step-by-step guide for a smooth and hassle-free move.

Dubai real estate and renting shenanigans – it’s arguably one of the most discussed topics in the fast-growing and ever-changing city. Finding a place to settle is a long, tedious and confusing procedure for many of those who have recently moved to the land of opportunities.

Dubai’s rental market and rental activity are ever-fluctuating. There’s a constant supply of new developments in all areas of the city, not to mention the continuous influx of residents taking up new tenancy contracts.

The good news is, over the past year of 2017, it’s been a tenant’s market thanks to the deflation of rental rates, and there is room for rates to come further down according to Lukman Hajje, group CCO of online portal Propertyfinder, who has spoken to Time Out Dubai about the city’s recent rental activity.

To help you seamlessly navigate through a rent in Dubai, we have worked on a solid and faultless guide, one that you can rely on throughout your rental process whether you’re new to Dubai or a long-term resident looking to move to a different property.

Shortlist your requirements and plan things ahead of time

Research, research, research. We can’t stress this enough. If you’re unprepared and aren’t up to date with the current market, it’s going to be rather tricky. Negotiations will only go smoothly only if you have planned what you are looking for and where you’d like to do your viewings. Moreover, planning everything prior to meeting agents or looking at property, will save you precious time and effort.

Set your Dubai property budget

Price wise, Dubai properties can fluctuate tremendously. After you’ve done your research, choose a location/community that best suits your needs (proximity to your workplace, whether it’s child-friendly, or if it has supermarkets or restaurants nearby etc.) As long as it respects your budget category.

Always consider the extra costs and fees that will undeniably pop up here and there. They do add up to a substantial amount and should, therefore, be factored into your planning. If you choose to deal with an agent from a real estate company in Dubai, you will be charged a fee of 5%. Landlords also usually demand a 5% security deposit.

Often, those who are looking for properties, fail to consider that they will also have to pay:

  • A deposit to the Dubai Electrify and Water Authority (DEWA), usually AED2,000 for apartments and AED4,000 for villas.
  • A Dubai Municipality fee, which is 5% of the value of your annual rental contract, deducted in 12 installments via your monthly DEWA bill

Be careful of real estate scams

Be wary of online listings for apartments for rent in Dubai that aren’t hosted on trusted websites.

You will come across an abundance of real estate scams and fake listings out there. Our advice is for you to reach out to licensed real estate companies. You should also avoid listings on platforms like Facebook because they are often unreliable.

When dealing with a real estate agent and before handing over any money, always make sure you ask them for their license. It will save you getting cheated.

Trusty apartment listing websites:
  • KT buzzon
  • Dubizzle
  • Bayut

Negotiate a winning deal

Believe in your bargaining power! Tenants who move to Dubai from different countries have conflicting information about whether one should negotiate the rent and terms of their contract. Long story short, you can, and you should. As previously mentioned, research is important because it allows you to ensure you are not tricked into paying a higher rental amount compared to other properties in the area.

  • If you can’t pay upfront, then ask your employer to give you an advance
  • Today, very few landlords demand a single cheque. Four cheques are generally the norm
  • If you can pay one cheque, offer to pay a year upfront in return for a discount

Read the contract thoroughly

It’s important to make sure you’ll be happy in your new home. Going over the agreement in detail will set the tone for how things are going to be like and help you avoid any surprises at a later stage. And the most important thing to look for while going through the contract: Maintenance fees.
They’re one such cost that can be hidden in an unread contract. Make sure you go through the agreement in detail to ensure it specifies that the landlord is responsible for both building service fees and major maintenance. As a tenant, you can expect to pay for minor repairs and be refunded for major ones.

Plan out a temporary accommodation before you finalize your rental property

Just keep in mind that it often takes a few weeks to get all your paperwork sorted after moving to Dubai, and you need to finalize your Dubai residency visa before signing any rental contract. Look for furnished apartments, they are more affordable than hotels.

Book a reputable mover

This will make your move stress-free. Whether you’re moving from abroad or within Dubai, make sure that the company you’re hiring is licensed and reputable to avoid delays and hidden charges.

Professional movers in Dubai:
  • Swiffix – app
  • MrUsta – app and online marketplace
  • ISS worldwide Movers
  • Crown Relocations LLC
Professional movers for relocation from abroad:
  • Echo Xpats
  • Euro Movers International LLC
  •  GAC International Moving
  • Total Moving & Storage LLC

Do the necessary to take care of your home before moving in

Young couple moving into a new apartment in Dubai

Don’t forget to spend some time giving your new home some TLC – Tender loving care- before you move in. Schedule all the necessary home services such as painting, deep cleaning, pest control, etc. prior to moving in.  It will save you a lot of hassle.

Whether you’re looking for an apartment or a villa for rent in Dubai, the city’s property market has a lot going on, and so much on offer. Should you find the right property for your needs, make sure you seal the deal as soon as possible in a smooth manner. Enjoy your new home!


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Aqeed is on a mission to help you become better at everything related to insurance. The articles are meant to enrich your knowledge about insurance so that you make the right choices. From the decisions you make to the options you take, you are In Sure Hands.

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