Renting property in Dubai: the essential guide

Living in one of the most rapidly-emerging contemporary cities in the world is a dream for many people, but when it comes to finding a property there’s much …

Living in one of the most rapidly-emerging contemporary cities in the world is a dream for many people, but when it comes to finding a property there’s much to consider.

Set in such stunning surroundings, it’s not difficult to find a property to fall in love with, but Dubai’s rental market is set up slightly differently than what you may be used to.

Here’s the essential guide to renting property in Dubai and the facts you should always consider.


Find out what’s included

In Dubai, the hot temperatures mean that apartments have additional facilities such as air-conditioning which you won’t be used to if you’ve been living in a cooler climate.

In the scorching hot summer, air conditioning is an absolute essential so if it’s not working in the property you plan on moving into; don’t be tempted to sign up anyway. Air-conditioning is a major deal in a location such as Dubai.

What type of property will you choose to rent in Dubai?

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Although you may think it’s obvious what’s being included in the price of the rental, make sure you get it documented explicitly what’s covered by the cost. What landlords offer can vary significantly so don’t assume it’s the same everywhere.

As well as the basic rent, you might get air-conditioning and even Wi-Fi thrown in for free and some rentals also include furniture too.

Do be aware that paying for your rent may be different in Dubai from what you’re used to; it’s not normal to pay it monthly and you may have to stump up for several months in one go, or even a year.

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Check utility arrangements

You won’t have the opportunity to switch utility suppliers in Dubai as everything is arranged through one account.

DEWA – the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority – are the organisation who are responsible for providing the supply to your apartment, and you will have to pay a connection fee so include this in your calculations.

Before you take on a property, ask for the estimates of the monthly cost so you don’t get a nasty surprise when you see the bill. If there’s no double glazing in the property, your bills could get very expensive if you’re paying for the air conditioning yourself. This is because single glazing will allow the cool air to escape, and will take far more energy to keep your property cool.

Renting property in Dubai, a wealth of choice

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Apartments don’t tend to suffer as much as villas because they aren’t so exposed; this is worth considering if you’re weighing up what type of property to rent in Dubai.


Don’t underestimate travel time

You may be used to climbing into the car and heading off to the other side of the city, but in Dubai it will take a long time to travel a relatively short way.

Traffic jams are a way of life in Dubai; everyone has a car and this is the primary means of transport to get around. This means that a school which looks just a short journey away could mean spending a considerable amount of time each day inching through the queues of cars.

Don’t underestimate the logistical difficulties in getting to regular destinations; live as close as you can afford to where you need to be.

Also, although older apartments in Dubai can be set in some of the most beautiful neighbourhoods, you may well find they don’t have any provisions for parking, unlike newer complexes. Parking is not an easy problem to get around in Dubai so if you can’t see any obvious spaces nearby, make sure you ask what the arrangements are…if any.


Extra fees

If you are renting a property through an estate agency in Dubai, you will need to add on the extra fees which you will be asked to pay.

These are known as Ejari, and are a government initiative which is designed to make sure the market is transparent, requiring every tenancy contract to be registered with the body. Although the extra costs may be unwanted, they provide you with protection and can prevent some of the landlord problems which have occurred in the past.



There are many different community areas in Dubai with many benefits to living in each one. Find the location which is closest to your needs, and offers convenience and you will find a whole host of properties to consider. Bear the above facts in mind when looking and don’t be scared to ask questions if you’re not sure of anything.

Although there may be much to learn at first, once you’ve gotten the hang of the differences in administration, you’ll find Dubai a fascinating and vibrant place to live.

Image Credits: Minal Hashmi and Emerging Developments


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