- Dacha

Tenant's guide in Dubai

Prepare to be spoiled for choices when renting a residential property in Dubai. With a diverse range of neighbourhoods and property types to choose from, tenants can enjoy the high life without compromise in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.  

Take a look at our step-by-step guide for tenant’s guide, packed with valuable advice from our local property professionals.

Step 1: Set Your Budget and Criteria

Consider the essential features and amenities you want or need (e.g., location, convenience, neighbourhood), and use research to inform your budget.

Remember the advertised price that you see only includes the total annual rent and does not include the following:

  • Security deposit (5-10% of annual rent)
  • Brokerage fees (usually 5% of annual rent, but some brokers charge a minimum of 5,000 AED per tenancy contract)
  • Moving/relocation expenses
  • Deposits for gas, DEWA, Etisalat connections
  • Housing fees for Dubai Municipality (5% of annual rent)

Step 2: Prepare Key Documents

You will need your passport, residence visa and Emirates ID to enter into a tenancy agreement. Having these ready, along with the required funds, will help you secure your dream home more quickly.

Step 3: Hire a Broker

Hiring a real estate broker in Dubai can help you find the right property in a highly competitive and dynamic market. They can also assist in negotiating the terms of the lease with your potential landlord and keep you up to date with upcoming listings that match your requirements. We strongly recommend that you only hire registered real estate brokers. You can ask to see their RERA card to confirm that they are operating legally. 

Your broker should accompany all viewings. Ask as many questions as you want, and be sure to take note of any maintenance issues and ask your broker to arrange for repairs before you move in. 

Step 4: Make an Offer

Once you’ve put in an offer to your broker, they will start negotiating with the landlord. At the point of offer, you will need to provide your passport, Emirates ID, and residence visa, as well as making three payments by cheques - for the deposit, first rental payment and your broker's commission. 

You can negotiate the price and number of payments, to either pay in one payment up front for the whole year or pay in up to 12 instalments (provided as post-dated cheques). 

Note that it is illegal to bounce a cheque in the UAE and you could face arrest and detention if a cheque is submitted without adequate funds to cover the cost.

Step 5: Draw Up the Tenancy Agreement

Review the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreement thoroughly. Make sure everything that has been agreed with the landlord is added to the agreement.Once both parties sign the tenancy contract, you must register the tenancy with Ejari, a system designed to regulate and facilitate the rental market of Dubai. You can do this at centres across Dubai, such as the Al Manara Centre on Sheikh Zayed Road. You will need to bring your tenancy contract, your landlord’s ID, and the title deed.

Step 6: Apply for DEWA

To set up your water and electricity connection, submit an online application for Dubai Water & Electricity Authority (DEWA). Fill out a form and provide the Ejari number, Emirates ID number and your passport number. Then, pay the security deposit through DEWA’s online payment gateway, and the service will be activated within 24 hours.