Renting in Dubai

Renting in Dubai

Are you new to Dubai and looking to rent your first home?

Or, simply seeking to relocate or upgrade?

Dubai offers residents a plethora of choices that appeal to every lifestyle, from super luxury villas and penthouses to affordable studios and townhouses, ultimately it comes down to your budget that will determine where and what type of property you will be looking at. 

Factors that influence the price of rent in Dubai:

  • Location – prime locations, particularly waterfront communities, will come at a higher price point. Proximity to the city center as well as transport links can also affect price
  • Property type – villa, townhouse or apartment
  • Size – square footage of the property
  • Layout – not all square footage is created equal and floor-plans can often materially impact price
  • Quality – the age of the property as well as the finishing
  • Views; properties with prime views can often command a higher price
  • Furnished or unfurnished; furnished properties are usually priced at a premium and appliances throughout can affect price
  • Market conditions – simply “supply and demand” will dictate market price for a unit.

Understanding your budget

Housing, is typically largest monthly expense for a person or family. As a general rule of thumb, no more than 30% of your salary should be spent on housing.

For example, on a salary of AED20,000 per month, AED6,000, or less, per month should be allocated toward housing, equating to AED72,000 per year.

However, everyone’s financial situation is different. If you don’t spend much on transportation or entertainment, you may have more room to move with your housing budget.

If you are relocating for business purposes, it is always a good idea to ask the company who is employing you if there is a build-in “living out allowance” in the contract, and look to work within that budget.

Costs associated with renting in Dubai

  • Security Deposit – 5% of annual rent. This amount is refundable and collected as security against any damage to the property. If you fulfil all obligations under your contract, including settling all outstanding bills at the end of the contracted term, and returning the property in the same condition as received, you will receive this entire amount back.
  • Agency Fees – AED5000 for properties below AED100,000 and 5% above AED100,000. Standard market practice in Dubai is if you are renting a property via a real estate agent or a brokerage firm, you must pay an extra agency fee. Enlisting the services of a professional real estate agent will ensure that your tenancy contract legally protects your rights and best interests.
  • DEWA Fees:
    • Apartments – AED2,000 (refundable deposit upon vacating and clearing any outstanding charges). AED110 (non-refundable connection fee)
    • Villa – AED4,000 (refundable deposit upon vacating and clearing any outstanding charges). AED300 (non-refundable connection fee)
    • Housing Fees – (Dubai Municipality Fee) 5% of annual rent divided into 12 monthly payments added to DEWA bills
    • Ejari Fees – AED220 at a typing center. AED172 via the mobile app

To be legally binding, all Tenancy Contracts must be registered with the Ejari system, a contract registration platform administered by the Dubai Land Department (DLD) to authenticate rental contracts and agreements between tenants and landlords.

Chiller Fees – Comprised of [Consumption Charge + Demand Charge + Fuel Surcharge]. District cooling deposits and connection fees vary according to the provider and size of the property.

District cooling, chiller, or air conditioning, is an essential requirement given the climate in Dubai. Emicool and Empower are the main providers.

  • DEWA charges – Security deposit (AED 2,000 for apartment, AED 4,000 for villa). Connection cost (AED110 for apartment, AED300 for villa). Administrative fee of AED30. Connection and admin fee of AED230. It is essential to factor in the upfront costs of connecting your utilities with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). The security deposit is refundable upon vacating the property and settling your final bill.

Fuel Surcharge; due to increases in global fuel prices, a fuel surcharge will be included in your bill. DEWA will calculate this charge on a transparent basis and it will be passed on in your monthly bill

  • Housing fee – 5% of annual rent collected in 12 installments. Many properties in Dubai have a housing fee component built into their DEWA bill. If your property is one of these, you will pay an additional 5% of annual rent as a fee to DEWA, added to your bill each month.

Documents required to lease a property in Dubai

To prepare a tenancy contract:

  • Passport copy
  • Residence Visa copy
  • Emirates ID copy

 (Remember, before signing a contract, you should thoroughly read through each clause, making a note of anything you do not fully understand. Never leave room for ambiguity, as this means a clause may be open to interpretation later down the line, and potentially not in your favour)

Upon signing your tenancy contract:

  • Agency fee payment
  • Security deposit
  • Post-dated cheques for rental payments

(Ensure you receive a receipt of payment for the agency fee, as well as copies of each rent cheque)

For registering your tenancy contract with Ejari:

  • Original signed tenancy contract (by tenant and landlord)
  • Confirmation of payment of security deposit and rent cheques
  • Copy of Title Deed (obtained from landlord)
  • Passport copy
  • Residence Visa copy
  • Emirates ID copy
  • Passport copy of landlord
  • If the landlord resides overseas, the contract can be signed under Power of Attorney (POA). In this case, you will require a copy of the valid POA and a passport copy of the POA
  • 9-digit DEWA Premises Number

Additional information

Where can I find an Ejari Typing Center?

Other than the online registration, tenants and landlords can also visit the designated Ejari typing centers in Dubai along with the relevant documents.

Approved Ejari centers are located in

  • Al Barsha Mall
  • Al Manara Centre
  • Oud MethaPort Saeed
  • Zabeel

Ejari typing centers operate Saturday to Thursday and follow general working hours. Ejari desk timings: 08:00 am to 08:00 pm | Saturdays 09:00 am to 02:00 pm. Some Ejari center locations may have different business hours. It’s always better to confirm the timings prior to your intended visit.

NOTE: Ensure previous Ejari is cancelled, Ejari certificates must be cancelled by either the former tenant, the landlord, real estate agency or property management company. They do not cancel automatically on tenancy expiry. If this has not been done, it will prevent and delay your registration and certificate.

DEWA connection

Once registration is complete, you will receive the official Ejari contract which includes a unique Ejari ID number. This number is used to register for your DEWA account, which you can now conveniently complete online.

Newly integrated systems between Ejari and DEWA mean you will receive a DEWA connection process electronically once your Ejari contract has been registered.

Once received, here’s the next steps:

Download the DEWA Smart Application and follow the prompts to apply for a new connection

Provide your Ejari contract number, Emirates ID and passport copy

Make payment of the refundable DEWA deposit amount through the online payment gateway

Make payment of the non-refundable connection fee through the online payment gateway

TIP: Be aware of pending DEWA payments

In some cases, previous renters may not have settled their DEWA bill before leaving the premises, meaning you will be unable to obtain your connection until the outstanding payment is settled.

Connecting district cooling

  • Copy of signed tenancy contract
  • Passport copy
  • Emirates ID copy
  • Signed registration forms
  • Refundable security deposit

Move-in form

Some popular communities in Dubai, such as Downtown Dubai, Arabian Ranches, The Springs, The Meadows and Dubai Marina, require tenants to produce a move-in permit before they occupy an apartment or villa.

Check with the real estate agent or landlord whether this is a prerequisite of your area, and where to obtain the necessary forms – typically, they will be available on the developer’s website.


Before you finalise and sign your tenancy contract, you need to agree on the frequency of rental repayments, commonly referred to as number of cheques. Most landlords will accept two to four cheques. Typically, less cheques come with the bargaining power of negotiating lower rent.

Gas supply

Depending on the community you choose to live in, you might require a gas connection for the use of the oven. Some communities have a set gas supplier, whereby the gas is piped into the property and there is a set deposit and connection fee which will apply.

Older communities generally have a gas bottle system, you will be required to order a gas bottle from your preferred supplier and it will delivered to your door.

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