Rent and Housing in the UAE: Everything You Need to Know

If you are moving to the UAE, you need to think about your housing to keep yourself and your family. In Abu Dhabi and Dubai, you will find housing easy to come by. And many expatriates come to stay in the cities. However, you will find housing expensive in the cities.

Despite the average rent in the UAE dipping by 30 percent in recent years, you need to spend nearly half of your salary on rent alone.

However, many companies in the UAE offer housing facilities to their employees. At the same time, some offer only an allowance.

The good thing is, you will find many types of housing throughout the UAE. For example, you can choose from high-rise apartments, villas within gated complexes, and townhouses.

Remember that rental contracts in the UAE typically last for one year. And you need to incur a hefty fine if you breach the contract.

Many landlords in the UAE ask for a year’s worth of pre-dated checks and up to three months’ rent as an upfront deposit.

You will find plenty of short-term rental accommodation in the UAE. So, you can stay in such an accommodation to see a property in person before finalizing a property to buy.

There are plenty of quality houses and apartments for rent in the country. And you will be able to find the perfect accommodation for you and your family quickly. You can either rent a property or buy one.

Renting a House or Apartment

You will find ample properties for Rent in Abu Dhabi and Dubai apart from the other emirates in the UAE. But, rental prices are expensive. Even though employers in the UAE offer attractive salaries, much of the salaries go towards the cost of living. When it comes to rents, the average annual rent for a studio ranges between AED 30,000 to 50,000. Rents for one-and two-bedroom apartment range between AED 70,000 and 100,000.

You can also choose to rent a house in the UAE. For example, in Dubai, the minimum rent for a three-bedroom house is AED 193,180 AED per year. And that for a five-bedroom house is AED 168,180 AED.

Renting Properties in the UAE as a Foreigner

Foreigners looking for a property to rent in the UAE should acquaint themselves with the process’s nitty-gritty.

In the UAE, rental contracts typically last for a year and are hard to break. And the strict housing laws protect both the landlord and tenant. So, you can remain protected if your landlord tries the break the contract to evict you.

You can find both furnished and unfurnished flats to rent in the UAE. Rent for a furnished apartment is more than that for an unfurnished apartment. What is remarkable is that you will get the best furniture when renting a furnished apartment in the UAE.

If you plan to stay in the UAE for the short term, you can go for an unfurnished apartment because you will face fewer hassles while moving in and moving out.

Most employers in the UAE provide housing or a housing allowance for their employees. However, with the availability of abundant properties in the UAE, it might become a stressful affair to find a house for rent on your own. So, the best thing you can do is to take the help of a real estate agent.

What Are the Steps Involved in Finding a Property in the UAE?

When foreigners look for a property in the UAE, they need to follow the following steps:

#1. Arrive in the UAE

It will help if you arrive in the UAE in person before you rent a property. Although you can find many properties listed online, you should not finalize a renting deal before examining the property in person. Remember that renting is expensive and the contract lasts for one year. In addition to the property’s condition, you should also check out the surrounding traffic and public transportation options near the property before finalizing.

#2. Look Online

You can visit online property portals search for properties to rent. And there are many property websites you can use. But keep in mind that property pictures on websites look great. But you should not rely your search on the attractiveness of the pictures alone. You should instead visit the property in person.

#3. Hire an Agent

Hiring a real estate agent is another sensible thing to do in your property search. But ensure that the agent is registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). In some emirates, such as Dubai, dealing with unauthorized or freelance real estate agents is illegal. In addition to showing you different properties, a real estate agent will also handle the necessary paperwork. Besides, an agent can negotiate a good property deal.

#4. Keep the Necessary Documents Ready

You will need the essential documents during the renting process. So, keep them ready. The following documents you will need:

  • your passport
  • a copy of your residence visa
  • a marriage certificate attested by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, if married;
  • work contract or salary certificate;
  • bank statement

#5.Rental Contract and Deposit

In Dubai or Abu Dhabi, all rental contracts must be registered with the local authorities. There are indications that it might become a standard requirement for all the emirates. So, you should check with your real estate agent about any specific contract requirements for their emirate.

While the rental contract is called Ejari in Dubai, it is called Tawtheeq in Abu Dhabi. Tenants complete the former, and the latter is completed by either the property owner or the real estate consultant managing the property.


It is always good to know the nitty-gritty details of renting a property in the UAE beforehand. It will help you to proceed in the right direction eventually.