Everything you need to know about renting a property in Dubai


When it comes to renting a property in Dubai, UAE, you will need certain documents that come with renting a property. We will take you through all the basic documents you will need like the tenancy agreement, registering with Ejari and DEWA and more.

Dubai has some of the hottest real estate anywhere in the world and property here sells and exchanges hands often. Once you’ve decided on a property, it’s vital to have your documents in order to finalise your application and offer. 

1] Before you start make sure you have the basic set of documents (these three documents will be needed for most services in Dubai, UAE; as they show who your are and that you have the right to live and work in Dubai and the UAE): –

Passport copy
Residence Visa copy
Emirates ID copy

Then in addition to the three above the two below for your property you want to rent: –

A security deposit cheque; around 5% of the annual rental amount for an unfurnished property, or 10% for furnished properties
Agency fee cheque – typically 5% of the annual rental amount

2]Now we have the above we need to secure the property. You are required to pay a refundable deposit to the landlord. Ask your real estate agent to confirm the ownership of the property before the deposit is issued. This is to make sure the landlord owns the property and can rent it out. Make sure you get a receipt for your security deposit payment and get a copy of the landlords passport, just in case there are any issues that pop up later on.

3] Then we prepare the tenancy contract – make sure you read through every clause and understand everything in the contract. Make sure you are comfortable and have no doubts, if you do then stop and ask questions. It is important to make sure you are comfortable and know what you are getting yourself into.

To prepare a tenancy contract:
Passport copy
Residence Visa copy
Emirates ID copy
Confirmation of payment of security deposit

Before you finalise and sign your tenancy contract, you need to agree on the frequency of rental repayments, or “number of cheques”. Most landlords will accept two to four cheques. If you bargaining power to negotiating a lower rent then the few the cheques the better.

In more popular communities landlords can insist on one or two cheques. But more commonly, it is common for landlords to accept multiple cheques.

4] Once you sign your tenancy contract get receipts for the agency fee and make copies of each rent payment.
Agency fee payment (typically 5% of the rental amount)
Post-dated cheques for rental payments

5] Great, now you have secured your property and signed all the contracts it is time to register the tenancy contract with Ejari.

Ejari literally translates to ‘my rent’. The Ejari system is a contract registration platform administered by the Dubai Land Department (DLD) to authenticate rental contracts and agreements between tenants and landlords. The Ejari Registration is mandatory as it is there to make sure all private rental contracts are made into legally binding documents in a government-approved format.

Who registers the tenancy agreement with Ejari the landlord or tenant? It is the responsibility of the landlord. Normally the landlord will assign this task to the real estate agent. But the tenant will complete the process and pay the required fees. Make sure that all deposits, contract duration and rent amounts are clearly stated in your Ejari.

In English, Ejari translates to ‘my rent’. The Ejari system is a contract registration platform administered by the Dubai Land Department (DLD) to authenticate rental contracts and agreements between tenants and landlords.

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
AED 220 Ejari Registration Fee at typing centre (or AED 172 Registration Fee registering online or via the mobile app)

You can register in two ways.

a] Visit one of the approved Ejari typing centres with these documents:

There are Ejari typing centres in Al Manara Centre, Al Barsha Mall, Oud Metha, Port Saeed or Zabeel.

The general Ejari desk timings are from Sunday to Thursday between 8am to 8pm, on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm and during Ramadan from 8.30am to 4.30pm on weekdays only.

However, always double check your preferred locations business hours.

b] The Ejari mobile app

Download the Ejari app and register with your Emirates ID, passport and visa copy. Upload documents on the app; tenancy contract, Emirates ID, landlords and tenant’s passport and visa copy and title deed copy. You and your landlord need to be registered to use this method. Once s/he approves the documents on the app, an Ejari certificate will be issued in two working days.

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.


That was quite a process, now we have found our property, signed the tenancy contracts and registered our tenancy contracts with Ejari.

6] Now we have to get our electric and water connected. We do that with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA).

Once the Ejari contract has been registered you will receive a DEWA connection process electronically.

Once you have the DEWA process:

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 (AED 2,000 for apartments, AED 4,000 for villas) through the online payment gateway
Make payment of the non-refundable connection fee (between AED 110 to AED 300) through the online payment gateway

*Be mindful of pending DEWA payments.Some renters may not have settled their DEWA bill before leaving the property, so you may be unable to obtain your connection until the outstanding payment is settled. Make sure to confirm with the landlord that all bills from the previous tenant have been paid before you sign your contract.

7] When you rent your apartment or villa the district cooling, or chiller fees will be included in the price and taken care of, as the law stipulates they are responsible for service and maintenance charges of district cooling. District cooling or chiller is the centralised production and distribution of cooling energy in the building. The two main providers of this in Dubai, UAE are Emicool and Empower.

Sometimes landlords will allow you to pay the chiller fees in exchange for negotiating a lower annual rent. If that does happen then you will need the following documents: –

Copy of signed tenancy contract
Passport copy
Emirates ID copy
Signed registration forms
Refundable security deposit (approximately AED 2,000 for apartments, AED 3,000 for villas)

Now for the most part we are done and you are ready to move in but in some areas you may need a move in permit.

8] In some popular communities in Dubai, tenants are required to have a move-in permit before they move into an apartment or villa.

Your real estate agent will be able to tell you if this is needed for the area you want to move into, and where to get the necessary forms.

Documents needed in addition to a move-in form are:

Signed tenancy contract copy
Copy of property ownership (Title Deed or Oqood)
Passport copy
Emirates ID copy
Copy of the property’s most recent service charge receipt (get this from your real estate agent or landlord)

A key part in obtaining your move-in permit will include a review of service charges, your move-in request may be denied if the are any outstanding payments. For buildings, the service elevator needs to be booked and a refundable deposit may be requested by building management to protect against damages. Always check these details with your real estate agent or landlord.

To tick all the boxes and for extra protection do the following: –
Get the landlords passport copy and the Title Deed copy before handing over the cheques.
Always write your cheques to the landlord, per the Title Deed
Request the property management agreement in place between the landlord and the agency (if applicable).
Review the trade licence of the real estate or property management company to ensure they are licensed for “Leasing and Management of Other People’s Property”. You should not make cheques payable to a company that is licensed for “Supervision Services”, as they are not permitted to accept payments on behalf of owners.
Verify the real estate agents registration number and licence on the Dubai Land Department’s website.

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