As you start looking for a place to rent in Dubai, it might feel overwhelming. Dubai’s stunning skyscrapers and unique attractions can make it seem like a different world, but finding an apartment here is similar to looking for one elsewhere.

In your search, you’ll deal with real estate agents, landlords, amenities, location, and of course, cost. You can find an apartment in Dubai that suits your needs by understanding the local rental market, preparing the required documentation, and knowing your budget, priorities, and rights as a tenant. This guide covers everything you need to rent an apartment in Dubai as a newcomer to the United Arab Emirates.

Deciding Where to Live in Dubai

When it comes to finding the right place to rent an apartment in Dubai, there are several factors to consider, such as budget, lifestyle preferences, proximity to amenities, and transportation options.

Downtown Dubai

Downtown Dubai is one of the most sought-after areas to live in Dubai. It is home to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, as well as the Dubai Mall. Renting an apartment here provides convenient access to Dubai’s major attractions, but comes at a high cost. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment typically starts around AED 90,000 per year.

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is a popular residential area, especially for young professionals and families. It features a scenic waterfront promenade lined with restaurants, hotels, and residential towers. Rent here is slightly more affordable than Downtown Dubai, averaging AED 65,000 per year for a one-bedroom apartment. However, traffic and parking can be challenging in this densely populated area.

Jumeirah Lakes Towers

Jumeirah Lakes Towers, commonly referred to as JLT, is an excellent option for budget-conscious renters. It is located just south of Dubai Marina but offers lower rents, averaging AED 55,000 per year for a one-bedroom apartment. JLT features scenic lakes and plenty of amenities like restaurants, shops, and parks. However, the buildings are quite spread out, so walking between locations may not always be practical in Dubai’s hot climate.

In summary, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, and Jumeirah Lakes Towers are three of the most popular places for expats and locals to live in Dubai. The area you choose will depend on your budget and priorities. With scenic waterfront views, modern towers, and no shortage of amenities, any of these neighbourhoods would make an excellent place to rent an apartment in Dubai and call it home.

Guide to rent an apartment in dubai

Step-by-Step Guide to Rent an Apartment in Dubai

Renting an apartment in Dubai can feel overwhelming, but following a step-by-step manual provides a smooth experience from start to finish.

Search and Shortlist Property Listings

To start your search for an apartment in Dubai, you can begin by exploring online real estate listings on various property portals. Use search filters to narrow down the results based on your preferred location, budget, and desired amenities. Once you have a shortlist of potential options that align with your criteria, reach out to the listing agents or landlords to schedule viewings and get more information about the properties.

Visit the Property

When searching for an apartment, it is strongly advised to arrange in-person viewings to allow for a thorough assessment of factors such as space, layout, and condition. During the viewing, it’s important to ask the agent any questions you may have about the terms of the lease, payment details, or building facilities to ensure that the apartment meets your needs and expectations. If you come across an apartment that catches your interest, it’s advisable to be prepared to submit an offer on time.

Make an Offer

After viewing, determine how much you’re willing to offer for rent and submit it to the agent in writing. Your offer should be within 5-10% of the asking price. Negotiate with the agent until you reach an agreement, then request a Letter of Intent to reserve the unit.

Reserve the Property

To officially take an apartment off the market in Dubai, you’ll need to pay a security deposit (typically 5% of annual rent) and a reservation fee (around AED5,000). Once paid, the agent will issue a Letter of Intent outlining the terms of your lease. This secures your right to rent the property for 30-90 days until contracts are signed.

Review and Sign the Tenancy Agreement

During the reservation period, the agent will draft a tenancy contract for you to review and sign. Check that all details like the rent amount, payment schedule, notice period, and renewal terms match what was agreed upon. If satisfied, sign the contract to lease the apartment formally. Your agent will then register the contract with Ejari and DEWA to activate utilities.

Documents Required

Here are the documents typically required to rent an apartment in Dubai:

  • Passport: A copy of your passport, including your visa page and entry stamp.
  • Emirates ID: A copy of your Emirates ID card, which is issued to residents of the UAE.
  • Residence Visa: If you’re not a UAE citizen, you’ll need a copy of your residence visa.
  • Proof of Income: Documents such as salary certificates, bank statements, or employment contracts to demonstrate your ability to pay rent.
  • Security Deposit: Some landlords may require a security deposit, usually equivalent to one or two months’ rent.
  • Rental Application Form: A completed rental application form provided by the landlord or real estate agent.

Moving In

Once the tenancy contract is registered and utilities connected, you can start moving into your new Dubai apartment! Schedule a final inspection with your agent to note any existing damage, then arrange for professional movers to transport your belongings so you can settle into your new home.

Tips for moving into new dubai apartment

Tips for Moving Into Your New Dubai Apartment

Moving into a new apartment in Dubai can be both exciting and frightening. Here are some essential tips to help ease the transition and ensure a smooth move:

Find Temporary Accommodation

Upon arriving in Dubai, you will first need to find temporary housing while you search for an apartment. Staying in a hotel or short-term rental will allow you the flexibility to view properties. Make sure your temporary accommodation is located centrally so you can easily access different areas of the city.

Understand the Rental Agreement

Before you sign on the dotted line, read the rental contract thoroughly. Be clear about the terms, such as the duration of the lease, payment schedule, deposit requirements, and any restrictions or responsibilities that come with the property.

Arrange Utilities in Advance

In Dubai, you’ll need to set up utilities like water, electricity, and internet before you move in. Contact the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to start the service, and choose an internet provider that suits your needs. You must make this arrangement well in advance if you plan to rent an apartment in Dubai without basic amenities.

Hire a Reputable Moving Company

Consider hiring professional movers with experience in Dubai. They can help navigate the logistics of moving into high-rise buildings and dealing with the heat. Ensure they are licensed and insured.

Register Your Tenancy

In Dubai, it’s important to register your tenancy contract with the Ejari system. This government-run system legalizes the contract and is often required for services like obtaining a residential parking permit.

Complete Final Inspections and Payments

Before moving in, conduct a final inspection of the apartment with the landlord to identify any issues that need addressing. This is your opportunity to ensure everything is in working order and up to standard. Once the inspection is complete, you will pay the security deposit, advance rent, and any agency fees required to obtain the keys.

Move Into Your New Home

Now begins the exciting process of moving into your new Dubai apartment! Make sure to transfer all utilities into your name and arrange for delivery of any furniture or household items you shipped. Explore your new neighbourhood to find grocery stores, restaurants, transportation and leisure facilities. Congratulations, you now have a place to call home in Dubai!

With some planning and preparation, the process to rent an apartment in Dubai can be straightforward. Following these tips will help ensure you find accommodation that suits your needs so you can settle comfortably into your new home in the UAE. Best of luck with your move to this world-class city!


So in summary, finding out how to rent an apartment in Dubai requires preparation and research. Make sure you understand the rental process, market rates, and legal requirements. Determine your needs and budget, then research locations and listings. When viewing places, ask questions and negotiate.

Once you choose an apartment, follow rental procedures carefully, including signing the contract and paying fees. With some effort, you can find a great new apartment to call home in this exciting city. Stay organized, and be proactive, and you’ll secure the perfect Dubai apartment for you.

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