A Tour of Utilities Connections in The UAE

A Tour of Utilities Connections in The UAE

Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as well as other emirates, continues to be one of the most popular destinations for expats wishing to change their lives by finding a job or opening up their own business. After moving to the UAE and renting or buying a property, foreigners need to start thinking about setting up their new life. Where can you go to open an account to pay for the utility connections? How can you pay for bills? Are the rules identical for all emirates or are there differences? Is it possible to make complaints? All these questions appear in the minds of foreigners, who have moved to the country so we have decided to provide you with key information about utility connections in the UAE to ease your life as an expat in this article.

Electricity & Water in The UAE

Utilities in the country are provided by regional authorities. The energy sector plays an important role in UAE policy, and most of the electricity in the country is generated with the use of natural gas-fired generation. In 2017 the UAE launched the Energy Strategy 2050, which aim is to increase the contribution of clean energy in the total energy mix from 25% to 50%, and to meet the growing energy demand, the UAE government plans to invest AED 600B (USD 163B) to support the country and its citizens to meet the increasing energy demand. Water in the country comes through desalinated seawater and groundwater. Water in the UAE is safe to drink but to avoid problems it’s recommended to purchase a water filter or bottled water.

Note: A G plug is used in the UAE. This type of plug is also used in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong. As for the voltage and frequency, it’s usually 220V and 50Hz.

Utilities in Dubai

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is responsible for the water and electricity supply in Dubai. The owner of a property wishing to get access to it, should submit an application to DEWA. Tenants can also do this at the dedicated Ejari centers, only after getting a tenancy contract registration.

Real estate owners should have the following documents:

  • Title deed
  • Copy of a passport with a residence visa page
  • Emirates ID

Tenants should show the following documents:

  • Tenancy contract, attested by Ejari
  • Copy of a passport with a residence visa page
  • Emirates ID

If someone else plans to apply on behalf of the tenant, he/she should present a copy of the power of attorney.

Here is the list of activation charges:

  • Connection of electricity and water will cost AED 100 (USD 27) for small metres and AED 300
  • (USD 82) for large metres
  • Registration fee is AED 10 (USD 3)
  • Knowledge fee is AED 10 (USD 3)
  • Innovation fee is AED 10 (USD 3)
  • VAT can be charged if applicable
  • Security deposit is AED 2,000 (USD 545) for apartments and AED 4,000 (USD 1,090) for villas

Note: UAE nationals who are Thunker (60+) and Sanad (people of determination) cardholders, get a 50% discount on activation charges.

Services should be activated within 15 hours after the security deposit payment. In case this doesn’t happen, call the Customer Care Centre on 04-601 9999. If you move out of the property, you will need to deactivate the electricity and water services. This can be done online, as well as the activation.

You will need to pay for the following actions:

  • Disconnecting electricity and water will cost AED 100 (USD 27) for small meters
  • Disconnecting electricity and water will cost AED 300 (USD 82) for large meters
  • Knowledge fee is AED 10 (USD 3)
  • Innovation fee is AED 10 (USD 3)

UAE nationals who are Thunker and Sanad cardholders, get a 50% discount on deactivation charges.

How Do You Pay Utility Bills in Dubai?

Bills are sent every month, and the majority of companies offer autopay services. Dubai citizens, for instance, can always check bills online via the official DEWA website.

Note: Having a bank account after moving to the UAE is necessary, not only for receiving your salary, saving or investment purposes, but also for your daily needs. In this article we explain how residents and non-residents can open a bank account in Dubai, which documents you will need, and which Emirati banks are considered the most reputable.

The DEWA bill consists of a slab tariff, which grows with the increase of electricity and water consumption, a fuel surcharge, and a 5% VAT on tariffs. When receiving a bill, you can see your name, account number, electricity and water usage for the month, bill’s total, date of the bill, etc.

After receiving a bill, the account holder should pay it. If a payment is not made, he/she will receive up to three notifications by email and text message. You will be disconnected from services 14 days past the final due date. In order to get access to the services again, you will need to pay the debt and, in the majority of cases, a reactivation fee.

If you plan to go on vacation (or to your home country) and leave Dubai for a period of time, you might be interested to learn more about the Away Mode, which is available through DEWA. First of all, you are recommended to set your air conditioner on auto-mode at 27° C which will help you to prevent damages which can appear because of humidity and heat. Then you will need to:

  • Visit the DEWA website
  • Turn on Away Mode by inputting your DEWA account number, OTP which you will receive on
  • your mobile phone and dates of your absence
  • Choose how often you wish to receive notifications from DEWA to see daily/weekly water consumption and avoid abnormalities
  • Enter your email, and submit the form
  • Wait for a letter and a confirmation message from DEWA

Utilities in Abu Dhabi

Residents of Abu Dhabi get water and electricity thanks to the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC). To get access to them, the tenant/owner should apply for the service. Tenants can do it after registering the contract in the Tawtheeq system. Among the required documents are:

  • Tenancy contract
  • Passport
  • Emirates ID
  • Account closing letter from the previous tenant

If you are the owner of the property, you will need the following documents:

  • Copy of the title deed or site plan from Abu Dhabi Municipality
  • Passport
  • Emirates ID
  • Account closing letter from the previous tenant

In order to see bills and pay for them, you need to have an account with the website of Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, using your Emirates ID and a code which will be sent to your mobile phone.

There are several ways to pay for your bills, including:

  • Online payment at ADDC website
  • Autopay options
  • ADDC App
  • Payment at ADDC kiosks
  • Payment at an ATM machine
  • Telephone or Internet banking payment
  • One Prepay and some other options

Residents of other emirates can find all the necessary information on the official portal of the UAE Government.

Reporting Faults

In case of emergency, such as power or water failure, contact the distribution companies. They will help you to solve the issue as fast as possible.

You should save the following emergency numbers:

  • Those living in Dubai can call 991 or +97146019999 round-the-clock to contact Dubai Electricity & Water Authority. If you prefer communication via email, write to customercare@dewa.gov.ae
  • Residents of Abu Dhabi should call 8002332 for the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company. There is an opportunity to use a chat service to solve electricity-related issues. Moreover, residents of Abu Dhabi can always check an interactive outage map, which is updated every 15 minutes and provides residents of the Emirati capital with the latest information about any electricity-related failures
  • Residents of Sharjah should contact Sharjah Electricity, Water and Gas Authority by calling 991
  • Those living in other emirates, call Etihad Water and Electricity – 991 for electricity issues or 992 for water supply problems

Note: If you’re having problems with your provider, you can file a complaint. Residents of Dubai can do this online via the Government’s eComplain system, while those living in Abu Dhabi should register the complaint with the ADDC, which can be done online or via the Abu Dhabi Government contact center. You will receive an answer or a solution within 14 days.

Gas in The UAE

Users of gas stoves might be interested in domestic gas, which can be provided via a central piped supply or in canisters, depending on your company. Each emirate is dominated by one company, and residents of Dubai and the Northern Emirates will run services of Emirates Gas, while those living in Abu Dhabi should get in contact with SERGAS. Sharjah Electricity, Water and Gas Authority (SEWA) provides residents of Sharjah with gas.

To get your gas, call the distributor located in your area to access your property. After the activation of your account, you will be able to order gas whenever you need it and pay for it directly to the distributor. If you plan to move, call the distributor to disconnect the cylinder and you can sell the equipment back to them.

The exact cost of using gas depends on the supplier and usage. If you have an emergency situation, get in touch with the company’s representatives:

  • Residents of Dubai and Northern Emirates should call 800 36427 in case of emergency
  • Those living in Abu Dhabi can call 600 565657
  • Residents of Sharjah City should call 8006333, of Khorfakkan City – 092383339 and of Kalba City – 092777106 in case something serious happens

How Can We Help?

Metropolitan Premium Properties professionals know everything about the current situation in the Dubai real estate market. We are always ready to provide you with the latest news about projects and find the right property for you and your family which will correspond to your needs and budget, and be within close proximity to social infrastructure objects and entertainment venues. Our agents will prepare all the necessary documents and lead you successfully until the end of the transaction. If you need to get a mortgage, we will assist you in doing so. In addition, we provide property management services if you wish to make a profitable investment and generate a stable income by renting your property out.

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