Dubai Rental Property Guide

Dubai Rental Property Guide

Dubai remains a desirable destination for people wishing to live in one of the most developing countries in the world, and realize their dreams due to a wide range of job opportunities and business ventures. One of the most important steps while moving to another country is finding an appropriate residential unit to live in. In this article we will tell you about the process of renting a property in Dubai, as well as about the most expensive and affordable areas in the emirate.

Search & Make A List of Interested Properties

You can start looking for an apartment or villa in Dubai online, including our website. Choose which property you want to rent – it can be an apartment, townhouse, penthouse, or a villa if you are looking for more space.

Try to take into consideration only those areas which are close to your place of work to save time on the road. Don’t forget to learn more about the closest educational institutions and medical clinics if you have children. Proximity to entertainment and leisure facilities, as well as to the Arabian Gulf, might also be important to you, depending on what you like to do in your spare time.

Before taking the final decision about the area, try to find out more about supermarkets, pharmacies and shopping malls, located within close proximity to the building. Check if the area has outdoor spaces and if there are children’s playgrounds and sports facilities within the vicinity.

Moreover, try to research different travel routes in the area to avoid losing time on the road travelling to or from work/home if it is a busy road connection. This can be done by visiting the neighbourhood which interests you, at various times of the day.

Most Luxurious Areas in Dubai

If you are wanting to experience a luxurious lifestyle in Dubai and have access to a great number of amenities located on the territory of your future home, as well as in the surroundings, you should take into consideration the following areas.

Note: The residential rental prices in Dubai have grown by 23.7% in 2022, with the highest growth seen on Palm Jumeirah and Downtown Dubai (39.8% and 38.4% respectively).

Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah is a man-made island which is a desirable destination among tourists and expats, as well as local residents. From almost all residential units you will get amazing views of the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai skyline. There are a great number of properties to choose from including studios and 1-6 bedroom apartments, as well as premium 3-8 bedroom villas. The cheapest price for an apartment here is AED 60K, wle a villa will cost from AED 400K. The highest rental prices for apartments and villas are AED 4M and AED 8M (USD 2.2M) per year respectively.

Among the amenities located on Palm Jumeirah are the Lost Chamber Aquarium, Aquaventure Waterpark, Nakheel Mall with over 140 shops, 30 dining venues, VOX Cinemas and Trampo Extreme, as well as The View offering 360-degree views of the Palm Jumeirah and its surroundings.

Note: If you are wanting to make a profitable investment and get a 5-year Golden Visa, which is given to those purchasing a residential unit from AED 2,000,000 (USD 545,000), you should take into consideration Palm Jumeirah.

Downtown Dubai

Expats planning to work in the heart of Dubai should learn more about Downtown Dubai. Among the offered properties in this area are studios and 1-5 bedroom propertes. Some of the most expensive units can be found in residential developments such as the Address The BLVD and Grande at the Opera District, where a 2-bedroom apartment costs up to AED 4.5M (USD 1.2M) per year. The rental price of a 4-bedroom unit in the Burj Khalifa with a living area of 6,406 sqft can cost up to AED 3M (USD 817K) annually.

You will never feel bored when living in Downtown Dubai due to The Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping centers in the world with over 1,200 retail stores, 200 dining options, The Dubai Ice Rink, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo and many other entertainment options to enjoy. Moreover, Dubai Opera, The Dubai Fountain and the Burj Khalifa can be found here.

Dubai Marina

Among the main residential units which can be found in Dubai Marina are studios and 1-4 bedroom apartments. The prices for renting a unit vary from AED 35K (USD 10K) to AED 4.5M (USD 1.2M) annually. Those wanting more space will be interested in the penthouses, like a 5-bedroom luxurious penthouse located in the Cayan Tower, which will cost AED 2.5M (USD 681K) per year.

From Dubai Marina you can easily reach other areas of the emirate. Travel time to Business Bay and Downtown Dubai takes about 20 minutes, while Deira is within a 30-minute drive. Among the long list of entertainment and leisure venues in this district are Dubai Marina Mall with 140 retail outlets, cafes, restaurants and Reel Cinemas, Pier 7 which houses 7 famous restaurants and is one of Dubai’s most recognised dining destinations.

Note: Dubai is considered a waterfront city, and a wide range of properties with stunning views of the Arabian Gulf and direct beach access are offered to future residents and tenants. In this article you will find more information about the best beachfront properties in Dubai.

Most Affordable Areas in Dubai

If you are looking for the least expensive areas in Dubai to rent an apartment or villa, you might be interested in the following areas.

Jumeirah Village Circle

With the growth of rental prices in Dubai, more and more people choose Jumeirah Village Circle as prices here are still very affordable. However, even JVC saw the prices increase from 7% to 16%. The minimum price of a studio in Jumeirah Village Circle is AED 24K (USD 7K), while the price of a 2-bedroom apartment is from AED 48K (USD 13K) to AED 200K (USD 54K) annually.

It takes 15 minutes to get from Jumeirah Village Circle to Dubai Marina, while travel time to Business Bay and Downtown Dubai takes 20 minutes. Among the closest entertainment venues are Jumeirah Golf Estates ClubHouse, Dubai International Cricket Stadium and City Centre Me’aisem.


Liwan is considered another affordable area, where future residents can choose a unit from studios and 1-3 bedroom apartments with prices starting from AED 30K (USD 8K) to AED 55K (USD 15K) annually.

Residents of Liwan can get to Dubai Outlet Mall, Al Habtoor Polo Club, IMG Worlds of Adventure and Global Village within 15-minutes by car. Downtown Dubai is reachable within 20 minutes.

Discovery Gardens

Discovery Gardens is a quiet and peaceful area which is popular among families with children. The price of renting a unit in the area costs from AED 26K (USD 7K) to AED 627K (USD 171K). Among the available units are studios and 1-7 bedroom apartments.

Those living in Discovery Gardens have access to a range of entertainment venues and activities including The Pavilion – Discovery Gardens and Ibn Battuta Mall. Travel time to Dubai Marina takes 15 minutes.

Visiting The Properties

Visiting the residential unit you are planning to live in is quite important. Prepare any questions beforehand and try to come earlier to walk through the area. Examine the residential unit properly and check if enough natural light gets inside the property. Ask yourself the following questions: are the rooms spacious enough for you and your family, which views are offered, are there parking spaces in the basement of the building or nearby, which amenities are offered to residents, and much more.

If you meet any residents of the development you visit, you can try to ask their opinion about the building to learn more about its benefits and drawbacks. It’s better to visit several apartments and villas before making a final decision. However, keep in mind that good options are in high demand and sometimes you need to make a decision as quickly as possible to get the unit you want.

The Tenancy Agreement

After choosing the property corresponding to your needs, you need to reserve it. For this procedure, you need a copy of your passport and resident visa. A future tenant should pay a refundable security deposit, which is usually 5% of the total rental cost or one month’s rent. Don’t forget to take a receipt. If you are going through a real estate agent, usually he/she holds the deposit and gives it to the property owner when the deal is finalised. If you change your mind, the deposit will become the landlord’s compensation.

After the security deposit is paid, you will obtain the tenancy contract, which should be in accordance with Dubai tenancy laws. A tenant and landlord can add clauses in the agreement. Read it carefully before signing. In case of any questions, ask your real estate agent for help. Sign the contract, pay the agency commission to the agent and rent cheques. One copy of the contact is given to the tenant, and one to the property owner. Don’t forget to ask for receipts for every payment that you make.

You or your real estate agent should check that all service chargers have been settled before you move in. Any maintenance issues should be resolved before signing the contract. Don’t forget to check for all keys and swipe cards that are given to you, as well as turn on all the facilities to test that they’re all in a good working condition.

Note: Opening a bank account in an Emirati bank is an important step which is needed for day-to-day needs, paying rent for an apartment, as well as for saving purposes and much more. You can find more information about opening a bank account for expats in Dubai in this article.

Additional Costs of Renting A Property in Dubai

After making your final decision and choosing the property of your dreams, you should take into consideration rental prices. Thus, the majority of contracts offer quarterly or bi-annual payment terms. However, if you want a landlord to lower the annual rental cost, it’s better to pay in less cheques.

➡️ Main Fees & Deposits

You should be prepared for additional costs while renting a property in Dubai. Among them are agency fees, which are 2–5% of the annual rental cost for residential properties. Real estate professionals can help you to save your time and provide you with the latest information about the real estate market of the emirate. Experts will also secure your tenancy contract and protect your interests.

A security deposit protects the landlord in case of any damages to the property. It’s usually 5% of the annual rental price for unfurnished units, and 10% for furnished apartments and villas. Such deposits are refundable, however, in order to avoid problems in the future and get the full deposit back, read carefully the information about the repairs in the contract. Usually the landlord is responsible for all the repairs which exceed AED 200 (USD 55). Repair any holes in the walls before moving out and record all the repairs you do throughout your period of stay.

Due to the fact that all tenancy contracts should be filed in the Ejari system, which is supervised by the Dubai Land Department (DLD), you will also need to pay the Ejari Registration Fee, which is AED 220 (USD 55). The application of the Ejari can be made online, through the website or the mobile app, as well as at Ejari authorised typing centers. Keep in mind that if you visit the center, you will need to pay an additional AED 40 (USD 11) for typing services.

➡️ Communal Payments

After registering in the Ejari system, you should apply for a DEWA – Dubai Water & Electricity Authority connection, and then pay a refundable security deposit is AED 2,000 (USD 545) for apartments and AED 4,000 (USD 1,100) for villas. Activation charges for this service is AED 110 (USD 30) for small properties such as apartments and AED 300 (USD 80) for bigger units such as villas and townhouses. The administrative fee is AED 30 (USD 8), while the connection and administrative fee is AED 230 (USD 63).

The housing fee is 5% of the annual rent, and is paid in 12 monthly installments. This is also known as the Dubai Municipality Fee, and is included in DEWA bills.

Keep an eye on air conditioning charges. Due to the high temperatures, it’s impossible to live in Dubai without air conditioning. If an AC meter is installed in the residential unit, the tenant pays for the consumption which is charged at a rate of AED 0.568 fils per RT per hour. The fuel surcharge and demand charge are billed monthly in advance. The rate of demand charge is AED 750 (USD 204) per RT annually. Be prepared for a security deposit and a charge for opening an account.

How Can We Help?

It’s advisable to choose a property with a professional real estate agent to avoid any risks and be able to rent the best residential unit. Metropolitan Premium Properties experts are ready to provide you with the latest information about the real estate market situation in Dubai, and offer units corresponding to your needs and budget in any area of the emirate.

We will also help you to prepare all the documents needed for the contract. In case you are the owner of the property in Dubai, our real estate agents are ready to provide you with property management services, find tenants, solve any the issues connected with this process, collect rental cheques, and transfer them to your bank account.

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