The 5 Most Affordable Villa Communities in Dubai

Despite a reputation for luxury, those who call Dubai ‘home’ often have more modest needs, especially if there is a family to support.

We rounded up the 5 most affordable communities (based on AED median price per square foot) in Dubai to rent or buy a villa, so those looking to make a move before the new school year starts or for a strong investment opportunity can make an informed decision.

For renters, The Villa, a community of Spanish-style homes southeast of Downtown near Silicon Oasis, made its debut on the top of our affordability ranking. It dropped in asking prices by 13% over the last 12 months to 34 AED per square foot. Declines were a bit steeper in Al Furjan, down 15% in the last year, and ranked second in affordability, our data shows.

For those ready to make the leap to buy, Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubai Land, and The Villa are the top 3 least expensive per square foot.

Although prices are still declining, consumers are staying on the fence about whether to buy now or wait, as the large down payment needed to purchase a property continues to be a hurdle for most end-users, according to Lynnette Abad, Director of Data and Research.

“Once the new ten-year visa and 100% ownership of foreign companies legislation is formally released in the second half of 2018 and all details are known, this will certainly have an indirect effect on the real estate industry,” says Abad, looking ahead to what’s to come for the second half of 2018. “The new legislation will likely give expats confidence to invest in property locally due to the assurance they can remain in the country for a longer period of time.”

Al Furjan, Jumeirah Village Circle, and The Villa actually appear on both lists (to rent or buy) and are worth a look as family-friendly options with lots of brand new units to their name, in central locations with short commutes to all of Dubai’s business hubs.

Price Trends by Community

Blog tables

Ready to make a move? Check out the least expensive communities to rent or buy a villa in Dubai.


Why are expats willing to invest more in UAE?

UAE government’s recent decision to issue 10-year visa to investors is expected to enhance the flow of expatriates’ investments in the Gulf nation. This landmark decision has already infused a sense of confidence among investors as now they don’t need to jostle with visa paper-work every two to three years.

“I have invested in frozen food business in the UAE and I am dealing with Eastern Europe while sitting here. More recently I had opened a new office in Singapore as investor visa rules are comparatively more liberal there. But now that investment in Singapore office does not mean much in the wake of UAE government’s recent decision. As an investor, I am feeling more confident and empowered now,” said Aftab Ali Khan, a Pakistani expat, who is doing business in the UAE for the last 15 years.

More flexibility

Besides UAE will be granting 10-year visa to specialists such as doctors and engineers and the families of these categories of expatriates will also receive the same visa validity. Also, extraordinary students can also apply for the 10-year visa.

“My son will be going to college or university in 2019 and we had planned to send him to the UK for higher education. But now we are thinking to change our plan and let him try to get in some good university in the UAE,” said Robert Irani, a Dubai-based nutritionist.

“As he is eligible to get 10-year residency visa so he will be having ample time to look for a suitable job after completing his studies in the UAE. So there is no need to invest outside the UAE when we are getting enough opportunities here,” he added.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had announced this decision of longer duration visa after chairing a Cabinet meeting last month.

Boosting investors’ confidence

Veteran expat businessmen, who have made UAE their home for the last many years, are also upbeat with this new decision

“This is a landmark announcement sure to further boost the UAE’s image as the most investor-friendly economy in the region. This new long-term visa will go a long way in attracting and retaining not only investors but also top notch professionals who are very essential in today’s highly competitive world,” said Yusuffali MA, chairman of Lulu Group.

Avin Gidwani, CEO of BNC Network, Dubai, said, “This policy will mark the beginning of the next economic wave – it clearly answers the question about the driver behind the aggressive ongoing construction.”

“The UAE’s leadership has always been visionary and this policy demonstrates their sophisticated economic outlook and farsightedness. This is a game-changing initiative that will boost investor confidence and add rocket fuel to the UAE economy.”


Visa overhaul: The next best step in a post-oil economy [Opinion]

Much has been already written on the UAE’s new reforms, announced earlier this week, to overhaul its visa and company establishment policies.

It’s already being touted as a game changer, a much-needed shot in the arm; forward-thinking, practical, sensible and another clear sign that the country has its sights firmly set on a post-oil future, to a knowledge-based economy.

The UAE has said it will enact changes to its residency visa policies by the end of 2018, with in-demand workers offered visas of up to a decade. This includes doctors, engineers and other professionals in the medical, science, research and technical fields, according to the government.

Off-plan real estate transactions boomed in 2017, yet sale prices and rents continue to fall as supply exceeds demand. With more off-plan projects coming up for sale and being handed over, offering 10-year visas will help steady the market but to what extent will depend upon the details.

Everyone, except for Emiratis, are, by definition of their visa restrictions, transient and not fully engaged with the UAE. But the more committed expat residents are, the more likely they are to invest here and the better for the economy.

Doctors, scientists and engineers alone won’t fill all the new projects being built, but the reforms are definitely a step in the right direction and promote the right type of real estate investment activity. With these proposed changes, the UAE government has struck a good balance between permanent residency and ensuring some residents have enough of a window of opportunity to build careers, plant roots and raise families.

We’ve seen in the past, the risk of a real estate market heavily dependent on speculation and its damaging effects on the local real estate market. Low-deposit aggressive payment schemes have again encouraged speculators to return.

Long-term residents enroll their children in schools, buy cars, groceries, furnish houses and now pay VAT. Someone renting for 10 years will have paid almost 100 per cent of the property value. With this kind of time frame, those with the means will buy, obtain mortgages and further engrain themselves into the local community and economy. End-users don’t sell in a down market unless they have to or if they are looking to upgrade.

But perhaps the biggest potential game changer in the recently-announced reforms are to company ownership structures, allowing foreigners to own 100 per cent of a company based in the Emirates.

Right now, anyone who opens shop in a non-free zone area is required to have a local partner that owns 51 per cent of the business. Only those based in free zones can be 100 per cent foreign-owned. This has been an abnormality of the region and it is hard to measure what sort of impact it has had on the local economy.

The local partner requirement, while no doubt well-intended, has been arguably counterproductive.

If its original intent was for Emiratisation and to professionally engage the Emirati population with expat entrepreneurs, it’s had limited success at best. While most of us with local partners enjoy amicable relationships, in practice, the professional aspect of that relationship is usually limited to signing of POAs and other mandatory paperwork.

Most local partners are not heavily engaged in the day-to-day operations of businesses they sponsor and are not benefiting from the professional experience that would come with that type of involvement.

The local partner requirement also causes confusion amongst potential venture capitalists and international investors who immediately devalue your business upon the discovery of the mysterious 51 per cent owner.

These new reforms are a logical and very welcome next step and confirmation that the current system could be better and will be very soon.


10-year residence visa in UAE for investors, doctors, specialists and top students

100% ownership for investors, 10-year residence for investors, professionals and families, plus students

ABU DHABI: To further boost the UAE’s position as a primary destination for international investors and top talent from around the world, the Cabinet on Sunday has adopted a new system of entry visas for investors and professionals — providing them with a long-term visa for up to 10 years.

Reaction: UAE’s new 10-year residence visa rule hailed

The decision, made during a Cabinet meeting chaired by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, further reinforces the UAE’s position as a primary destination for international investors and global talent.


The move was initially announced in a tweet sent out from the official Twitter handle of Shaikh Mohammad.

The new rule was approved by at the Cabinet meeting chaired by Shaikh Mohammad at the Presidential Place in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Lt. General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, were also present.


Residency system amended

“The UAE will remain a global incubator for exceptional talents and a permanent destination for international investors. Our open environment, tolerant values, infrastructure and flexible legislation are the best plan to attract global investment and exceptional talents to the UAE,” stated Shaikh Mohammad.

He also directed the Ministry of Economy, in coordination with the concerned parties, to implement the resolution and follow up on its developments, and to submit a detailed study in the third quarter of this year.

New visa system

The new visa system will increase the chances of attracting investors and competencies to the UAE and thus, further boost the country’s economic competitiveness globally.

The global investors’ ownership of UAE-based businesses is expected to reach 100% by the end of the year.


10-year residence visas

The system will grant investors and talents up to 10-year residency visas for specialists in medical, scientific, research and technical fields, as well as for all scientists and innovators.

It also grants five-year residency visas for students studying in the UAE, and 10-year visas for exceptional students.

The Cabinet also issued instructions to conduct a review of the residency system with a view to extending residency permits for those sponsored by their parents after completing their university studies to facilitate their future residence in the UAE.

Sign language dictionary adopted

Meanwhile, the Cabinet adopted in its Sunday session the UAE Sign Language Dictionary, the first UAE-language reference dictionary for the UAE dialect, and a unified reference language for people with hearing disabilities in the UAE.

The Emirati Sign Language Dictionary is in line with UAE Vision 2021 and the National Agenda in maintaining a cohesive society and promoting an inclusive environment that integrates all segments of society while preserving the UAE’s unique culture and heritage.

The guide will facilitate the exchange of knowledge between the members of society and those with hearing disabilities and harmony among them, and promote the linguistic identity of the deaf community in the country and increase their pride in their homeland and their own language, derived from the local dialect.


The UAE Cabinet also adopted a resolution on the Hajj and Umrah system, which aims to develop the regulations and procedures in line with the approved electronic pathway programme for pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, which includes Hajj permits and permit-granting regulations.

The Cabinet also adopted the Federal Law on Medical Assistance in Reproduction, which comes as a renewal of the current law in the same field.

The new law expands its provisions to include new regulations in licensing medical centers.

School calendar for 2018-2021

On the other hand, the Cabinet adopted the school calendar for the next three years (2018-2021) for all levels of education in order to provide all parties involved in the educational process with a clear and accurate view of the school calendar.

Emirates Diplomatic Academy

The Cabinet also approved the restructuring of the Board of Trustees of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy under the chairmanship of Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees also includes: Dr. Anwar bin Mohammad Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs; Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State; Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Minister of State; Ali Mohammad Hammad Al Shamsi, Deputy Secretary General of the National Security Council; Omar Saif Ghobash, UAE Ambassador to the French Republic; Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations, Mohammad Issa Abushahab, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Kingdom of Belgium; Mohammad Ahmad Al Harbi as well as Abdelnasser Jamal Al Shaali from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Foreign Humanitarian Assistance

The Cabinet also approved the re-formation of the UAE Committee for the Coordination of Foreign Humanitarian Assistance headed by Reem Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, to coordinate and organize the UAE’s humanitarian response to all international humanitarian crises and situations.

The committee includes representatives of the armed forces, UAE Red Crescent Authority, Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Humanitarian Foundation, Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation, Dubai Cares Foundation, and the World Humanitarian City.

The Cabinet also adopted the establishment of a UAE Embassy in Ivory Coast in Abidjan and the establishment of a UAE Consulate General in Zanzibar in the Republic of Tanzania.

The Cabinet also approved an agreement between the Government of the Republic of Moldova on economic and technical cooperation, an agreement with the Government of Turkmenistan on cultural cooperation and the adoption of UAE’s contribution to the Eleventh Replenishment of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for the period 2019-2021.


Nakheel posts Dh1.55 billion Q1 profit

Delivery and diversification of portfolio prop up master developer’s profits

Nakheel made a net profit of Dh1.55 billion in the first quarter of 2018, up 5 per cent on Q1 2017. The developer had posted a net profit of Dh1.67 billion in Q4 of 2017.

The master developer handed over nearly 200 land and built form units to customers during Q1 2018 and sold the last available villas at its new Warsan Village community, with all 934 homes now purchased.

Meanwhile, its retail, hospitality and residential leasing businesses all continued to perform well.

Between January 1 and March 31, 2018, Nakheel officially signed construction contracts worth almost Dh5 billion. This includes a Dh4.2 billion contract for Deira Mall at Deira Islands and a Dh385 million contract for its first joint venture at Deira Islands – the 800-room beachfront hotel and waterpark from Spain’s RIU Hotels & Resorts.

The first quarter also saw significant construction progress at several Nakheel residential, retail and hospitality projects, including The Palm Tower, Nakheel Mall and The Palm Gateway on Palm Jumeirah; Deira Islands Night Souk, Deira Mall and the RIU and Centara resorts at Deira Islands; and Warsan Souk at Warsan Village.

Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said: “It has been an impressive start to 2018, with our Q1 results reflecting our ongoing delivery and diversification as per our business plan, and our key role in enhancing Dubai’s real estate sector through a growing range of residential, retail and hospitality projects in line with government goals.”

Source by:

5 things to ponder if you plan to borrow in 2018

55% of UAE home-buyers look to finance, a huge leap from less than 20% in 2012

  • The anticipated interest rate hike has yet to come to pass and banks are remaining competitive with very marginal increases in interest rates, according to Propertyfinder Trends
  • Taking into consideration what this means for the homebuyers of 2018, Propertyfinder rounded up five things to keep in mind when considering a home loanThe sharp rise to 55% of buyers financing their home is a sign of maturity in the UAE real estate market, as more and more residents take advantage of low borrowing costs to buy a property.

    Indeed, the pendulum officially swung from majority cash-buyers to most in the UAE buying property with a home loan at the end of 2016, according to REIDIN. In 2012, the percentage of those taking out a home loan was less than 20%. The shift makes for a more stable market (that is, one less prone to speculation) but leaves individuals vulnerable to interest rate hikes.

    Here are 5 things to ponder if you are considering borrowing in 2018:

    1. Home ownership is set to become more expensive. UAE mortgage rates are tied to the Emirates Interbank Offer Rate (EIBOR), which has been stable for years but is set for incremental increases as the United States Federal Reserve ups interest rates. EIBOR continues to rise and has increased by over 130 per cent since January 2015, currently standing at around 1.56 per cent. Banks typically add 3 to 5 percent to EIBOR to calculate the rate it offers to borrowers. The upward trend is expected to continue throughout this year.
    2. If you can, lock in a fixed rate. Generally, fixed rates provide homeowners with the comfort of knowing what their payments will be during their fixed rate period, regardless of what happens to EIBOR. Once the fixed rate comes to an end, a new fixed rate can be negotiated in line with the bank’s current offers. With a tracker mortgage, mortgage payments will increase in line with EIBOR, which isn’t attractive whilst rates are on the rise, as they are expected to be in 2018.
    3. Off-plan isn’t for everyone, but has an upside. Off-plan financing is restrictive, given the policy that a maximum of 50 per cent financing is available, which also depends on payment schemes and developments partnering with banks for payment plans. But where there are payment plans of 25 per cent payable under construction and 75 per cent at completion, buyers can make their final payment to the developer by way of a mortgage. Similarly, when clients pay the full property value during construction, cash can be released back to those buyers to use as they wish.
    4. Does this sound like you? “A familiar story is clients coming to Dubai with a three-year plan and finding themselves in year four with hundreds of thousands of dirhams sunk into rental payments,” says Brendan Kennelly, Senior Mortgage Consultant at Mortgagefinder, an independent mortgage brokerage owned by Propertyfinder Group. “They plan to stay for at least another three years (probably more) and don’t want to spend any more on rent. The affordability of villas and the increase in property stock has made the dream of owning a property more of a reality. They use what savings and investments they have to buy a property.”
    5. Even if borrowing gets more expensive, it’s still cheap, historically speaking. If interest rates go up, as they are forecast to do, they will do so incrementally, and would likely not get near 2009 levels, when rates topped out at 4.3%.


6 Reasons Why The UAE Is An Awesome Place For Expat Women

Moving to a different country can be a daunting experience, especially if you’re a single woman looking to build a new life. A number of expats consider moving to the UAE because of the several lifestyle benefits it has to offer, from better job opportunities to a high standard of living. It has undoubtedly become a popular choice for women moving here from all corners of the world. Today, in celebration of International Women’s Day 2018, we take a look at 6 reasons that make life for expat women in the UAE nothing short of amazing!


International Women's DayWomen in the UAE have many platforms to further their career and explore entrepreneurship opportunities.

Known as the land of opportunity, the UAE offers plenty of career growth opportunities for men and women alike (we won’t discriminate here). The infrastructure within the country does not limit one’s chances of success based on gender, but rather opens up new avenues for the truly talented and skilled members of society. As a commercial hub, there are plenty of opportunities for expat women in the UAE to think big and aspire to new heights.

There are several organisations in the UAE to support and encourage entrepreneurship among local and expat women. Dubai Business Women Council (DWBC), Entrepreneur’s Organisation, International Business Women’s Group Dubai and the Women’s Network Group are a few of these groups that provide networking opportunities and professional support to help out female entrepreneurs in the UAE. Not to mention, these amazing creative co-working spaces in Dubai, with a lot more coming up in other emirates as well, that inspire, motivate, and reinforce your entrepreneurial spirit!


living in the UAE

Walking home alone or hailing a cab late night is safe in the UAE.

Whether you’re moving from the UK or South-East Asia, living in the UAE offers a high level of comfort and safety that is easily one of the biggest perks for expat women. Most residential buildings are equipped with state-of-the-art security equipment and usually have a security guard at the reception desk, where visitors generally need to sign in. Women working and living in the UAE can safely move around at any time of the day or night, without crippling fear of being harassed or worse. Walking home or catching a cab alone at night is never a source of anxiety thanks to strict laws against any kind of violence and crime in the country.

There are also special taxis driven by women (which in itself is awesome!) for those who want to be extra careful. Just flag down a pink cab and travel in peace.


Dubai metro

The RTA Metro in Dubai has a separate cabin for women and children. 

The Dubai Metro is one of the best ways to get around the city and central to the UAE lifestyle for those who don’t drive. It is connected to all the right spots for your morning commute and evening plans. This godsend mode of transport has a designated cabin for women and children which means more comfort and no awkward huddling in over-crowded compartments. While it can fill up pretty fast during rush hour, it still feels like a luxury and makes a huge improvement in your daily commute (especially for those moving to the UAE from a Western country). Men caught in the women’s cabin are charged with an AED 100 fine.


Waiting area

Government buildings in the UAE have separate queues and designated waiting areas for women.

Visiting a government office is never a fun ride. They generally turn out to be an exhausting ordeal of waiting in queues and chip away hours of your day. In the UAE, women have some perks in this aspect as well. Whether you’re getting your driver’s license renewed or getting your visa paperwork sorted, government buildings in the UAE always have separate queues for women along with designated waiting areas. Since a lot of these buildings are generally filled with men, queues for women aren’t usually very long. And that means more time for…


shopping in Dubai

Massive shopping malls are one of the best things about living in the UAE.

 We know the shopping factor may apply to most fashion hubs in the world, but how many of those would have sprawling shopping malls in every other neighbourhood? Shopping is an integral part of the UAE lifestyle. Women living in the UAE are always within close proximity to a shopping mall, big or small. And while that may not seem like a big deal to most, when you need a last-minute outfit for an event, it makes all the difference in the world. The go-to mall for shopaholics in the UAE is, of course, Dubai Mall. The gargantuan shoppers’ paradise has over 1,200 stores with top international brands and literally everything you might need for your chic and stylish wardrobe.


Ladies night in Dubai

Ladies night deals are quite common (and frequent) at popular hangout spots.

You may not think that your usual girls’ nights would be the same when you move to the UAE, but guess what? They’ll actually be better! Ladies nights are huge on the social circuit in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Usually falling on Tuesdays, these fun nights are when women can head down to their favourite hangout spot and enjoy free entry, drinks, special discounts and even complimentary goodie bags at times. Need we say more?


VAT 101: Renters and home buyers escape the brunt of new tax policy

This article was originally published in Propertyfinder Trends 2017, Vol 3.

As UAE residents, we all want to know how the revised VAT law will impact our lives here. In October, Propertyfinder contributed a column for Khaleej Times detailing what we knew about the tax roll-out. Since then, the picture has become even clearer, but we are still in the “prepare as much as you can, but then we will have to ‘wait and see’” part of this process, as it is still early days.

Propertyfinder Group relies on our data and prior performance to provide market insight, and without any history to fall back on, it is difficult to say what the immediate impact will be. Overall, the introduction of VAT will likely increase the cost of living by about 2.5 per cent, according to experts.

Based on what’s exempt, the five per cent value-added tax on property transactions is expected to impact only large-scale investors and those buying and renting commercial properties in the UAE.

Meanwhile, residential deals, including rentals, will remain tax exempt, and therefore should not be affected.

That’s good news for home-buyers. All residential housing, both for first-time buying and for buy-to-rent, will be subject to VAT at zero per cent.

Residential renters will escape taxation because residential leases are exempt from VAT, and therefore landlords would not be allowed to add VAT to rent. But landlords may lose out on other expenses they incur with VAT, making rental prices vulnerable to an uptick.

From a developer’s standpoint, VAT will certainly impact the price of construction contracts, since goods and services related to construction are taxable. Since Dubai developers have been ramping up launches of their off-plan projects in the last six months, it’s imperative that they lock down processes so they are prepared to recoup potential losses under the new tax system.

They will still be able to claim a rebate, though, on the VAT of building materials as long as they are able to sell within three years of completion. Also, there will be no VAT on residential units within three years of their completion. This will incentivise developers to be sure that what they are adding to the market will be in demand.

As the sale and purchase of newly constructed real estate is likely to be zero-rated (that is, reported on a tax return but taxed at a zero per cent rate), investors in residential property will not be required to pay VAT to the developer or a subsequent seller. However, investors are likely to have to pay VAT to providers of leasing or management services relating to the property.

Therefore, large-scale investors and developers are likely to feel a pinch. In addition, developers’ documentation should be sure to clarify that VAT will be payable by investors otherwise they’ll be on the hook. Commercial tenants will be required to pay VAT. For most commercial tenants, this will not be a material issue as they will be able to offset this VAT against VAT that they are collecting on their supplies used for construction.

The initial, first sale of new homes will be taxed at a rate of zero per cent. This means property developers will be able to claim back any VAT they had to pay from the government. Residential tenants’ leases will be exempt from VAT, but commercial tenants – those in offices, shops, -etc. can expect to pay VAT at the standard rate of five per cent. Also, sales of commercial property will be subject to VAT at the standard rate of five per cent.

In addition, commercial developers and property buyers may want to consider the one-off costs of setting up shop as a taxpayer. This may include new software and staff training to ensure compliance and reduce the risk of penalties from a VAT audit.

Simply living in a home will become more expensive, however. Water and electricity bills in the UAE will be subject to the ve per cent value-added tax starting in the new year.

According to the executive regulation, approved by the UAE Cabinet, water and electricity are considered supplied goods. In article 2, headed “Supplies of goods”, it says: “A supply of water and all forms of energy including electricity and gas…whether used for lighting, or heating, or cooling, or air conditioning or any other purposes.”

The exciting news for everyone in the UAE is that VAT could generate AED 12 billion in its first year and AED 20 billion in its second year, according to Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy. This may be reinvested in domestic infrastructure projects to draw more people to the UAE and attract more end users to the real estate market. This is certainly something to look forward to.


Want to rent a property in Dubai? Know the law

If you are looking to rent a property in Dubai then equipping yourself with the property laws of the emirate should be on priority.

Aiming to regulate the relationship and minimise disputes between a landlord and a tenant, the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) has definitive laws and specifications that outlines their roles and responsibilities.

Let’s take a look at the important aspects of the law before you rent a property in Dubai:

Regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants in Dubai

Article 1

This law will be cited as “Law No. (26) of 2007 regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants in the emirate of Dubai “. Law No. (33) of 2008 ammendents supersede Law No. (26) of 2007.

Definitions and scope of application

Article (2)

In implementing the provisions of this law, relevant words and expressions along with their description have been mentioned below.

Emirate: The Emirate of Dubai.

Tribunal: The Special Tribunal for the Settlement of Disputes between Landlords and Tenants.

RERA: The Real Estate Regulatory Agency.

Real Property: Immovable property and everything affixed or annexed to it, and which is leased out for purposes of accommodation or conducting a business activity, trade, profession, or any other lawful activity.

Tenancy Contract: A contract by virtue of which the Landlord is bound to allow the tenant use of the real property for a specific purpose, over a specific term, and in return for a specific consideration.

Landlord: A natural or legal person who is entitled by law or agreement to dispose of real property. This also includes a person to whom ownership of the real property is transferred during the term of a tenancy contract, an agent or legal representative of the landlord, or a tenant who is permitted by the landlord to sub-let the real property.

Tenant: A natural or legal person who is entitled use of the real property by virtue of a tenancy contract, or any person to whom the tenancy is legally transferred from the tenant.

Sub-tenant: A natural or legal person who is entitled use of the real property or any part thereof by virtue of a tenancy contract entered into with the tenant.

Rent: The specified consideration which the tenant must be bound to pay by virtue of the tenancy contract.

Notice: A written notification sent by either party to the lease contract to the other through the Notary Public, or delivered by registered post, by hand, or by any other technological means approved by law

Article (3)

The provisions of this law will apply to lands and real property leased out in the emirate excluding real property provided free of rent by natural or legal persons to accommodate their employees.

Term of tenancy contract

Article 4 – Amended; Law 33 of 2008

1.  The contractual relationship between landlord and tenant will be regulated by a tenancy contract detailing, in a manner allowing no room for uncertainty, a description of the leased Real Property, the purpose of the tenancy, the term of the tenancy contract, the rent and payment method, and the name of the owner of the real property, if the landlord is not the owner.

2. All tenancy contracts or any amendments to such tenancy contracts related to real property which are subject to the provisions of this law will be registered with RERA.

10 tips to remember before signing on the dotted line

1. Ensure that your real estate agent is Rera registered. They should be able to provide you with their broker number.

2. Write your cheques directly to the landlord. Before handing them over, ask for a copy of your landlord’s passport and if possible the title deeds too.

3. Ask your agent to check that all service charges have been paid by the landlord, and if possible get it in writing too.

4. Ask your agent to check that there are no outstanding bills for Dewa or the chiller (air conditioning). If there are, they will need to be paid before you can set up an account.

5. If there are maintenance issues that need to be resolved before you move in, ensure that they are taken care of.

6. Be aware of how many car parking spaces you have. It is not uncommon for there to be only one to share between a husband and wife. Also find out if there is visitors parking too, and how to access it.

7. Know how to access all parts of the building. Often, swipe cards and door keys are needed to enter your property.

8. If the property is not clean before you move in, ask for it to be cleaned in advance of you moving in. A property should be handed over in a habitable condition.

9. Take photos of any issues you find with the apartment and let your agent and landlord know. This will avoid issues when you try and prove they were there before.

10. Once you have your tenancy contract, sign up for Ejari.

Article 5

The term of a tenancy contract must be specified. Where the term is not specified in the tenancy contract or where it is impossible to prove the alleged term, the tenancy contract will be deemed valid for the period specified for payment of the rent.

Article 6

Where the term of a tenancy contract expires, but the tenant continues to occupy the real property without any objection by the landlord, the tenancy contract will be renewed for the same term or for a term of one year, whichever is shorter, and under the same terms as the previous tenancy contract.

Article 7

Where a tenancy contract is valid, it may not be unilaterally terminated during its term by the landlord or the tenant. It can only be terminated by mutual consent or in accordance with the provisions of this Law.

Article 8

The term of a sub-tenancy contract entered into between the tenant and sub-tenant will expire upon the expiry of the term of the tenancy contract entered into between the landlord and tenant, unless the landlord expressly agrees to extend the term of the sub-tenancy contract.

The rent

Article (9) Amended; Law 33 of 2008

1. The landlord and the tenant must specify the rent in the tenancy contract. Should the parties omit or fail to specify the agreed rent, then the rent must be the same as that of similar real property.

2. The Tribunal will determine the rent of similar real property taking into account the criteria determining the percentage of rent increase set by RERA, the overall economic situation in the Emirate, the condition of the real property, and the average rent of similar real property in similar real property markets within the same area and in accordance with any applicable legislation in the Emirate concerning real property rent, or any other factors which the Tribunal deems appropriate.

Article 10

RERA will have the authority to establish criteria relating to percentages of rent increase in the Emirate in line with the requirements of the prevailing economic situation in the Emirate.

Article 11

Unless otherwise agreed, the rent will cover use of the real property amenities such as swimming pools, playgrounds, gymnasiums, health clubs, car parks, and other amenities.

Article 12

The tenant will pay the landlord the rent on the dates mutually agreed upon. Where there is no agreement or where it is impossible to verify the payment dates, the Rent must be annually paid in four (4) equal instalments to be paid in advance.

Article (13)

For the purposes of renewing the tenancy contract, the landlord and the tenant may, prior to the expiry of the tenancy contract, amend any of the terms of the tenancy contract or review the Rent, whether increasing or decreasing it. Should the landlord and tenant fail to reach an agreement, then the Tribunal may determine the fair Rent, taking into account the criteria stipulated in Article (9) of this Law.

Three months notice a must

Article (14)

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, if either party to the Tenancy Contract wishes to amend any of its terms in accordance with Article (13) of this Law, that party must notify the other party of same no less than ninety (90) days prior to the date on which the Tenancy Contract expires.

Landlord’s obligations

Article (15)

The Landlord will be bound to hand over the real property in good condition, which allows the Tenant full use as stated in the tenancy contract. However, the parties may agree upon renting an unfinished real property provided that the tenant agrees to complete the construction of the real property in a manner to render it suitable for use as intended. The identity of the party who will incur the costs of completing the construction will be determined in the Tenancy Contract.

Landlord is responsible for maintenance

Article 16

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, the Landlord will, during the term of the Tenancy Contract, be responsible for the Real Property’ maintenance works and for repairing any defect or damage that may affect the Tenant’s intended use of the Real Property.

Article 17

The Landlord may not make to the Real Property or any of its amenities or annexes any changes that would preclude the Tenant from full use of the Real Property as intended. The Landlord will be responsible for such changes whether made by him or any other person authorised by the Landlord. Further, the Landlord will be responsible for any defect, damage, deficiency, and wear and tear occurring to the Real Property for reasons not attributable to the fault of the Tenant.

Article 18

The Landlord must provide the Tenant with the approvals required to be submitted to the competent official entities in the Emirate whenever the Tenant wishes to carry out decoration works or any other works that require such approvals, provided that such works do not affect the structure of the Real Property and that the Tenant has the official documents requesting such approvals.

Tenant’s Obligations

Article 19

The Tenant must pay the Rent on due dates and maintain the Real Property in such a manner as an ordinary person would maintain his own property. Without prejudice to the Tenant’s obligation to carry out the restorations that have been agreed upon or which are customary for Tenants to undertake, the Tenant may not make any changes or carry out any restoration or maintenance works to the Real Property unless so permitted by the Landlord and after obtaining required licences from the competent official entities.

Article 20

When entering into a Tenancy Contract, the Landlord may obtain from the Tenant a security deposit to ensure maintenance of the Real Property upon the expiry of the Tenancy Contract, provided that the Landlord undertakes to refund such deposit or remainder thereof to the Tenant upon the expiry of the Tenancy Contract.

Article 21

What to do if your deposit stuck with your landlord?

Upon the expiry of the term of the Tenancy Contract, the Tenant must surrender possession of the Real Property to the Landlord in the same condition in which the Tenant received it at the time of entering into the Tenancy Contract except for ordinary wear and tear or for damage due to reasons beyond the Tenant’s control. In the event of dispute between the two parties, the matter must be referred to the Tribunal to issue an award in this regard.

Article 22

Unless the Tenancy Contract states otherwise, the Tenant must pay all fees and taxes due to Government entities and departments for use of the Real Property as well as any fees or taxes prescribed for any sub-lease.

Article 23

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties, upon vacating and surrendering possession of the Real Property, the Tenant may not remove any leasehold improvements made by the Tenant.

Article 24

Unless otherwise agreed by the parties to the Tenancy Contract, the Tenant may not assign the use of or sub-lease the Real Property to third parties unless written consent of the Landlord is obtained.

Eviction cases

Article (25)

1.Before the expiry of the Tenancy Contract:

Under Article 25, the landlord has the right to evict the tenant from the Real Property prior to the expiry of the term of the Tenancy only in the following cases:

where the Tenant fails to pay the Rent or any part thereof within thirty (30) days after the date a Notice to pay is given to the Tenant by the Landlord unless otherwise agreed by the parties;

a. where the Tenant sub-lets the Real Property or any part thereof without obtaining the Landlord’s approval in writing. In this case, the eviction will apply to both the Tenant and Sub-Tenant. However, the Sub-Tenant’s right to claim a compensation from the Tenant will be preserved;

b. where the Tenant uses the Real Property or allows others to use it for any illegal purpose or for a purpose which breaches public order or morals;

c. where the Tenant of commercial Real Property leaves the Real Property unoccupied for no valid reason for thirty (30) consecutive days or ninety (90) non-consecutive days within the same year, unless agreed otherwise by both parties;

d. where the Tenant makes a change to the Real Property that renders it unsafe in a manner that makes it impossible to restore the Real Property to its original state, or damages the Real Property willfully or through gross negligence, by failing to exercise due diligence, or by allowing others to cause such damage;

e. where the Tenant uses the Real Property for a purpose other than that for which the Real Property was leased, or uses the Real Property in a manner that violates planning, construction, and use-of-land regulations in force in the Emirate;

f. where the Real Property is condemned, provided that the Landlord must prove this by a technical report issued by or attested to by Dubai Municipality;

g. where the Tenant fails to observe any obligation imposed on him by this Law or any of the terms of the Tenancy Contract within thirty (30) days from the date a Notice to perform such obligation or term is served upon him by the Landlord; or

h. where competent Government entities requires demolition or reconstruction of the Real Property as per urban development requirements in the Emirate.

For the purposes of paragraph (1) of this Article, the Landlord will give Notice to the Tenant through a Notary Public or registered post.

2. Upon expiry of the tenancy contract:

Upon expiry of the Tenancy Contract the Landlord may request eviction of the Tenant from the Real Property only in any of the following cases:

a. where the owner of the Real Property wishes to demolish the Real Property to reconstruct it, or to add any new constructions that will prevent the Tenant from using the Real Property, provided that the required permits are obtained from the competent entities;

b. where the Real Property is in a condition that requires restoration or comprehensive maintenance that cannot be carried out in the presence of the Tenant in the Real Property, provided that the condition of the Real Property is verified by a technical report issued by or attested to by Dubai Municipality;

c. where the owner of the Real Property wishes to take possession of it for his personal use or for use by any of his first-degree relatives, provided that the owner proves that he does not own another Real Property appropriate for such purpose; or

d. where the owner of the Real Property wishes to sell the leased Real Property.

For the purposes of paragraph (2) of this Article, the Landlord must notify the Tenant of the eviction reasons twelve (12) months prior to the date set for eviction, provided that this notice is given through a Notary Public or registered post.

Article 26 – Amended; Law 33 of 2008

If the Tribunal awards the Landlord possession of the Real Property for his personal use or for use by any of his first-degree relatives in accordance with sub-paragraph (c) of paragraph (2) of Article (25) of this Law, the Landlord may not rent the Real Property to a third party before the lapse of at least two (2) years from the date of possession of the Real Property by the Landlord in case of residential Real Property and three (3) years in case of non-residential Real Property, unless the Tribunal, in its discretion, sets a shorter period. Otherwise, the Tenant may request the Tribunal to award him a fair compensation.

General Provisions

Article 27

The Tenancy Contract does not expire upon the death of the Landlord or the Tenant. The contractual relationship continues with the heirs, unless the heirs of the Tenant wish to terminate such relationship, provided that termination comes into effect no less than thirty (30) days from the date of notifying the Landlord of such intent or the expiry date of the Tenancy Contract, whichever comes first.

What happens when your rented property gets a new owner?

Article 28

Transferring the ownership of Real Property to a new owner does not affect the Tenant’s right to continue to occupy the Real Property by virtue of the Tenancy Contract entered into with the previous owner, provided that such Tenancy Contract has a fixed term.

Article 29 – Amended; Law 33 of 2008

Right of first refusal in real estate

1. The Tenant has the right of first refusal to rent the Real Property after it has been demolished and reconstructed or renovated and refurbished by the Landlord, provided that the Rent is determined in accordance with the provisions of Article (9) of this Law.

2. The Tenant must exercise the right of first refusal referred to in the preceding paragraph within a period not exceeding thirty (30) days from the date the Tenant is notified by the Landlord.

Sub-Tenant services

Article 30

If the Tribunal issues an award terminating the Tenancy Contract and the Real Property is occupied by a Sub-tenant under a contract entered into with the Tenant and approved by the Landlord, the Sub-tenant may continue to occupy the Real Property under the terms of the sub-Tenancy Contract.

Article 31

Filing a claim to evict the Tenant does not exempt the Tenant from paying the Rent for the whole period during which the claim is considered, and until an award is rendered and executed.

Article 32

If the Landlord and Tenant agree in the Tenancy Contract or in any other subsequent agreement to refer any dispute arising between them out of the Tenancy Contract performance to arbitration, neither party may take any action that would affect the Real Property or the parties’ rights and obligations as set out in the Tenancy Contract. The Tribunal may, upon the request of the Landlord or the Tenant, issue any interim awards it deems appropriate to preserve such rights and legal position until the arbitration award is rendered.

Dispute resolutions

Article 33 – Renting out an apartment

Where a dispute arises and the Landlord and Tenant have not agreed on the arbitrators or if one or more of the agreed on arbitrators refrains from doing the work, resigns, is removed, or disqualified, or if an issue arises preventing the arbitrator from doing his work, and there was no agreement between the parties in this regard, the Tribunal, upon the request of either party, will appoint the arbitrator(s). The number of arbitrators appointed by the Tribunal must be equal to or complete the number of arbitrators agreed on.

Article 34 Disconnecting service is illegal

The Landlord may not disconnect services from the Real Property or disturb the Tenant in his use of the Real Property in any manner. If this happens, the Tenant may have recourse to the police station under whose jurisdiction the Real Property falls to seek a remedy for the violation or to file a police report regarding the violation. He also may have recourse to the Tribunal by filing a claim for damages for any loss he may have suffered, supported by official reports that support the existence of such violation.

Aticle 35

The awards relating to vacating the Real Property will be executed through the Tribunal and pursuant to the rules and procedures issued in this respect. Apart from such awards, other awards issued by the Tribunal will be executed by the Execution Section of Dubai Courts.

Article 36 – Amended; Law 33 of 2008

The Chairman of the Executive Council will issue the regulations, bylaws, and resolutions required for the implementation of the provisions of this Law. Article (2) This Law will be published in the Official Gazette and will come into force on the day on which it is published.

Article 37

This Law will be published in the Official Gazette and will come into force after sixty (60) days from the date of publication.

Call centre 6005 55556

Source Dubai Land Department

Locate RERA


Unified lease agreement

To establish transparency and clarity for the benefit of all parties in the real estate market, the Dubai Land Department (DLD), announced the launch of the unified lease in March 2017 with the aim of establishing greater transparency and credibility in the real estate market. The unified lease agreement was implemented to contribute to the completion of the legal system and the consolidation of the rights and duties of contracting parties.

Legal reference

Law (2) 2003 is one of the references on which the unified lease agreement was based. The lease agreement was also based on Law (33) 2008 regulating the relationship between landlords and tenants in Dubai, specifically Article 25 that outlines scenarios in which the landlord can request the eviction of the property (including the sublease), allow others to use the property and use the property for purposes other than stated in the licence.

In accordance with Law (26) for the year 2007, specifically Article (16), during the term of the lease, the landlord shall be responsible for the maintenance of the property and for the repair of any malfunction that affects the tenant’s satisfaction of the intended benefit, unless otherwise agreed. The law obliges the landlord to bear this responsibility in all cases, but does allow for the liability to be transferred to the tenant if there is a consensual agreement. This prevents the establishment of a binding clause and ensures tenants and landlords are in agreement.

Easy operation

DLD encourages landlords to download and print contracts from the Ejari official website (, and provides assurance that all items included within such contracts are based upon a legal framework that regulates relationships and transactions. It is the responsibility of the parties to the contract to agree on items that meet their requirements and needs when signing the unified lease for the first time.

Three reasons qualify or give the right to the landlord/property owner to evict a tenant:

1. Breach of tenancy agreement or violation of a law

2. Landlord wants to sell the property

3. Landlord wants to self-occupy the property

10 tips to remember before signing on the dotted line

1. Ensure that your real estate agent is Rera registered. They should be able to provide you with their broker number.

2. Write your cheques directly to the landlord. Before handing them over, ask for a copy of your landlord’s passport and if possible the title deeds too.

3. Ask your agent to check that all service charges have been paid by the landlord, and if possible get it in writing too.

4. Ask your agent to check that there are no outstanding bills for Dewa or the chiller (air conditioning). If there are, they will need to be paid before you can set up an account.

5. If there are maintenance issues that need to be resolved before you move in, ensure that they are taken care of.

6. Be aware of how many car parking spaces you have. It is not uncommon for there to be only one to share between a husband and wife. Also find out if there is visitors parking too, and how to access it.

7. Know how to access all parts of the building. Often, swipe cards and door keys are needed to enter your property.

8. If the property is not clean before you move in, ask for it to be cleaned in advance of you moving in. A property should be handed over in a habitable condition.

9. Take photos of any issues you find with the apartment and let your agent and landlord know. This will avoid issues when you try and prove they were there before.

10. Once you have your tenancy contract, sign up for Ejari.