The Guides

Your guide to luxury rentals in Dubai

Moving to Dubai? We take future tenants through the rental process a step at a time with this checklist.

Words by Aneesha Rai & Ryan Kasper in The Guides · Aug 2nd, 2016

What You Need To Know Before Listing

Unlike many other cities, several aspects of the rental process in Dubai are unique and can cause stress and confusion. LUXHABITAT is dedicated to making your transition as smooth and straight-forward as possible from start-to-finish. Two specific differences in particular apply to renting a home in Dubai:

1) Contract Length 

The standard tenancy contract in Dubai is 1 year (12 months). Multi-year contracts (2+ years) are also possible, but much less common. Since Dubai has recently allowed short-term rentals, the methodology of these are a bit different.

2) Terms of Payment 

Payment for many tenancy agreements are paid for in full for the year upfront; however, often times the rental amount can be paid in multiple cheques – usually between 2 to 4. These cheques are made out to the Landlord and handed over prior to the contract start date. 

Get familiar with RERA 

Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) RERA is a branch of the Government of Dubai responsible for regulating, authorizing and legislating the real estate sector in Dubai. LUXHABITAT is a RERA registered brokerage office (ORN: 2316)

Got a grasp of that? Let's move on to the essentials:

Location, Location, Location

Dubai is home to a wide range of popular residential areas. Many factors – including proximity to work and schools – must be considered before determining the location that is right for you. It is also important to consider the type lifestyle you are after. 

Do you want to live in a luxury penthouse in the Marina or would you prefer a sea-front villa on the Palm? All these areas demand different rents.

However, if your unit has been upgraded, you may be entitled to hire rental rates subject to the finish.

Know Your Property

Understanding and clearly communicating the criteria for your new home is essential in order for LUXHABITAT to source the best available options that meet your requirements.

What to consider:

- Apartment or villa

- Number of bedrooms 

- Approximate size 

- Furnished or unfurnished 

- Maid’s room or/and Driver’s room 

- Outdoor space 

- Amenities and facilities

- Distance from ground view

-  Pet friendliness

- Is the air conditioning/chiller included?

- Parking spaces available

- Is the apartment serviced?

If you're choosing to rent your property, you must be able to check what the going rate is for your area. Use the chart below to find out going rental rates:

Luxhabitat Rental Guide

Select the no. of bedrooms and then hover over the area to get average rental rates for your property. The data has been provided by the Dubai Land Department.

Viewings With Luxhabitat

Before the time comes to see the properties in person; we will compile a selection of different offerings based on your prerequisites. Based on your feedback, we will shortlist 3-5 properties to visit for our initial search.

We will shortlist 3-5 properties for our initial search.

Placing An Offer

Once you find that perfect place, we will want to discuss putting forward an offer to the landlord. There are 3 essential components to a rental offer and each of these factors will be considered by the landlord to determine whether to accept the offer.

1) Rental Amount

As a general rule in Dubai, most landlords are willing to negotiate on the price – but some are not. The final amount the landlord is willing to accept primarily depends on the two additional factors below:

i) Terms of Payment/Number of Cheques 

The fewer cheques, the better potential discount on the annual rental amount.

ii) Start date 

In most scenarios - the sooner the start date - the better. The property may not be immediately available. There may be ongoing work inside, it could be tenanted or occupied by the owner. Generally, the timeframe between the offer being made and the contract start-date is 2 weeks on average.

Reserving A Property

Once the offer is accepted and all conditions are mutually agreed upon you will complete the LUXHABITAT Rental Reservation form which includes tenant and landlord details as well as property details such as the security deposit, start date, rental period and agreed upon rent.

Documents Needed


As a tenant there are several documents that will be required in order to draft the tenancy contract including copies of the following: 


 Residency Visa 

Emirates ID 

Exceptions: If your residency visa has not yet been issued, we will need a letter from your employer confirming that it is in process. If the tenancy contract will be in a company name, we will need a copy of the trade license and company owner’s passport. 


You will also collect documents provided by the Landlord including copies of the following: 

Title Deed of the property 

Passport(s) of the owner(s) 

The Tenancy Contract

LUXHABITAT uses the standard tenancy contract in Dubai for all of our rental transactions. Most clauses are non-negotiable and subject to RERA law. 

Both the Tenant and Landlord will sign three original tenancy contracts. One is kept with the Landlord, one with the Tenant and the third is retained by LUXHABITAT.

The Payments

1) Security Deposit

In order to secure the property you will be required to issue a current-dated security deposit to the Landlord. The security deposit amount will depend on the furnishing of the property as specified below:

- 5% of the annual rental amount if the property is unfurnished

- 10% of the annual rental amount if the property is furnished.

The security deposit will hold the property for you until the tenancy period begins and prevent the property from being marketed or shown to other clients in the interim.

2) The Rental Payment

The rent will need to be paid in advance of the contract start date to ensure that the funds have cleared in the Landlord's’ account.

- If paying in multiple cheques, you will require the first current-dated cheque along with the additional post-dated cheques.

3) The Agency Fee

LUXHABITAT charges 5% of the annual rental amount for standard 1 year (12 month) contracts The agency fee will be payable to LXT REAL ESTATE BROKER LLC and shall be handed over in advance of the contract start date to ensure the funds have cleared. 

 The agency fee will be payable to LXT REAL ESTATE BROKER LLC and shall be handed over in advance of the contract start date to ensure the funds have cleared.

The Utilities

The Tenant is responsible for connecting and paying the utilities and the Landlord is responsible for paying the service charges. There are several important steps that must be taken to ensure the accounts are setup and active prior to your move. Stay tuned for our LUXHABITAT move-in guide!

The Move

Most communities and developments in Dubai have their own unique access approval documents that must be submitted before you will be allowed to physically move belongings into your new home. LUXHABITAT will be able to advise you of any move-in forms mandated by the community management.

The Renewal

You have the option to decide whether or not you would like to renew your contract for an additional year (12 months). The landlord must be notified of this decision 3 months (90 days) prior to the expiration of the contract.

And here we are at the end of the guide. For any questions or clarifications, please don't hesitate to contact us.