If you are willing for office rentals, You should know everything about the place first. Dubai, one of the seven emirates of the UAE and by a long shot the most crowded, is situated on the southeast bank of the Persian Gulf.
While the economy was initially determined by oil, the flight, travel industry, land, and financial services industries now dominate.
Dubai is also a transport hub for the region, with air connections to a number of international destinations.
Dubai is billed as the land of opportunity and attracts huge numbers of ex-pats looking to live and work in this desert oasis. The lifestyle can be glamorous, but it’s not cheap. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center will cost, on average, €1766 or €1209 outside of the city center. These costs are similar to London, but some 60% more than you might expect to pay on average in Paris.
What will be the process of office rental?
The rental market in Dubai is developing fairly rapidly. There’s a lot of new construction, which means that the stock of housing for rent in certain areas is pretty good. In these places, you should be able to view properties without worrying that they’ll be taken immediately by other tenants. However, in some of the more prestigious neighborhoods, you can expect the market to move at dizzying speeds because there are more prospective tenants than there are apartments. Talking to an agent can help you get a feel for the pace of the market in the areas you choose.
If you’re looking for a place to rent, you can find ads direct from the landlord on one of the Dubai property sites (see below for some examples). Or, if you want a bit more assistance on your first go, you can always get help from a real estate agent. Especially if you’re unsure of the market in your area or where you’d like to live, then brokers can offer invaluable advice.
The Dubai Land Department has a list of approved Dubai real estate brokers. If you’re planning on using an agent, it’s definitely a good idea to work with one of them to avoid potential scams. You should see the registration card of any broker you choose to use, which shows that they’ve registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera).
Are the offices generally furnished or unfurnished?
There’s a huge range of options in Dubai, from completely unfurnished places to others that come completely furnished with services such as security and cleaning thrown in. It’s worth considering what you need in advance, as some areas will have a larger stock of one accommodation type. Therefore, the type of home you’re looking for is also likely to influence the location you end up in.
What do I need to know about renting in Dubai?
The rental market in Dubai might not be quite the same as in your home country. Avoid any nasty surprises by doing a little research before you make your move.
Tenant laws and rights when renting an office
As a tenant in Dubai, you have rights that are legally protected.
In most cases, a properly registered tenancy agreement is very well protected. Although to take advantage of these rights, you’ll need to be sure your contract is registered with the local authorities. To do this, you have to register your tenancy with* Ejari* (which is the Arabic word for ‘my rent’). Only by registering here do you get your full rights as a tenant. You can read all about the process in English and register your tenancy online.
Landlords cannot arbitrarily raise rent in Dubai. You must be given 90 days’ notice and the new rent must be based on the rental index published every quarter by Rera. If you’re paying under the market rent for a similar property, your landlord can legally raise your rent according to a formula, which will gradually bring the rent back into line with the market. This means that if your rent is less than 90% of the market rate for a similar property, you can expect it to go up. If you’re paying less than 60% of the market value, then the rent hike can be up to 20%. Keeping an eye on the rent index when it’s published should mean that you’ve got some advance warning if your landlord might be raising your rent soon.
If you think your landlord isn’t treating you fairly, you should contact the Rent Disputes Settlement Centre. where specialists can help you negotiate with your landlord and resolve any issue.
General rental property rules and regulations
One really important difference in the rental market in Dubai, which takes many newcomers by surprise, is that it’s fairly common for landlords to ask for significant amounts of the annual rent upfront. You may find you’re asked for the whole year’s rental costs in one go or that you’re asked to make out a series of post-dated cheques which the landlord will then cash at various points during the year. If you’re used to paying a monthly rent this can feel very alien.
If paying your rent upfront, or split across a small number of payments over the year is a problem, then get an agent who can help you find landlords who can work on a monthly payment system.
The other notable difference is that subletting in a place that’s already rented by someone else might cause you a problem. This is because the law frowns upon unmarried males and females living together. Dubai police tend to be pragmatic, and it’s unlikely to be a huge issue for a foreigner, unless you find yourself in contact for the police for some other misdemeanour. However, respecting local law and culture is equally a part of expat life.
Private Office Contracts and deposits
The contract you agree with your landlord is likely to be binding for at least a year, so there will be a penalty to pay if you want to leave before the initial period is up. The exact details of the contract can be agreed by you and the landlord, as long as they adhere to general tenancy rules. That means it’s worth asking for any changes you might want making before you sign.
When you agree a rental, you’ll be given a blue tenancy contract by the broker. However, this isn’t legally valid unless it’s registered with Ejari. This can usually be done online and gives you all your legal tenancy rights.
Both the blue contract form, and the Ejari record, should include a record of the deposit that you have paid to the landlord. Usually this will be in the region of four weeks of rent, which might have to be given to the agent when you reserve the property. Make sure you get a receipt and use a reputable broker.
You shouldn’t hand over cash as a deposit if possible. Your agent might ask you to make out a cheque to the landlord, or use a bank transfer. If you’re making an international money transfer that includes currency conversion, it’s worth finding the best possible deal with a company like Wise so you don’t get slapped with poor exchange rates. More to come about paying from abroad in a later section. Wise uses the real exchange rate and applies a low fixed fee
Utilities and bills the renter is responsible for
Before you finalise a rental agreement, you should make sure you’re clear on the terms. Which utilities and other bills you’re responsible for will vary from place to place, with some office spaces comes with everything included, and some set up so that the tenant pays the bills direct. Often a more fully serviced apartment will come with an ‘all in’ price tag to include utilities and the costs of maintaining the building.
If things like the phone, electricity and water bills will be paid by the tenant then your landlord should be able to give you an idea of the average costs before you sign the contract. Depending on the type of accommodation, you might also have service fees to cover communal areas and maintenance, security and management of facilities such as a pool or gym.
Can I negotiate the rent with the landlord?
It’s okay to negotiate on the rental cost. It’s also worth asking in advance what fees are required for maintenance. If you’re in an business center and what the usual utilities costs are. That way, you should get a better view of the cost of the property.
You might be able to get a lower price if you pay more of your annual rent up front. Or offer to pay in a smaller number of installments over the year.
Can I pay my bills from abroad?
Many expats tend to travel back home frequently, and there will be times when you need to pay your rent or bills but might be out of the country. You might even find that you have to pay a deposit or fees to secure your rental before you’ve opened a local bank account or moved to Dubai. If you’re making an international money transfer to cover your costs, then it’s worth remembering that your home bank might not offer you the best deal.
Banks tend to include almost carefully hidden administration fees and hide their cut in a poor exchange rate when transferring your money across borders. A specialist provider like Wise moves your money using the real exchange rate you find on Google. Not to mention, fees are clearly laid out and quite transparent. Leaving you with a fairer, cheaper, and likely faster option.
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