Since 2005 housing prices have almost doubled in some parts of Dubai. Dubai's rental costs are on a par with those in Geneva, one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in.
Short-term lets are charged at a higher rate than longer ones. Serviced apartments are available in all states, although not widely, and cost between 30 and 50 per cent more than unserviced apartments; services normally include cleaning, laundry and linen-changing.
Air-conditioning might be included in the rent or be charged separately as part of your electricity bill. If there's a communal gas tank, gas is usually included in the rent. Otherwise, you can buy gas bottles. Other utilities will be separate. (Water is usually charged as part of the electricity bill). You should check these items at the time of negotiation and on the contract. You or your sponsor must also pay a deposit against damage to the property or to items of furnishing provided.
Note also that some states impose a local tax ( baladiya) on property to cover expenses such as refuse collection and road maintenance. Whether the landlord or the tenant pays is one of the matters to sort out in the contract, although normally the property owner bears the cost.
This article is an extract from Living and Working in Gulf States & Saudi Arabia. Click here to get a copy now.