Rented Accommodation

How to find a home in Dubai

Rented Accommodation

The majority of property is rented unfurnished, whether it be a grand villa or a modest studio apartment.

‘Unfurnished’ might mean only the barest of essentials but is more likely to include a kitchen unit, curtain rails and lighting fixtures, or it might mean semi-furnished, with kitchen equipment, a cooker, refrigerator and washing machine. In most cases, it includes a television aerial socket with access to local stations and probably BBC and CNN via satellite; you might also have access to other networks and movie channels, although you might have to pay for them. There’s also furnished property on the market, but it is harder to find and of course more expensive. Most people want a new property and there are plenty of them available.

Finding a Rental Property

Renting accommodation in Dubai is a straightforward, well-established practice. Major international companies with trading links in the region often have housing arrangements in the form of long-term leases on properties for their staff. If you have to find your own accommodation, your sponsor and his staff will invariably help. There’s considerable choice in all price bands and it’s usually quite straightforward to find the type of property you want.

Having decided on a budget, you need to decide on the location of the property, weighing up the importance of access to your place of work, type and size of living space you want, whether villa or apartment, the number of bedrooms, etc. Dubai is small by international standards and driving times between home and work are short, usually without substantial traffic jams.

There are a number of ways to find a rental property in Dubai, including the following:

  • Consult your company’s human resources manager, work colleagues and friends. Word of mouth is usually the best recommendation in the region.
  • Talk to members of any clubs and associations that you join.
  • Check the notice boards outside accommodation blocks and look in the local English-language newspapers and magazines. Talk to porters or administration staff in the buildings that you like the look of. They will often know about the availability of accommodation.
  • Consult estate agents. As well as having a wide knowledge of the market, area and costs, they generally provide transport and accompany you on viewings. Listen carefully to the proposed charges and in particular to the inclusions and exclusions, specifically the air-conditioning and utility charges. Ask for faxed confirmation before making a decision, and certainly before signing the contract. Estate agents are frequently the wives of sponsored expatriates, who have the time to get to know the area and the facilities on offer.
  • Visit compounds, which frequently have an office of the company running it, and ask about availability and facilities.

This article is an extract from Living and Working in Gulf States & Saudi Arabia. Click here to get a copy now .

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Other comments

  • Stunned by your un-informed info - of Dubai, 03 June 2008 Reply


    Who on your staff wrote @There’s considerable choice in all price bands"?

    The lack of reasonably priced accommodation - for all types of workers - is approaching cricial mass. Mid-range no-European staff - earning over $2000 pm - are struggling to find studio or non-shared one bedroom accommodation for less than AED3,500pm. And the common requirement for 6 or 12 month in advance is crippling for business and individuals.

    Give your readers some honest information for goodness sake.

    • Dubious 05 Jun 2008, 11:00


      Nice to read a view of an independant. I am considering employment in Dubai but my limit will be 7,500 UAE per month. I am visiting mid June and if it is as bad as you say then I think it will be my last visit as I will not be taking the job offer. Note to Employers: You need to increase your allowance if you are to attract the right people.

    • harry 08 Nov 2008, 05:26

      cost pm

      just tell us how much whot a crap site