Dubai is a great place for expats to move. Many people move there because of their jobs, and other people may decide to move to Dubai first, and then they might find a job after the fact.
Some of the reasons people move to Dubai aside from their career include the great weather and active lifestyle, as well as the general high quality of life. You don’t pay taxes on your wages when you move to Dubai, the economy is relatively stable, and there is an abundance of leisure and recreational activities.
If you’re going to move to Dubai, you might not plan to buy a home right away. Instead, you may rent, which means you need to be aware of how to register Ejari. The following is a guide to Ejari and renting in Dubai.
What Does Ejari Mean?
Ejari is Dubai’s program, operated by the government, that translates to “my rent” in Arabic. According to Bayut.com, Ejari is a government-run program to regulate all tenancy contracts in Dubai. Under the law, all contracts for rental properties in Dubai have to be registered through the Ejari portal, available online.
The goal of the program is to protect landlords as well as tenants. All private rental contracts have to include a legally binding, government-approved contract.
If there is a dispute, the Ejari contract is meant to provide transparency. It also means that landlords can’t arbitrarily raise the rent prices when you renew your rental contract.
How Do You Register Ejari?
As a renter, you have a responsibility to register Ejari, as does your landlord. However, if you have a real estate agent, they may handle it for you.
You can register on or offline, and the offline offices are open during the week. The registration fee is AED 220, and that includes VAT. You’ll need certain documents, including:
- Your passport
- UAE Visa
- Your Emirates ID
- Contract of tenancy
- The deeds for the property you’re going to rent
- A recent DEWA bill
- A copy of your landlord’s passport
In most cases, it takes around one or two business days for the online application to be processed, and then you receive your Ejari number.
You renew the Ejari each time you renew your contract as a tenant, which in Dubai is typically once a year.
RERA Rent Index
When a landlord wants to increase the rent in Dubai, they can’t just do so on a whim. If they try and do that, you can file a case with the Rent Committee. There is a Rent Index which is set by RERA.
According to this, if your rent is up to 10% less than the average value of similar units, your landlord can’t increase the rent. If your rent is anywhere from 11 to 20% less than the average rent of similar properties, your landlord does have a legal right to raise your rent by up to 5%.
If your rent is anywhere from 20 to 30% lower than similar units currently, your landlord can increase your rate by 10%, and then rent increases can go from 15 to 20%, depending on the current price of your unit compared to similar properties.
If your landlord is going to raise the rent, then they should give you 90-days notice. If your landlord wants to sell a unit where you’re living, they should give you written notice 12 months in advance.
Dealing with Landlords
Since the rental market is so regulated in Dubai, you may find that it’s easier to work with landlords here than in other cities. Still, you might want to work with a RERA-registered agent to simplify the process as much as possible for yourself.
You will likely have to pay a deposit to reserve a property, which isn’t unusual. It may be around four weeks of rent.
Finally, while it is a regulated market, it’s not impossible for scams to occur. If you are dealing with someone who doesn’t want to go through the proper channels or doesn’t want to do the legal process for a rental contract, it’s best to look elsewhere.
If you register with Ejari, then you’re providing yourself the most protection, and you’re likely to ensure your rights are protected.
Additionally, now can be a good time to rent in Dubai because there are a lot of available properties, so you may have more options than you would have just a few years ago if you’re planning a move to Dubai.