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Abu Dhabi’s Rental Market - Facts & Myths


How much of the information you have about Abu Dhabi’s rental market is based on hearsay? We will separate myths from the facts in this article.

Rent is paid annually = FACT!

It actually comes as a shock to tenants when they first arrive in Abu Dhabi and discover that they have to pay year’s rent upfront at a single cheque. If you are lucky enough, your agent or the owner might suggest or accept two cheques – fifty per cent now and other fifty per cent after ix months.

In some cases the company itself has to coordinate and pay the full rental amount to the agency or directly to the landlord.

Failing to that:

–          Case 1: You can ask your company for advance payment. Then you will reimburse the company in monthly installments.

–          Case 2: If you have savings you can use it.

–          Case 3: You can also get a loan from the bank once you get your emirates Id.

It’s landlord’s market = FACT!

Well, let’s just say landlords hold most of the cards when it comes to renting a property in Abu Dhabi. Once you have paid your yearly rent and signed the contract, Article 21 of the tenancy law says that you must have to fulfill your obligations even if you lose your job or have problems in getting visa. If that happens, you can sit with your landlord, explain the situation and try to come up with an agreement, such as finding a replacement tenant.

Home appliances are included = FICTION!

When you move into your new villa or apartment, don’t expect anything. It’s very likely that your new home will not include curtain rails, carpets, washing machine, a fridge, a freezer, a dryer or even a cooker. You should consider yourself very lucky if it comes with any of these. It happens that sometimes landlords provide some of these appliances with the property, which shouldn’t be considered as a must.

Rental can be increased as per Landlord’s wish => FACT!

The tenancy law prior to November 9, 2013 stated that landlords were not allowed to increase the rental price by more than five per cent every year. The Executive committee, the body that actually removed this cap, advised landlords to follow the market price trends and charge tenants accordingly without specifying the exact rate for each  area/unit type. One of the side effects which explains the rental prices rise up to 16 percent per year.

However, landlords have the choice to increase  the rental price or keep it as it is for the actual tenant.

Anyways, both cases should be clearly stipulated in the tenancy contract.

1 Month notice before moving out => FICTION!

Article 20 (3) of the Tenancy Law states that you actually have to notify the landlord before 2 months your lease expires. This could also be done by email but request the delivery receipt so you can prove they have received the notice; and your landlord is required to do the same.

If you reach the end of your agreement and neither party has altered the terms of the agreement, in that case your tenancy agreement will automatically renew on the same terms.

Landlords can kick you out for no reason => FACT!

According to Article 24 of the Tenancy Law, this is very true; As long as your landlord has given you proper notice, he is not at all required to give you any reason for asking you the leave the property.

Foreigners can’t buy property => FICTION!

In 2005, ownership law stated that foreigners can buy properties, buildings or floors within the Investment areas, such as Al Raha Beach, Al Reef, Saadiyat Island, Al Reem Island and al Ghadeer (near Dubai). This means that you can lease the land for a period of 99 years.