How to rent an apartment in Dubai


Finding housing in any country is a challenge, especially when you don’t know where to start. This particularly applies to places you’ve never been to, and this is why Spotahome compiled the all you need to know about renting an apartment in Dubai guide. By the end, you’ll be an expert in house-hunting in Dubai!


Whether you’re moving with your family, with a significant other, or just on your own, you should consider 3 basic factors: location, practicality and budget.


1) Where?

Dubai has many neighbourhoods, in fact, so many that narrowing it down to just one can be a nightmare. Asking yourself the following questions may help you to make a decision.


  • Is your new place near your work?

If you’re a young, single professional, you’ll probably want to live near the main business areas. Deira and Business Bay would be the obvious choices — both are prominent centres for commerce and general business. If you have a job in broadcasting, publishing or advertising, consider Media City — the centre of the media industry for the Middle East.


  • Do you have a family to consider?

Dubai may seem like a centre for business, but it also has a number of charming areas that are geared towards family life with parks, schools and restaurants that appeal to all ages. Schooling varies in price, and all education institutions are private. This may be obvious, but if you’re planning on sending your children to school, it’s wiser to consider an area based on the institutions nearby. The most popular choices amongst expat families include Arabian Ranches, Umm Suqeim, The Springs and The Greens.


  • How much free time do you have?

If you’re a student or moving to Dubai with a significant other, you may find yourself with a lot of free time. There is plenty to do in this bustling city, so steer clear of residential, family-oriented areas if you’re focusing on fun. Consider districts such as Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, Bur Dubai and Al Quoz to keep yourself entertained and make new friends.


2) Is practicality your prerogative?


  • How much do you rely on public transport?

As Dubai is large and spread out, getting from one place to another is a challenge. Driving is still the most convenient way to get from A to B, so if you have a car, look for a place with parking facilities. If driving is out of the question, you’ll be pleased to hear that Dubai has an ever-improving metro service that operates over 2 lines and has a total of 29 stops — it may be wise to look for an apartment near a station. Dubai also has efficient bus, tram and taxi services — bear this in mind during your search.


  • Would you rather live in a house, villa or apartment?

Dubai’s accommodation is mostly elegant and luxurious — the majority of rooms have ensuite bathrooms and air conditioning. If you’re moving to the city alone, would you prefer to live by yourself or in a house with more of a community feel? Apartments seem to be more centrally located, whereas houses are often in residential areas. The main question is, what is your budget?


  • Is staying active on your agenda?

Due to the heat and size of Dubai, the most popular mode of transport is driving. The lack of walking combined with eating in restaurants means that you might want to put fitness first. Luckily, this isn’t a problem in the United Arab Emirates. Every neighbourhood has at least one gym and several sports groups, but in Victory Heights, you’ll find Fit Republik — the largest gym in the Middle East. Sports City, as you’d guess, is one of the best places to get into shape in Dubai. Victory Heights, Deira, Al Barsha and Jumeirah are all known for their parks and greenery, and Els Club, also in Victory Heights, is one of the world’s best golf clubs.


3) How tight is your budget?

Area prices seem to rise and fall like the tide, so keep your eyes peeled for a cheap property. If you cannot find something suitable, find other ways to save money. For example, if you make sure that you look for an apartment with an oven, you can cook your meals from home instead of having to go to restaurants!

Rules and regulations:

It’s all very well finding your perfect property in Dubai, but bear in mind that rules can be strict for renters. It’s often common that landlords require the whole year’s rent upon signing the contract. Check out this technical guide compiled by Gulf News — here you’ll find out everything about the legal policies associated with renting in Dubai.

If these rules seem too complicated or if you want to book in advance, check out Spotahome’s properties in Dubai, complete with video tours, floorplans and professional photos!

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