With a dynamic lifestyle, a strong employment market, and a variety of renting possibilities, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a refuge for foreign nationals. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about renting, from popular destinations and property kinds to regulations and crucial suggestions. It is designed especially for Maltese expats moving to the UAE.

The UAE's rental market

The UAE has a distinctive rental market that has several important features.

  • High concentration of expats: Approximately 88% of the UAE's population is made up of foreign nationals according to Wikipedia, which fuels demand for rental apartments.
  • Efficient and regulated process: The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA of each emirate) oversees the simplified rental procedure in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Transparency in rents: Rent indices provide you with the ability to bargain with agents and landlords in an efficient manner.
  • High vacancy rates: As a result of ongoing development, there are a lot of available spaces, which gives you the power to choose the ideal location within your price range.

Popular places to rent

The UAE provides a wide range of rental choices to suit various tastes and price ranges. These are a few well-known places:

  • Dubai, a multicultural city with a thriving nightlife that offers opulent villas, high-rise apartments, and breathtaking vistas. Downtown Dubai, Bur Dubai, and Dubai Marina are among the well-liked locations.

Preferences: Fast-paced life, cosmopolitan atmosphere, nightlife, luxury brands.

Budget range: Annual rentals start at €4,500+ yearly in the outskirts according to Bayut. Popular areas like Downtown Dubai (starting €16,265) and Dubai Marina (starting €12,512) will be on the higher end, while areas like Sports City can be more affordable.

  • Abu Dhabi, the capital emirate, is renowned for its government establishments and depth of culture. Al Reem Island and Khalifa City are popular locations.

Preferences: Culture, government jobs, family-friendly atmosphere, a slower pace than Dubai.

Budget range: Rentals start at €3,504 yearly as per the prices on Bayut. Generally less expensive than Dubai, but areas with amenities like Yas Island (starting €11,761) will be pricier.

  • Compared to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Sharjah is more reasonably priced, has family-friendly neighborhoods, and is close to Dubai.

Preferences: Family-oriented communities, Islamic culture, affordability, proximity to Dubai.

Budget range: Most affordable with yearly rentals starting at €2,252. Sharjah offers the most budget-friendly option among the three, with areas like Al Tawwun (starting €3,253) and Al Nahda (starting €4,504) being popular choices for families.

Finding a place to rent

In the UAE, it's simple to find your dream rental home because of the abundance of options available:

  • Online property websites: You can search for villas or flats for rent on Bayut, a leading platform to search for rental listings in the UAE. Bayut also provides area guides and other resources to make your rental process hassle-free.
  • Classified ads and newspapers: Print and online classifieds are available in reputable publications such as Gulf News, Khaleej Times, The National, and Gulf Today.
  • Real estate agents: The majority of properties are managed by agents who understand English, and they can help you with negotiations and viewings.

How to rent a property in the UAE?

Following your selection of the perfect property, do the following actions to guarantee your rental:

  • Speak with the landlord or agent: Schedule a viewing at your convenience.
  • Get your paperwork ready: Prepare a copy of your passport and your resident visa (or a business letter if your visa is still processing).
  • Inspect the property: Look over the property in detail throughout the day and make sure all the facilities are working.
  • Negotiate and finalise the deal: Talk to the agent or landlord about the terms and cost of the rental.
  • Pay the security deposit: Usually five percent of the yearly rent, which is refunded if the apartment is in excellent shape and all debts have been paid.
  • Sign the tenancy contract: Both parties must sign this contract, which is typically good for one year.

Important things to know

  • Tenancy agreements: These are usually yearly agreements with a two-month notice period and an early termination fee.
  • Rental payments: Postdated checks are often used to pay rent quarterly. Cheques that bounce incur penalties.
  • Rental costs: Depending on the area and emirate, prices might vary greatly. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have the highest rental prices.
  • Contract registration: Register your property on the Ejari portal in Dubai or respective counterparts in other emirates (Tawtheeq in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah Municipality in Sharjah). A registration charge is applied to new or renewed contracts in Dubai.
  • Telecommunication and utilities: Tenants are in charge of setting up telephone, Wi-Fi, power, and water connections.

Tenant and landlord rights and obligations

A good renting experience in the United Arab Emirates depends on your understanding of your rights and duties as a tenant and those of your landlord.

Landlord's obligations

  • Give you a translated contract and security deposit receipt: The landlord is required to give you a translated English copy of the rental agreement and a security deposit receipt.
  • Upkeep of common areas: In apartment complexes, the landlord is in charge of keeping the lobby, hallways, swimming pools, and fitness centers in good condition.
  • Observe rent regulations: Landlords are not permitted to raise rent while a contract is in effect, but they are permitted to do so upon renewal by following RERA criteria.
  • Provide an inventory for furnished properties: To avoid disagreements on the road, if you are renting a furnished space, the landlord should provide you with an inventory to check and sign.
  • In response to maintenance requests, landlords are required to take reasonable measures to resolve any difficulties that arise.

Tenant's rights

  • Go over the contract in detail: Examine the contract carefully before signing. You are bound by its terms after you sign it.
  • Tenancy termination after contract term: If you are not happy with the updated rent, you do not need to renew the agreement after the first year.
  • Make the appropriate changes: Any changes made to the property need written permission from the landlord.
  • Maintain the property: It is your responsibility to keep the property in excellent shape. Extraordinary wear and tear-related damages will be subtracted from the security deposit.
  • Resolution of disputes: You may register a complaint with the appropriate Rental Disputes Resolution Committee in your emirate if you have disagreements with your landlord.

Where to go should there be a conflict?

The UAE has set up Rental Disputes Resolution Committees to manage disputes that may occur between you and your landlord. Every emirate has a committee specifically for that purpose; two examples of these are the Rental Disputes Center in Dubai and the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department in Abu Dhabi.


You can locate your dream house and confidently navigate the UAE rental market by paying attention to the helpful advice and following our thorough guide. Keep in mind that the secret to a successful and pleasurable renting experience in this vibrant and diversified nation is knowing your rights and obligations as a Maltese renter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does it cost to live in Malta vs the UAE?

A: The United Arab Emirates consumer prices, including rent, are 22.4% more than those of Malta, according to Numbeo, which implies that the UAE has a usually higher cost of living.

Q: When relocating from Malta to the UAE, are there any cultural differences to take into account?

A: It's true that the UAE, which has a majority of Muslims, has more stringent societal standards about attire and public displays of affection. Make sure you are familiar with these norms in advance.

Q: How does UAE's public transport system compare to that of Malta?

A: The UAE boasts a larger network, especially Dubai's metro. They also have buses, taxis, and unique options like monorail and water taxis. Malta relies mainly on a comprehensive bus network, with ferries connecting the islands.

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