Rental Advice

The process of renting a property in Al Ain differs greatly to western standards. There are few central internet systems advertising villas and apartments in the Al Ain region. Therefore the most common way to source a property is through a local Real Estate agent or broker.

Generally an employer (or colleague) will have a Real Estate contact that they have previously used and trusted. Unfortunately there are a few brokers that work independently and operate without a trade licence or even a proper work permit (or labour card). Please be aware of property advertisements with Yahoo or Gmail contacts as there is a good possibility that they are not working for a reputable Real Estate agent and therefore do not have the necessary paperwork to trade in the Emirates. The implications of trading with an unlicensed business can lead to serious consequences.

Reputable brokers and Real Estate agents have a standard charge of 5% of the annual rent which is paid by the tenant. This is a one-off charge. Rent is increased on a yearly basis by 5% which is implemented on the renewal of your rental agreement. With this in mind it is important to secure a property that is most suitable for your needs.

Properties in Al Ain are only available for viewing once the previous tenant has fully vacated. If it is a new property it may still be under construction therefore it is advisable to ask when construction is complete and if the water and electricity is connected. Please be aware that most properties will be unclean and untidy during viewings, but landlords do fully clean the properties prior to occupancy.

Rules of thumb to follow when renting in Al Ain and the Abu Dhabi Emirate:

Please retain copies of rental agreements and also ask the landlord to supply the necessary paperwork to change the water and electricity (AADC) account into your name. See our expat info section for more details for connecting to AADC and Etisalat.

  1. Research the different residential areas and pinpoint up to 3 preferred locations.
  2. Have a clear idea of what type of accommodation is required i.e. compound or independent living, number of bedrooms, garden and/or courtyard etc. (see our housing types section for examples).
  3. Arrange viewings in the cooler hours of the day to avoid the heat especially if you have small children and bring plenty of water and snacks.
  4. Once the property is chosen, negotiate all terms and include in the rental agreement i.e. rental payment in 1 or 2 cheques, house to be cleaned prior to moving in, maintenance issues to be resolved, which party is responsible for maintenance payments and which party is responsible for landscaping and/or maintaining garden.
  5. Check that the water and electricity is connected to the property (especially if it is a new property).
  6. Have all documents in place i.e. copy of passport, Emirates ID and residence visa.
  7. Have access to rental funds.