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United Arab Emirates – Lease Agreements

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a popular destination for expats seeking job opportunities or a new living experience. With its stunning modern architecture, diverse culture, and warm climate, renting a property in the UAE can be an exciting prospect. However, finding the right property and signing a lease agreement can be a daunting task. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about lease agreements in the UAE, from the typical lease term to standard and additional clauses, and what expats should look out for before signing a contract.

Typical Lease Term in the United Arab Emirates

The typical lease term in the UAE is usually 12 months, although some landlords may offer a longer or shorter lease term. It’s important to note that rental payments are typically made upfront for the entire lease term, or in some cases, through several post-dated checks.

Furnished vs Unfurnished Rental Properties in the United Arab Emirates

In the UAE, rental properties are commonly available as either furnished or unfurnished. Furnished properties typically include essential items such as beds, sofas, and kitchen appliances. On the other hand, unfurnished properties only include basic fixtures such as light fixtures and built-in kitchen cabinets.

What Items are Included in Furnished Properties?

Furnished properties in the UAE usually come with the following items:

  • Beds, mattresses, and linens
  • Sofas and chairs
  • Dining table and chairs
  • Kitchen appliances, such as a refrigerator, stove, and oven
  • Basic kitchenware, such as dishes, glasses, and utensils
  • Curtains or blinds
  • Wardrobes and dressers

It’s important to clarify with the landlord what items are included in the furnished property before signing a lease agreement. Some landlords may include additional items such as a TV, while others may not.

Standard Clauses in a Lease Agreement in the United Arab Emirates

The lease agreement in the UAE typically includes the following standard clauses:

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  • Identification of the landlord and tenant
  • Description of the property, including its address and any included furniture or appliances
  • Rent amount and payment terms
  • Security deposit amount and terms of its return
  • Maintenance and repair responsibilities of the landlord and tenant
  • Termination clauses, including notice periods for both parties
  • Utility payment terms and responsibilities
  • Subletting and assignment restrictions

It’s important to carefully review each clause in the lease agreement and ask any questions before signing the contract. Once the lease agreement is signed, it becomes a legally binding contract, and it’s difficult to make changes to its terms.

Additional Clauses in a Lease Agreement in the United Arab Emirates

While the standard lease agreement clauses in the UAE cover most of the important terms, there may be additional clauses that the landlord or tenant may want to include. Some of these clauses may not be mandatory but can be beneficial for both parties.

Maintenance Clause

The maintenance clause outlines the landlord’s responsibility to maintain the property and any included fixtures and appliances. This clause can include details on how to report maintenance issues and the timeline for the landlord to address them.

Renewal Clause

The renewal clause allows the lease agreement to be extended automatically at the end of the lease term unless either party provides notice to terminate the agreement. This clause can be beneficial for both the landlord and tenant, as it eliminates the need to negotiate a new lease agreement each year.

Early Termination Clause

An early termination clause allows either the landlord or tenant to terminate the lease agreement before the end of the lease term, as long as the terms of the clause are met. This clause can be useful in case of unforeseen circumstances, such as job loss or a need to relocate.

Pets Clause

The pets clause outlines the landlord’s policy regarding pets in the rental property. It’s important to clarify whether pets are allowed or not, and if they are, any restrictions or additional fees that may apply.

Expats and Lease Contracts in the United Arab Emirates

Expats in the UAE should be aware of several key factors when signing a lease agreement:

Visa Requirements

Expats must have a valid residency visa to rent a property in the UAE. It’s important to ensure that all necessary documents are in order before signing a lease agreement.

Language Barrier

The language barrier can be a challenge for expats in the UAE. While some landlords and letting agents may speak English, it’s not guaranteed. It’s recommended to work with a reputable letting agency that can provide translation services or a bilingual contract.

Cultural Differences

Cultural differences in the UAE can also play a role in lease agreements. For example, it’s common for landlords to expect tenants to pay rent in post-dated checks rather than through bank transfers. It’s important to clarify the preferred payment method with the landlord before signing the contract.

Condition Reports in the United Arab Emirates

Condition reports are common in the UAE before signing a lease agreement. The inventory and condition report should be detailed and include photos of the property and its contents. This report can be used in case of any disputes or damages that occur during the lease term.

Qualifications and Licenses for Letting Agents in the United Arab Emirates

Letting agents in the UAE must be registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) and hold a valid broker’s license. RERA is responsible for regulating and supervising the real estate sector in Dubai. Letting agents must complete a series of training courses and pass an exam to obtain a broker’s license.

Reputable Letting Agency Associations in the United Arab Emirates

The Dubai Land Department is responsible for regulating and supervising the real estate sector in Dubai. The Real Estate Institute (REI) is a subsidiary of the Dubai Land Department and provides training and professional development courses for real estate professionals in Dubai. REI also maintains a registry of licensed real estate brokers in Dubai. Their website is www.dubailand.gov.ae.


Renting property in the UAE can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to understand the lease agreement and any additional clauses before signing a contract. Expats should be aware of potential visa requirements, language barriers, and cultural differences. Working with a reputable letting agency can provide translation services, industry expertise, and peace of mind. By carefully reviewing the lease agreement and understanding the standard and additional clauses, expats can enjoy their new home in the UAE with confidence.

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