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The Leasing Process in Dubai


With so much to think about and so much money at stake, every decision is an important one. Below is a step-by-step guide designed to walk you through the process of leasing a property in Dubai.

Make an Enquiry

When first contacting Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty, you will be welcomed by our friendly customer care department who will listen to your requirements and quickly and efficiently assign you to a dedicated global property consultant. All our global property consultants are trained area specialists who deal exclusively with properties for lease.

Find the Right Property

With over 1,000 properties always available, our global property consultants will assess your requirements and match suitable properties using their expertise and skill. Once matched, the global property consultant designated for you will contact you and provide you with all the details of each of the suitable properties for you to assess in your own time and at your own pace.

Tenants Compliance

To lease a property in Dubai, the minimum requirement is to present your valid visa and passport. If you wish for more than one tenants’ name to be on the tenancy contract, this requirement is applicable to them too. You also need a well-funded current account with a bank in Dubai.

Accompanied Viewings

Once your fund is arranged and in place, our dedicated global property consultant will accompany you – or even come and collect you – to take you to view the properties you have shortlisted. All viewings are accompanied by our area experts who will provide you with all the essential information about the amenities, facilities, schools, and shops within your chosen development.

Make an Offer

Once you have found your perfect property, your consultant will negotiate the best price for you and arrange a lease agreement to suit both parties. When making a property offer, you will be asked to present a security deposit cheque, which is equivalent to 5% of the annual rental amount you are offering. This cheque will not be cashed and is held by Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty until your offer is accepted.

Offer Accepted

Once accepted, our leasing compliance department will prepare the tenancy contracts. Both parties will sign the tenancy contract at this stage and your security deposit cheque becomes non-refundable and will be presented for encashment.

Property Handover

Handover is the term that we use when arranging for you to move into your rented property. Our global property consultant will coordinate the process with you. They will collect and distribute the rental cheques, provide you with the contracts and will introduce you to your property.


Upon handover of your property, you will need to connect your utilities (electric/water/AC). If needed, Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty can provide you a dedicated Handover Team.


That’s it, you’re done! You have now leased through Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty. We look forward to working again for you on your renewal or for your next property if you decide to move.


What documentation will I need to lease a property?

Prospective tenants are required to present a valid passport, a valid visa page or a visa-processing letter (this can be provided by the HR department of the company you are working with). The required documents are needed from each tenant wishing to be included in the tenancy contract.

Who will prepare the leasing contract?

The leasing contract is a legal document governed by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). It will be prepared by Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty, signed by both landlord and tenant, and registered with the Dubai Rent Committee. The contract outlines all the conditions of the lease and the payment terms.

Do I need to give references?

No. You will not be required to provide references to lease a property in Dubai.

Will I be required to pay a security deposit?

Yes. Upon selecting the property you wish to lease, a security deposit will be requested from you by a Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty global property consultant. The amount is payable by cheque and is equivalent to 5% of the annual lease amount for unfurnished properties, and 10% for furnished properties. This amount is payable to the landlord.

Who holds the security deposit?

Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty will collect the security deposit amount from you when you sign the lease agreement. All transactions will be done in our office. When the landlord signs the lease agreement, the cheque with the amount of the security deposit will be handed over to the landlord. The landlord has the right to cash the security deposit amount for the duration of the term. This will be returned to you at the end of the lease agreement provided that the property is returned in the same condition it was leased out to you.

How are the leasing instalments taken?

The leasing instalments are between 1 to 4 payments. They are taken with post-dated cheques spaced evenly throughout the lease term. These payments will be taken in advance when signing the lease agreement and be held by the landlord. The landlord or his/her property manager will cash each cheque according to its due date.

Are utility bills included when leasing?

All utilities are the responsibility of the tenant. DEWA is the supplier for water and electricity in Dubai and, for many properties, the DEWA will also include the A/C. If the A/C is not included, you will require an additional connection – this is called Empower. For data and television packages, there are many suppliers, such as OSN, Showtime and du. In any case, your global property consultant will advise you on the connections you require and suit best your chosen property.

What additional fees do I need to pay?

There is an agency fee applicable, which is 5% of the annual lease amount. Also, for some properties, you may need a resident’s pass or access card, which will serve as your access to the pool, beach or fitness facilities. For most of the properties, this is included. In case it is not included, your global property consultant will advise you on how to acquire it and the cost involved (if required).

What happens at the end of the contract?

Standard leasing contracts are for 12 months. 3 months prior to the expiration date of your contract, your global property consultant will contact you to discuss if you wish to renew. Any changes to the contract are governed by the rental committee and its current laws. If you wish to vacate the property, you will be required to inform your landlord 3 months in advance, and at the end of the term, an inspection will be carried out and your deposit returned, provided the property is returned in the same condition it was leased out to you.

What precautions should I take when leasing a property?

Firstly, work only with credible agencies/companies. Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty is a fully regulated company and represents the global Sotheby’s International Realty® brand in the entire GCC region, including the markets of the UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman. Our clients range from high net worth individuals to banks and financial institutions, royalty and governments, as well as corporate and commercial clients. Secondly, always ask to see the agent’s RERA broker number – this ensures that the agent you are dealing with is a registered agent and is licensed to practice in the UAE. Thirdly, always ask questions and request anything you have agreed with the agent to be included in the sale contract. And lastly, when handing over any payments, make sure that the transaction happens at the agent’s office and always request receipts and copies of all documents.


Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty prides in upholding a name and franchise renowned for years of expertise and successful sales of precious possessions and prestigious properties from around the world. In affiliation with Sotheby’s – one of the world’s largest brokers of fine arts and collections, and Sotheby’s International Realty® – the most prestigious real estate brand, our reputed identity empowered us to gain the trust and confidence of a client base that includes some of the most notable members of the society worldwide. Headquartered in Dubai, Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty encompasses markets across the GCC, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. Partnerships with more than 900 affiliate offices with over 20,000 agents in over 70 countries and territories through the Sotheby’s International Realty® network give Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty an unparalleled edge in locating the best properties and investors. Through this rare level of brand recognition and global footprint, Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty is able to match the most coveted properties with international buyers and intenders.