property management Dubai

Property Management in Dubai: Understanding Local Regulations

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Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, has long been considered a haven for real estate investors. Its glittering skyline, burgeoning economy, and strategic location have all contributed to a real estate market that is both vibrant and competitive. However, like any real estate market, Dubai also has its own set of regulations and norms that must be understood and complied with, particularly if you are considering property management services. This article aims to shed light on the local regulations affecting property management Dubai, thereby equipping you with the knowledge you need to navigate this complex landscape.

Licensing and Registration

Firstly, it’s important to understand that property management companies in Dubai must be licensed by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). This is the governing body responsible for regulating Dubai’s real estate market. Dealing with an unlicensed property management company can not only put your investment at risk but also land you in legal troubles. RERA provides a list of licensed property management companies, and it is advisable to consult this list before engaging any firm.

Rental Contracts and Tenant Rights

Dubai’s laws are quite tenant-friendly. For instance, the landlord can’t evict a tenant without a valid reason, as defined by the law. Some valid reasons for eviction include the tenant’s failure to pay rent or the landlord’s desire to sell the property. Even then, the landlord must provide the tenant with a written notice at least 12 months before the lease’s expiration date, and this notice must be notarised.

As for the rent, it cannot be arbitrarily increased. Dubai has a Rent Index, updated annually by RERA, which sets out the guidelines for allowable rent increases. The rent for a new contract should align with the average rent of similar properties in the same area, as listed in the Rent Index.

Maintenance and Repairs

Under Dubai’s local regulations, the responsibility for the maintenance of the rental property generally falls on the landlord. Major repairs, which could affect the structural integrity of the building, are usually the landlord’s responsibility unless the tenant has caused the damage intentionally or through neglect. The specific responsibilities can be outlined in the rental contract, providing both parties agree.

Dispute Resolution

Should disputes arise between the landlord and tenant, the Rental Dispute Settlement Centre is the primary body for resolving such issues. Both parties can present their case, and decisions are generally reached within 30 days. Before you engage in property management in Dubai, understanding the legal recourse available to you can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Property Management Contracts

If you’re looking to engage a property management company, the contract will typically cover services such as tenant acquisition, rent collection, maintenance, and legal compliance. Make sure to thoroughly review the contract and align it with local regulations to avoid any disputes or legal issues later on.

Special Zones: Freehold and Leasehold

Dubai also has areas designated as ‘freehold’ and ‘leasehold’. In freehold areas, non-GCC nationals can own property, while in leasehold areas, ownership rights are generally restricted to GCC nationals, but properties can be leased for long periods, often up to 99 years.


Navigating the property management scene in Dubai requires an understanding of local regulations that go beyond the usual concerns of rent and tenant satisfaction. From ensuring you work with a RERA-registered company to understanding tenant rights and responsibilities, being well-versed in the local legal landscape can save you both time and money. Before diving into the Dubai property market, arm yourself with knowledge and, when in doubt, seek professional advice to ensure that your investment is a sound one.


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