Dubai: If you are new to Abu Dhabi and looking for an apartment or villa, it is important to equip yourself with the rental guidelines and procedures you need to follow.

Whether you prefer a studio or a villa, here’s everything you need to know about renting in Abu Dhabi, from rental agreement requirements to popular residential areas you can consider.

How can I look for a house in Abu Dhabi?

According to Abu Dhabi’s official government services portal, TAMM, if you are looking for a new home, you can search for available accommodation using local newspapers and magazines, or through registered real estate brokers and agents. You can also find property listings at


Some brokers may charge commission fees, up to five percent of the total amount of the rent, but they are not allowed to take a commission from both the landlord and the tenant.

Rent payment

Rental rates vary depending on the location and size of the property. Tenants can pay rent in one installment or in installments as agreed with the landlord.

Required documents

If you are renting for the first time in Abu Dhabi, here are the documents you need to provide:

  • Copy of your passport
  • Residence Visa
  • Emirates identity card
  • Checks – the number of checks depends on the agreed payment method, e.g. one or more payments

Lease contract

Once you have agreed on the value of the rent and the housing unit, you must sign a rental agreement with the landlord.

contract certificate

The signed lease contract must be attested by ‘Tawtheeq’ – a lease attestation service. Landlords can register a rental agreement in “Tawtheeq” through the Abu Dhabi Municipality website or its customer service centers.

Having the contract attested by Tawtheeq is an essential requirement to obtain all services provided by government entities, such as water and electricity, internet, Mawaqif residential pass, among other services.

Municipal fees

Once the lease contract has been registered, five percent of the value of the annual rent will be calculated and divided for 12 months. The monthly amount will be added to the monthly water and electricity bill.

Renewal or cancellation of the rental contract

Whether you plan to renew your contract or not, the tenant must inform the landlord before the expiry of the contract, which is usually two months or as agreed in the contract, to avoid any fines.

Rental Disputes

In the event of disagreement on any of the terms of the contract or the reimbursement of the insurance deposit or on the conditions of the rented premises, the parties may refer the matter to the Commission for the Settlement of Rent Disputes.

How to get a water and electricity connection in Abu Dhabi?

After registering the rental agreement via ‘Tawtheeq’, tenants can open a water and electricity account at the nearest branch of Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) or Al Ain Distribution Company. Renters must deposit an amount of insurance of 1,000 dirhams.

How do I establish an Internet and telephone connection in Abu Dhabi?

To have a telephone line and Internet services installed in your new home, you must go to one of the service providers, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) or Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du). For a detailed guide on how to get an internet and phone connection, read our article here.

Mawaqif Residential Pass

The Integrated Transport Authority (ITC) of Abu Dhabi provides annual residential permits to Mawaqif, which allow residents to use resident-only parking spaces in certain areas of Abu Dhabi. If you want to know how to get a Mawaqif parking permit in Abu Dhabi, read our detailed guide here.

Popular residential areas in Abu Dhabi

The Tamm website also lists the following popular residential areas in Abu Dhabi:

Saadiyat Island

Saadiyat Island offers many different residential options, from small units to multi-units and villas. Spread over an area of ​​27 square kilometers, it is only a few minutes from the center of Abu Dhabi and 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The island has the largest pool of premier cultural institutions in the world, such as the Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Al Reem Island

Al Reem Island is a 600m natural residential and commercial island located off Abu Dhabi Island. The island is one of the first areas where foreigners can own real estate. The island includes important facilities, such as schools, medical clinics, shopping malls, restaurants, golf course, hotels, resorts, parks and beaches.

Al Raha Beach

Al Raha is located opposite Al Raha Beach and on the Abu Dhabi Highway. The area provides a quiet environment for residents in an area of ​​over one million square meters. Residential units range from 3 bedroom apartments to 5 bedroom luxury villas. The residential units are designed in a traditional Arabic style combined with modern amenities.

Al-Mariya Island

Al Mariya is located between the commercial markets of Abu Dhabi City and Al Reem Island on the one hand and the new cultural area of ​​Saadiyat Island on the other. The island has commercial, shopping, entertainment, healthcare, residential and hotel facilities.

Tourist club area

This district stands out for its proximity to the popular Al Mina district and the corniche, with an abundance of restaurants and shops. Rental rates are relatively low compared to other regions.


The Corniche area is located right next to Abu Dhabi’s main beach. The area is very close to all the lively areas of the city and has stunning views of the beach. It has residential units ranging from studios to apartments.

Al Khalidiya

Khalidiya is one of Abu Dhabi’s most dynamic residential areas. it is close to the Abu Dhabi corniche and the city center. The area is full of shops and restaurants, and residential units range from studios and apartments to villas.

City of Khalifa

Khalifa City is just minutes from downtown and is full of tranquil gardens, grand homes and restaurants. It has residential units ranging from studios and apartments to villas.

Al Reef

Al Reef is located near Al Raha beach and Abu Dhabi International Airport, on the way to Al Shahama town, next to the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway and offers multiple options for residential units.