Expert Info

Posted by Valchr2020
on 21 Jun 2020


I am looking for advice on renting / leasing a 2 bedroom apartment as I haven’t been able to find anything of certain by browsing online. 

I am moving to Abu Dhabi with a female friend so we are planning to share a flat.

Do landlords or agencies accept two friends sharing an apartment and going on a lease as friends? Similar way like we can in Uk for example?

Are there any hidden costs associated with leasing a flat?

What about the utilities? What are the mandatory utilities that everyone needs to pay and if someone can advise on average costs of these for a 2 bed flat?

Lastly, as I can see that still most of the landlords only accept a whole year upfront. What if for any reason we need to leave the country before our our lease expires? I’ve read somewhere that one would have to pay 2 months rent as penalty for that. Is that correct? And what about the rest of the rent? Say we only have lived there 6 months. Would we be refunded the 4 months if we paid a whole year upfront?

All advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.


Anonymous (not verified) on 23 Jun 2020 - 11:28

Hi Val,

I've seen your replies on the previous thread – coronavirus has monumentally changed so many aspects of our lives, all around the world. That may be why you haven't found much while browsing for apartment listings online. It should be acceptable to share an apartment.

Have you read Accommodation in Abu Dhabi? The information is quite uptodate, and we suggest going through an agent. Laws on terminating a contract early may seem seem complicated and not so easy to do, though are perhaps changing in light of the unforseen circumstances of coronavirus. Terminating a lease early may also vary depending on the agreed upon contract itself, so I'd suggest asking a real estate agent in the UAE, and before signing the lease to be sure of all it entails.

The hidden costs, I'd say, are probably in expenses enlisting the services of a real estate agent. For other prices, check out Expat Arrival's page on the Cost of Living in Abu Dhabi. Normally, tenants must pay their utilities, and electricity costs can add up quickly, especially when using an air conditioner to keep cool. Basic utitilies are normally around AED 495. Websites like Expatistan and Numbeo are also helpful, and you can check price comparisons with the area where you're from.

You mentioned before that your friend already has a job in place. Have her employers made any mention to accommodation arrangements or negotiations?

I hope that someone who has personally gone through the process of renting in Abu Dhabi can reach out.

Kind regards,


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