STOCK Abu Dhabi residence skyline
Residential and commercial skyscrapers on the skyline of Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Bloomberg

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

Whether your preference is a studio apartment or villa, here is all you need to know about renting in Abu Dhabi, from lease contracts requirements to popular residential areas you can consider.

How do I look for home in Abu Dhabi?

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


Some brokers may require a commission fee, up to five per cent of the total amount of rent, but they are not allowed to take a commission from both the landlord and the tenant.

Rent Payment

Rent rates vary depending on the location and area of the property. Tenants can pay the rent in one payment or through multiple payments as agreed with the landlord.

Required Documents

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

  • Copy of your passport
  • Residency visa
  • Emirates ID
  • Cheques – the number of cheques is according to the agreed-on payment method, for example one or multiple payments

Lease Contract

Once you have agreed on the rent value and the residential unit, you need to sign a lease agreement with the landlord.

Contract Attestation

The signed lease agreement needs to be attested through ‘Tawtheeq’ – a lease attestation service. Landlords can register lease contract in ‘Tawtheeq’ through the Abu Dhabi City Municipality website or its Customer Service Centres.

Having the contract attested through Tawtheeq is an essential requirement in obtaining any services provided by government entities, such as water and electricity, internet, Mawaqif residential pass, among other services.

Municipality Charges

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

Lease Contract Renewal or Cancellation

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

Rental Disputes

In case of disagreement with regards to any of the terms of the contract or insurance deposit refund or the conditions of the rented premises, the parties can approach the Rent Dispute Settlement Committee.

How do I get a water and electricity connection in Abu Dhabi?

After registering the rent contract through 'Tawtheeq’, tenants can open a water and electricity account at the nearest branch of Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) or Al Ain Distribution Company. Tenants need to deposit an insurance amount of Dh1,000.

How do I set up a internet and telephone connection in Abu Dhabi?

To have a telephone line and internet services installed in your new home, you need to visit any of the service providers, Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) or Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du). For an in-depth guide on how to get an internet and telephone connection, read our article here

Mawaqif Residential Pass

Abu Dhabi’s Integrated Transport Authority (ITC) provides Mawaqif annual residential permits, which allow residents to use parking spots reserved for residents in certain areas in 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 multiple units and villas. Spread over an area of 27 square kilometers, it is only minutes away from the center of Abu Dhabi and 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport.

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

Al Reem Island

Al Reem Island is a 600-meter natural residential and commercial island off the coast of Abu Dhabi Island. The island is one of the first areas, where foreigners can own a real estate. The island includes important facilities, such as schools, medical clinics, shopping malls, restaurants, a 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 on an area of over one million square meters. Residential units range from 3-bedrooms apartments to 5-bedrooms luxury villas. The residential units are designed in a traditional Arabian style combined with modern amenities.

Al-Mariya Island

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

Tourist Club Area

This area is distinguished by being close to the popular Al Mina area and the corniche, with an abundance of restaurants and shops. The rental rates are relatively low compared to other areas.


The Corniche area is located directly next to Abu Dhabi's main beach. The area is very close to all the city's vibrant areas 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 vibrant residential areas; it is close to the Abu Dhabi Corniche and city center. The area is full of shops and restaurants and the residential units range from studios and apartments to villas.

Khalifa City

Khalifa City is a few minutes away from the city centre and is full of tranquil gardens, large houses, 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 leading to the city of Al Shahama, adjacent to the Abu Dhabi-Dubai Highway and has multiple options for residential units.