Everything You Need to Know About Abu Dhabi Tenant Rights

Rights of Tenants in Abu Dhabi

Real estate laws and rules play a vital role in preserving property value in any location and making it an attractive destination to buy or rent property. The capital’s tenancy laws make it an excellent choice for anyone seeking an apartment to rent in the Emirate. Individuals’ rights and responsibilities are outlined and protected by these laws. Let us walk you through what it means to live on rent in the capital and explain Abu Dhabi tenancy laws.


During rental disputes, Abu Dhabi tenancy law assures that everything is fair between landlord and tenant.

The suggestions that are provided below can help you understand Abu Dhabi tenancy legislation.


Landlords are obliged under Abu Dhabi Executive Council No. 4 of 2011 to register properties and effective tenancy contracts with the Abu Dhabi Municipality, ADM. ADM uses Tawtheeq, a contemporary computerized system, to keep track of tenancy contracts and data relevant to the property being rented.

The Tawtheeq system, similar to the Ejari system used in Dubai, was required in the capital in 2011 to efficiently manage the tenancy system in Abu Dhabi.

The Tawtheeq system only accepts Arabic and English for registering Abu Dhabi tenancy agreements. The Tawtheeq registration system will not accept an Abu Dhabi tenancy contract that is not written in one of these languages.

Lease contract registration is now more standardized, thanks to Administrative Resolution No. 97 of 2012. According to the resolution, ADM is required to create a record of Abu Dhabi tenancy contract registration that includes:

  • Property data (it must be specified if the property is residential, commercial, or industrial)
  • Landlord information and details
  • Details and information about the tenant

According to Abu Dhabi tenancy law, landlords must register their properties and subsequent lease contracts with the Abu Dhabi Municipality. Furthermore, for their own protection, tenants should always request and properly examine the property registration document before renting any place in Abu Dhabi.


The Abu Dhabi Tenancy Law was amended for the first time in 2010 with Abu Dhabi Law No. 4.

According to the laws, yearly rental price increases are limited to 5%, which implies that tenants may face a 5% rate rise at the time of lease renewal.

The Abu Dhabi Executive Council passed Law No. 32 later that year. This bill eliminated the rental price cap, allowing landlords to boost property prices to market rates. However, landlords were obligated to provide their renters with two months’ notice, explicitly indicating the changed or updated price.

With Resolution No. 14 of 2016, the Abu Dhabi Council reinstated the 5% rental restriction on lease agreements. This rule allows landlords and tenants to agree on rent before entering into a lease arrangement. Again, like in 2010 and 2016, the landlord had the power to raise the annual rent price within a certain limit.

The Abu Dhabi tenancy legislation currently says that a 5% rental cap applies to all rented homes in the capital. Within this limit, landlords and property management companies can boost annual rent. Tenants must be notified two months in advance of contract renewal.


Go over your contract carefully to make sure you don't overlook anything crucial.

Landlords have the right to remove tenants when their rental contract expires, according to Law No. 4 of 2010. This tenancy laws also allows landlords to decline the renewal of the lease contract if they do not choose to do so.

However, similarly to increasing the yearly rent, landlords must provide tenants with two months’ notice prior to contract renewal by sending an evacuation or eviction notice, according to Abu Dhabi Executive Council Law No. 32.

Both sides (landlords and tenants) must serve this notice time, according to the regular Abu Dhabi tenant eviction procedure.

According to Abu Dhabi tenancy law, landlords and property management companies in the Emirate must also provide tenants with two months’ notice if they want to make changes to the rental contract.

In summary, two months’ notice is required in the event of a rent increase, tenant eviction, or other changes to the rental contract provisions.


If you have any questions about your tenancy, contact your landlord.

Administrative Resolution No. 12 of 2012 established certain criteria for the occupation of residential units in Abu Dhabi.

Those seeking to reside in the city on a rental basis should be aware of the following restrictions:

  • The number of people is determined by the overall area of the villa or apartment. Each resident should have a minimum of 14 square meters (excluding children and housemaids).
  • Occupants are not permitted to utilize residential unit corridor or hall area space as bedrooms.
  • Landlords aren’t allowed to split a residential unit in order to lease the divided part to a different tenant. If a landlord intends to do so, they must obtain specific approval.
  • Only three people (including children and housemaids) can remain in a single room at the same time.
  • A single family can occupy a single residential unit; several families cannot share a single residential unit.
  • Families sharing a single residential unit are not permitted to share their space with anybody who is not connected to the family (with the exception of children and housemaids).

Please keep these Abu Dhabi tenancy laws in mind to avoid infringing on them. If you are unsure about anything related to occupancy, contact your landlord or agent to clear things up.


According to Abu Dhabi Council Resolution No. 13 of 2016, Abu Dhabi tenants must pay the Abu Dhabi Municipality a housing charge. The normal housing charge is 3% of the annual rent and applies to all capital housing units. Please keep in mind that this charge is solely due to the municipality and not to the landlord of the unit.


In the event of a rental disagreement, a rental dispute settlement or resolution committee is formed to hear both the landlord’s and tenants’ points of view. The committee hears from all sides and extensively investigates the accuser’s charges and defenses. Witness claims or perspectives, if any, are also considered. These committee sessions are held in Arabic; however, an interpreter is always available for individuals who do not comprehend the language.

To register a rental dispute in the capital, you must go through five stages:

Stage 1: Departments of Arbitration and Reconciliation: When either party files a complaint, landlords and tenants meet in the arbitration and reconciliation department to resolve the conflict.

Stage 2: Court of First Instance: To begin the procedure, the court hears the parties’ allegations in the form of a memorandum.

Stage 3: Court of Appeal: After the Court of First Instance issues its decision within 15 days, an appeal can be lodged. However, this is only applicable to claims in excess of AED 50,000.

Stage 4: Court of Cassation: Within 30 days of the Court of Appeal’s decision, lawsuits valued at AED 330,000 or more can be brought in the Court of Cassation.

Stage 5: Enforcement Department: The party who has won the case has the legal right to put pressure on the opposing side to settle.

The 20th November 2017 modification to the Abu Dhabi Tenancy Law specifies that the judgment of the Abu Dhabi Rent Dispute Settlement Committee (RDSC) is final and must be obeyed by both parties concerned.

If the value of the dispute claim exceeds AED 50,000, either party may submit an appeal within 15 days of the judgment date. Then, as previously stated, parties have 30 days to make a request with the Court of Cassation for claims above AED 300,000.

Please keep in mind that you are not permitted to file a rental dispute application unless the tenancy contract is registered with ADM’s Tawtheeq system.

If the landlord suffers any damages as a result of the tenant’s residence, the committee may request that the renter remove the rented property. The landlord is allowed by law to offer the renter up to six months to remove the rented villa or apartment.

Now that you understand the rights of tenants in Abu Dhabi and what to do in the event of a rental dispute, you are ready to rent a house in the UAE’s capital.

This article is only offered for educational purposes, providing a general understanding of its material, including relevant laws and regulations, and is not meant to provide specific legal advice. The Blog is not meant to take the place of qualified guidance from a licensed professional.

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