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Finding a property was probably the hardest thing for us – we weren’t exactly sure where to look, how renting/buying works in UAE and also what prices were considered reasonable! Luckily enough one half of the xpat duo found work in real estate so we quickly learnt the tricks of the trade!

Don’t always assume that the property you see in the photos is actually the property you will see. There are a lot of off plan properties which means they haven’t been completed yet so the pictures you see will either be computer generated or photos of other buildings (annoying I know!) Also check the description to make sure the photos/price and number of rooms is accurate as some agents/companies/landlords do confuse people, eg, the title says 2bedroom and the photos/description show 1 bedroom etc.

Also if you are renting, you will be asked to provide a certain number of post dated cheques upfront so be sure to check how much you can afford as a bounced cheque in UAE has severe consequences!

Here are some of the most reliable and popular sites to find your Dubai home!

Bayut – Bayut is a professional and simple site to use. As well as properties to rent/buy, it gives you the chance to see what new projects are coming up or hot on the market. This is great if you are looking for an investment.

PropertyFinder – Deemed as UAE’s number 1 property site you can find your ideal home here (ideal meaning ones you can’t afford also lol!) but it’s a great site that indicates which listings are verified, details of RERA certified agents (RERA is a certification which qualifies a person to legally work in the real estate industry), the company they work for and full details. So you definitely feel more confident in contacting agents.

JustProperty – This is one of the more basic sites which allows you to search by Real Estate broker companies to see what they have to rent/sell, you can search by location or rental/sale prices. JustProperty doesn’t show you individual agents though so you won’t see who you are dealing with until you go to visit the property – rest assured this doesn’t mean the property is any less secure!

Dubizzle – Woo yes Dubizzle again! This place is easy to use to find property to rent or buy – there are lots of filters you can apply to make sure you’re seeing the properties you want to see. Again you get to see which properties are from landlords and different companies, however you don’t see the agents you will be dealing with.

There are individual company websites which showcase what the company’s have with their agents – some of the well known companies in Dubai are:

Espace Real Estate Broker

Better Homes

Quantum Real Estate Dubai

Hamptons International