Ejari - A Guide for Tenants 2021
Ejari is the Dubai government's system for attesting and registering tenancy contracts. It’s a system that can be a mystery to newcomers in Dubai and can even catch long-term residents off guard.
We've put together a comprehensive guide along with recent changes to the process which many articles elsewhere on the web do not include.
What is Ejari?
Ejari was created in 2007 to help resolve common rental disputes as well as protect tenants against fraud. It has been mandatory since 2010. Every tenancy contract, along with any subsequent renewals, must be registered into the Ejari system in order for it to be considered valid.
Over the past decade the requirements have become stricter and certain practices have been banned, such as allowing estate agents or 3rd party websites to register a contract on behalf of the tenant.
Once a tenancy contract is registered, an Ejari certificate will be issued which contains the Ejari "Contract number."
Why do I need to register Ejari?
- The Ejari certificate is required by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) in order to open an account. This means without the Ejari certificate you may be without electricity and water upon move in.
- Many building and community management companies will require an Ejari certificate before issuing access cards, A/C connections and/or moving permits.
- The local courts will not hear a rental dispute case if the tenancy contract was not registered with Ejari.
How does Ejari get done?
In one of three ways:
1. The landlord or property management company does it.
This is the most common scenario, especially when renting directly from building owners. Either the landlord, or an official property management company working on their behalf, will register the tenancy contract in the Ejari system. The tenant will usually be charged a fee for this but will not have to do anything other than provide identity documents. Some real estate brokerages also double as property management companies.
2. The tenant registers the contract online.
This is a relatively new system that can be done using the "Dubai REST" app, which is the official government app for real estate. The process is simple if the landlord is tech-savvy enough to also install the app. If the landlord is not reachable or not able to do this then it must be done in person.
3. The tenant registers the contract in person.
There are five Ejari offices across Dubai. The tenant arrives with the required documents and a clerk will check and enter the documents into the system and provide you with an Ejari certificate on the spot.
If you are fortunate enough to have been provided the correct documents by your real estate agent, the process should be relatively painless. There are, however, many gotchas and if there is a problem then it can be a major time sink and even cause delays in moving in and/or connection of utilities.
When does it need to be done?
Each time a tenancy contract is signed it needs to be registered with Ejari. This includes subsequent contract renewals for the same property. They will even back-date the Ejari fees in the event that a year is skipped.
Can I register Ejari online?
Yes, but as a tenant you can only do so using the Dubai REST smartphone app (see below). Any 3rd party websites claiming to be able to do this for you are either obsolete or fraudulent. At best they can only check that you have the correct documents before instructing you to go to and register the contract in person.
How to do Ejari online
The Dubai REST app is the official Dubai Land Department app and is available for Android on the Play Store or for IOS from the iTunes Store. It contains the Ejari service as one of its many features.
You will need to register for the service with your Emirates ID and the app will guide you though the process of uploading documents. You will be prompted to pay the Ejari fee of approximately AED 175.
The service is fairly new and will require the landlord to also use the app to approve the application so you'll need to have a relatively tech-savvy landlord. It is said to take up to 2 days to receive the approval.
If you attempt to use the app and do not complete the process for any reason, ensure you cancel the process in the app before trying again in person. This will save time as the clerk may have to do it for you otherwise.
How to do Ejari in person
There are currently five government offices in Dubai that process Ejari. No appointment is needed, simply turn up with the required documents (see below) and you will be issued a ticket. Wait times vary from 5 minutes to 45 minutes depending on time of day. Once your ticket is called it takes roughly 10 minutes to complete the process.
Tasheel Al Barsha Mall
Barsha Mall, Al Barsha 2
Al Manara Centre
Next to Noor Bank Metro Station, Al Safa
Al Kifaf Centre
Next to Al Jaffliya Metro Station, Za'abeel, Bur Dubai
Takhlees Government Services
Creek Tower, Baniyas Road, Deira
Fixit Government Services
Building 33, Dubai Healthcare City, Oud Metha
Note that some centres now close earlier than they did in the past, some at 2:30pm. Please check the official websites for the latest opening times and exact locations.
What documents are required?
The official website, unfortunately, is vague and incomplete regarding the required documents.
The up-to-date requirements are:
- Original signed tenancy contract (or a high quality scan if the landlord is unavailable in person).
- Tenant's Emirates ID.
- Tenant's passport copy and visa.
- Landlord's passport copy, with the signature visible.
- Copy of the title deed, as provided by the landlord.
- A fee of approximately AED 220, which you may pay by card.
- For renewals only, a copy of a recent DEWA "green bill" is required. This is for aligning your DEWA charges with your rent, which may have increased (or decreased!).
The Ejari clerks can be ruthless when it comes to the required documents. Based on our fraught past experiences, here are some things to watch out for:
- As with all government buildings in Dubai, dress moderately. Security have been known to turn away men wearing shorts.
- Ejari must be in one tenant's name only. In the case of a shared rent situation, a lead tenant should be chosen for the purposes of registering the contract.
- The contract must be typed and not hand-written.
- Ensure the landlord's signature is visible on the ID document and that it matches the contract signature. If it does not match, ask them to re-sign the contract as per their ID.
- The bulk of the contract should follow the official Ejari template as found here. There is not enough space to properly add all the clauses required for a comprehensive tenancy contract so additional clauses may be attached as an addendum. Ensure all addendum pages are signed and dated correctly.
- In the event the landlord is not available to sign in person, scans are accepted, however the scan and print must be of a high quality.
- Ensure the property address on the title deed matches the contract.
- If the tenancy contract is a renewal, ensure there is neither a gap nor an overlap between the previous contract's end date and the new contract's start date.
- Ensure that the DEWA premises number is written on the contract. In the case of apartments, the premises number can be found written directly outside the front door, usually in the frame. In the case of villas, it is usually found on the front of the building somewhere, usually next to the garage.
- Ensure the IDs have not expired, even by one month.
- Ensure you have internet enabled on your phone in case you need to forward any documents to the Ejari clerk. It is common enough for each clerk to have their email address taped to the front of the desk.
- The wait times are longer in the middle of the day. We recommend the The Barsha Mall centre at 8am.
At the end of a tenancy period the Ejari should be cancelled. This must be done by the landlord.
There can only be a single Ejari at a time on a property so before you attempt to register a new Ejari ensure that your landlord has cancelled the previous Ejari.
If you notice any errors on this page, or have any Ejari stories to share, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.