Tenancy contract required for visa

Another day, another new law in desert land, bluntly put: NO TENANCY CONTRACT, NO VISA.

As if that doesn’t explicitly explain the would be new situation for us here, it simply means, if you are not the leese (a person to whom a lease is granted) i.e., your name is not in the tenancy contract, you will face problems when you apply/renew your visa or sponsor your family member’s visa.

A residency official told Gulf News that the new decision is aimed at improving living conditions. The new law also requires the water and electricity bill be under one name (same as in the tenancy contract).

Currently, there are so many families who share the same housing unit with other families. It is not uncommon for 3-4 families (related or non-related) sharing a residence due to steep house rental fees.

But according to the residency official:

“Families will not be allowed to share housing (with other families).”

The message is clear: it is to improve the living conditions by allowing only one family per house/villa/ apartment but is it realistic as per the current rental fees with respect to the wages of medium-low income expatriates? The answer is a resounding NO because the current rents here will swallow 50-60% of an average worker’s salary! For sure, no one wants to live in cramped spaces sacrificing privacy but the reality here is that a large part of expatriate workers in the UAE live in sharing accommodations because they can’t afford having a flat on their own.

Asking people to get their own place by not issuing a visa unless they do so is NOT the solution. How about providing a low cost housing so individuals/ families do not have to share with others? How about increasing the wages by imposing a minimum salary on specified professions?

And it’s not only families who will be affected with this law. Single professionals will likely face a big headache too.

Get this picture: a cheap studio apartment in International City (a residential area) far from the city proper is about 2,000 dhs per month. Majority of Filipino secretaries, for example earn 2,000-3,000 dhs (average) per month, all inclusive – how can they pay the rent on their own? Where will they get the money for food, transportation and other basic needs!? Now, when this law is in full effect, where will these people go?

This is a big blow to the majority of the expatriates in the UAE (not many are driving around in Porsches here or lounging in their own swimming pool at the back of their villas!). Living conditions can be made better by lowering living cost and implementing first a minimum wage salary – is it that logic hard to understand?

No Residence visa renewal for those sharing accommodation – from Emirates 24/7

Your visa renewal questions answered – from The National

Tenancy contract and utility bill mandatory for visa – from Gulf News


  1. It’s always a pleasure to read your blog! Aside from our few visits to Dubai and seeing the glam we also know how different it is for thousands of expat workers who aren’t part of the glitz we see here of Dubai in the West. My only question is how are they expecting to actually enforce this law? I am sure everyone who already have visas can wait a bit but once everyone starts renewing I am looking at a bigger crisis of a housing dilemma – allocating spaces for each visa applicant!



  2. in Abu Dhabi they had this new law, then they lift it, then they had it back again, all within this week. maybe they, themselves are confused.



  3. Oh, Thanks for sharing this information. I didn’t know this one yet until I read your blog. I think it is really hard for a lot of people to accomplish this sort of law.



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