From imposing strict #stayathome orders to encouraging residents to practice social distancing — the United Arab Emirates is doing all it can to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). However, what about people who have to move homes in Dubai during this time? For such families and residents, the recent situation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic poses a new set of problems. If you are one of them, how do you go to viewings if you haven’t selected a home yet? And if you have, how do you take care of all the legalities that come with the process of moving houses in Dubai during the COVID-19 lockdown? More importantly, how do you keep yourself and your family safe during the move? Here’s everything you need to know about safely moving houses in Dubai during the coronavirus pandemic.
Disclaimer: Please only attempt to move homes or schedule viewings if it is an emergency. It would be wise to also check with Dubai Police for up to date guidelines as new measures could be implemented to curtail the spread of the virus.
Staying safe during property viewings
Do I need a move permit for going on viewings?
First things first — if you plan on travelling to view properties in Dubai, make sure that you apply for move permits. Earlier in April, the Dubai Police imposed a rule in which residents can only leave their homes for essential trips like grocery runs or doctor appointments or other emergencies.
Now, however, these restrictions have been relaxed and you are free to move around.
Use your own vehicle
You may have sanitised your vehicle. But the agent who offers to give you a ride to viewings probably hasn’t. It’s best to err on the side of caution and drive your own car to wherever your chosen home tour will be.
What if the property hasn’t been vacated yet?
Residents in Dubai are asked to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of Covid-19. With this in mind, it might not be a good idea to schedule viewings for properties that you plan to move into but haven’t yet been vacated. It’s a good idea to wait until the current residents have officially moved out of the home and have the owner clean it up thoroughly before a visit.
Can I tour a house without going in person?
If you rather take social isolation seriously, don’t be shy about asking your seller or agent to give you a video tour of the property you want to buy or rent. You can request a video walkthrough on permitted online calling apps in the UAE.
How do I keep myself safe outdoors?
Residents who venture outdoors are expected to wear gloves and masks at all times during the lockdown or risk legal action. You probably won’t be able to wash your hands during a viewing so it’s best to take a hand sanitiser with you on your home tour.
Taking care of legalities
How do I apply for Ejari without going out?
All tenancy contracts in Dubai are regulated by Ejari. An initiative by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), Ejari isn’t only limited to rental contract registration. It covers a range of services like cancellation, termination and transfers for your contract.
We expect that most Ejari offices in Dubai will be closed during the lockdown. Fortunately, you can still register your tenancy contract on the official Ejari portal or the app if you are the landlord. Start by uploading all scanned copies of the necessary documents. These include the tenant’s passport, landlord’s passport, title deeds of the rental property and your Emirates ID.
It will take one to two days for the online application and Ejari number to be processed when you are moving homes in Dubai. Once the registration is complete, you will receive the Ejari contract with an attestation that acknowledges that your contract was made with the service online. For the complete process, check out Bayut’s guide on registering Ejari online.
How do I apply for a DEWA connection for the new home?
Some services require compulsory Ejari registration. One of them will be your DEWA registration, which requires an attested copy of the Ejari along with other documents for getting water and electricity services. This is a service by the Dubai Electric and Water Authority (DEWA) which enables you to activate electric and water services when you move into new premises.
You may have already registered for DEWA services in the home you are currently living in. In such a case, you don’t need to cancel your DEWA account, but rather have it transferred. Disconnecting your current DEWA account is important before moving out since you will want to keep receiving bills after you have moved into the new property. This is to be done 7 days before your move. Here is the process:
- You will need a copy of your Emirates ID or passport with your previous DEWA bill
- Submit the form online on the official DEWA website
- Receive your final bill after two to three days
- Pay the bill in the DEWA office
We recommend scheduling your move permit at a suitable time to visit the DEWA office during the lockdown.
How do I choose movers during the lockdown?
According to the Dubai Police, it is possible for residents to shift homes in the city as long as all the guidelines are followed and the appropriate permits are in place.
The movers who do agree to transfer your belongings to your new home will probably have acquired the same permits and will be following the same safety guidelines. For example, they will be wearing masks, gloves and other protective gear while handling your furniture and transferring it to their vehicles for transport. Also, ask them if they have acquired the necessary permits that allow them to service customers during the lockdown.
A good option for home movers is Trukkers. They adhere to strict precautionary guidelines while packaging your belongings for transport like cling wrapping everything and wearing protective gear during the move. They also clear all the wrapping away safely after the move. Bookings can be made according to location and services required on the Trukkers website.
- Trukkers contact: +971-52-454-6470
Looking for more options in your choice of moving companies? Check out our guide for notable movers in Dubai.
Sanitise your new home
You will need to sanitise your new home before moving in. To minimise the risk of infections, take these cleaning precautions when you are moving houses in Dubai during coronavirus pandemic.
- Clean most-used surfaces: This includes places like toilets, doorknobs, sinks, the television remote and even your cell phones.
- Wear gloves while cleaning: Wear new disposable latex gloves every time you start a new round of cleaning. Also, be careful about touching other surfaces or people during the cleanup
- Change linens often: Don’t use and reuse linens like towels during this time. Try sticking to paper towels when drying hands and use fresh towels for that after-shower wipe-down. A good option is to dedicate a hand towel for individual members of your family.
For more information keeping yourself safe, consider additional steps you can take to curb the coronavirus pandemic in the UAE.
Choosing deep cleaning companies
If you’d rather go the extra mile while moving houses in Dubai during coronavirus pandemic, hire a deep cleaning service to sanitise and sterilise your new home. With the situation as it is now, companies that are approved by the Dubai Municipality are a good choice. An example is Isnaad from the Imdaad Group which is offering deep cleaning and disinfection services. The company adheres to regulation and follows strict procedures when it comes to disease disinfection and cleanup and is also prepared to providing a rapid response in the event of a breakout. You can contact them by filling out the form on the Imdaad website or contact them on their toll-free number below.
- Isnaad contact: 800-8200
Currently, the Urban Company (formerly UrbanClap) is offering Home Deep Cleaning services. You can call them to enquire if they have applied for their own move permits and can legally help you move out. To book their services, visit the service’s official website or download their app.
This brings us to the end of our guide for house shifting in Dubai during the coronavirus pandemic. For more information on how the country is dealing with the pandemic, consider our guide on the coronavirus in the UAE. For updates on the latest news in UAE real estate, stay tuned to MyBayut.