Dubai couple who paid full year’s rent to fake landlord faces eviction

Estimated read time 8 min read

[vc_row el_class=”container section”][vc_column el_class=”row”][vc_row_inner el_class=”row”][vc_column_inner][expatmedia-landing-article title=”landing article”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner el_class=”col-md-8 “][vc_column_inner el_class=”col-md-8″][expatmedia-article-content body_text=”Tax-free commodities, a plethora of entertainment options and frequent sale seasons can be distracting to anyone who might want to save money in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE.

However, it is possible to live a financially fit life in the emirate, and save extra cash for your security. Here are top 15 tips:

15. Plan your yearly holidays so you can buy your airline tickets in advance. Airline tickets are usually cheaper when bought at least six months ahead of your travel date. Also, try booking online at around midnight when some airlines offer “midnight sale” on seats. You can also subscribe to airlines’ email alerts so you’ll always be the first to know of any promotions.

14. When sending a considerable sum of money home, don’t go with the flow. Exchange rates are usually high at mid-month or end of the month because this is when people receive their salaries and are likely to remit money. If possible, wait when the exchange rate dips (which means you get more peso for your dirham) before you send money to the Philippines.

13. Prefer to buy quality, used items that you need. You don’t have to spend a fortune on new furniture, unless you want to. There’s plenty advertised on online classifieds, or in second-hand stores in Dubai. Another Filipino favourite is the bi-monthly flea market in Safa Park.

12. If you don’t have accommodation or transportation paid for by your company, rent a place that is closer to your workplace. You can save time and money if you are spared a long commute.

11. Plan your trips using public buses or the Dubai Metro. The fares are a fraction of what you would spend compared to riding a taxi. If you must have a car, it is more economical to buy one in good condition (to spare you from maintenance woes) than lease one. However, make sure you have free parking space, and factor in yearly costs like vehicle registration renewal, vehicle insurance and toll fees.

10. Look for free entertainment. Beaches or parks are great places to unwind and entertain yourself with friends or family. You can also check out free shows and events at the malls, particularly during the shopping festivals.

9. If you are living alone or renting a shared apartment, it might be a good idea to buy cooked food in small portions from supermarkets and hypermarkets like Carrefour, Spinneys or New WestZone. You can ask for servings within your budget. This way you are saving time and effort from preparing your food.

8. If you must cook, include more vegetables on the menu. They’re cheaper, quicker to prepare and healthier, too.

7. Regularly check supermarkets and hypermarkets for special offers or deeply discounted prices on stocks for clearance. Most Filipinos head to Baqer Mohebi for discounted prices on boxes of chocolates to ship home, while New WestZone or Al Maya Lals are the go-to places for cheaper Philippine food items. For other commodities, check out three of the biggest hypermarkets in the country: Carrefour, Lulu and Geant.

6. Shop, dine or get service from establishments that offer loyalty points or rewards. Also check out offers on deal websites. There is usually a buy one get one offer on leisure trips, restaurant meals and other deals.

5. Get a pre-paid internet subscription on your smartphone that will allow you to use software like WhatsApp, Skype or Viber so you can call or message folks back home for free anytime, or when you are feeling homesick.

4. Try not to eat out frequently, but when you do, don’t be embarrassed to have your leftover food packed so you can eat it at home later.

3. If you can’t wait to do your shopping during sale season, shop at outlet stores instead (ask the store staff for the location). A more popular destination is the Outlet Mall, which houses all the outlet stores in one mall.

2. Don’t use a credit card, unless you can pay what you owe in full before interest accrues at the end of the month. But remember: It is always better to spend only what you have.

1. Save a portion of your salary. Always. The money you save now is not just for your retirement, but it can also be a much-needed fund for emergencies.” byline=”Barney Almazar” credits=”EXPAT MEDIA”]

Legally speaking: Dubai couple who paid full year’s rent to fake landlord faces eviction

A Dubai-based couple reached out with a question on facing eviction after paying a full year’s rent to a fake landlord. Legal expert Barney Almazar of Gulf Law explains the legalities.

Reader asks: My husband and I are renting a room in a villa in Dubai. We signed a contract for one year with a Russian man who represented himself as the landlord. We paid the rental in full since he offered a big discount for advance payment. Four days after we received the lease contract, an Emirati arrived at the villa claiming that he is the real owner.

It turns out, the Russian man was just leasing the villa from the Emirati owner. There is a condition in their lease contract that only one family should occupy the villa. When the Emirati owner found out that our landlord has placed partitions in the villa, he immediately filed a complaint against the Russian. We are now being asked to vacate the villa. Can the Emirati owner terminate the lease contract and evict us even if we paid the one year rent to our Russian landlord?


Atty. Barney answers: Yes, as owner and landlord of the villa, the Emirati can terminate the lease contract and subsequently have the Russian tenant and his sub-lessees evicted from the villa as the lease contract between the owner and the tenant prohibits subletting.

Under the Real Estate Regulatory Authority rules, the landlord or lessor may demand eviction of the tenant or lessee prior to expiry of tenancy period if the tenant subleases the premises, or any part thereof, without the lessor’s written approval. In such cases, the lessor can request the eviction of both lessee and sub-lessee.

In your case, it is clear that the original lessee subleased the villa without the lessor’s consent. As such, the lessor is allowed under the law to evict both the lessee and you, being his sub-lessee. You should file a collection case against your Russian landlord for the refund of your unused rent and payment of damages.

Atty. Barney Almazar is a director at Gulf Law in the UAE, Philippines, UK and Portugal. He is a member of the Philippine Bar and holds a UAE legal consultancy license. He is listed by Thomsom Reuters as one of the Super 50 lawyers in the Middle East and North Africa. Asian Legal Business has ranked him as top lawyer in the Philippines, Southeast Asia and Middle East. barney@gulflaw.info, +971558650248


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