Renting Property – Does Size Matter to You?

Property sizes are measured in the old Imperial system and some in the newer Metric system. Here's a quick way to convert (and some additional advice).

Updated 06-April-2015  

What’s the Property Size?

Very few real estate agents in this neck of the woods use professional photographers or ‘stage’ properties and their skills may be slightly less than the average photographer. Given the fact that most properties in Dubai are unfurnished the images you will see do not give you an accurate idea of size (you can always have a look at worldfloorplans or the developers’ – Google the location and normally you’ll see the developer’s details – websites which often include floor-plans). That way, before you visit the property you have an idea of size.  The size is usually written in sq ft and often includes the balcony area for apartments and villas may include the garden area and not simply the ‘built up’ area, i.e. the actual building.

You will be living in the property for at least a year, possibly longer, so you want to make sure you are happy with the size.  Try to imagine furniture in the rooms. Would you, for example, be able to walk around the bedroom easily even with a bed in it?  Does the property have fitted wardrobes? If not, you will need space for a wardrobe. Where will you put the washing machine or the fridge since not all properties come with the kitchen white goods. What about the hoover – is there a cupboard for this and the ironing board? Where will you keep your towels and bedding? Where is the guest toilet located?  If you have visitors where will they freshen up – how private is the guest toilet?


When you receive your Tenancy Contract and a copy of the Title Deed the size will be shown, but, it may well be different from the size advertised by the real estate agent. The Title Deed will show the most accurate size.

If you’re wondering about the size when you’re there and don’t have a measuring tape.  Count the floor tiles. Floor tiles come in standard sizes. RAK Ceramics in the UAE have been producing floor tiles for a long time.  Their website gives 4 standard sizes.  If you can gauge the size of the tiles you can work out the size of the room.

Lots of questions to consider. If you go armed with a list you will have one less headache.

It’s easy to forget things. Take some photographs of the property including the front entrance – you’ll have a record of the flat/villa number which will help jog your memory when you look at them later.  If the property is of interest also take a photo of the DEWA tag (the brown tag on the external door upstand).

How to Convert from Square Feet to Square Metres

calculate, size, property sizeTo calculate the sq ft in metres – simply divide the sq ft by 10 and this gives you a rough idea of the sq m. The actual value to use to divide the sq ft is 10.764 but for quick calculations dividing by 10 is enough (and easy)!


The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

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