Plastic and steel bottles waste

8 Ways To Live A More Sustainable Life

Live better, smarter and more sustainably

Here at The Gaggler, we’re all about making great choices in life – and when those choices help others whilst simultaneously saving the planet, we know we’re onto a winner. Living a more sustainably-focused existence was top of our to-do list on January 1, and as we battle through probably the toughest year on record (yes, we mean you, COVID-19) here are eight easy ways to give back to the world right now…and continue to do so when 2021 finally arrives…

Recycle plastic and paper

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle…

If you’re not doing it already, start right now. Whether it’s paper, plastic, metal, glass, or textiles, most household waste can be recycled – and there’s no excuse not to do it. Thoroughly wash out empty packaging when you’ve finished with your product, and separate it into types. If you’re lucky enough to have one, make sure you use the designated recycling bin outside your house to dispose of your recycling or use the special recycling shoot in the garbage room of your apartment block for recyclable materials. Not got either one of those? Make the effort to find out where your local recycling bank is, and make a weekly trip there. Millions of tonnes of what could have been recycled waste go to landfills every year, and it’s our responsibility not to add to it. 

how to recycle

And start composting too!

If you have a garden or even a balcony, composting food scraps is a super-economical and ecologically friendly way to look after your plants. Invest in an indoor compost bin to dispose of biodegradable food matter, and add to your outdoor compost pile to provide nutrients to your garden. The odor-preventing filter and compostable liner bags make composting super simple, you’re helping reduce the amount of waste you throw away while saving money and nurturing healthy plants. 

Bokashi Bin, PRP AED 294, available at mygreenchapter.com

shopping locally
Greenheart Organics

Shop local…

Stocking up on groceries from your local farmer’s markets or farm shop is a great way to support the local economy as well as reduce your carbon footprint by minimising waste and emissions from long-distance shipping. Dubai has come on leaps and bounds with regard to its organic food offering in recent years, so make the most of this burgeoning industry by buying as much local produce as you can.

Dubai favourite RIPE Market reopens for the winter season on October 1 at Dubai Police Academy Park, boasting a new farmer’s market area which will host up to eight farmers offering delicious, locally-grown produce at affordable prices. 

organic vegetables

Buying organic local produce ensures that you’re getting the most flavoursome, pesticide-free, and vitamin-dense foods around, as well as supporting regional industry, so if you’ve never been before, Greenheart Organic’s farm shop in Arjan is a must-try. A haven of organically-grown goodness, vegetables, and fruits on offer in this gem of a store are grown 100 percent chemical-free from Greenheart Organic’s own heirloom seeds and harvested daily from their farm in Sharjah.

Bring your containers to the supermarket

re-useable containers

Despise the plastic containers that deli food comes in? We hear you. So why not take your own storage items to the supermarket when you shop? Make sure the counter assistant weighs the container before it’s filled so you don’t get charged for its weight as well as whatever you’re buying, and you’re set! 

Bring your own bag

recycled shopping bag

Reusable veggie bags are also brilliant to carry in your recycled shopping tote – not only do they look nice for storing your goods, but they also help produce to last longer. Combine all three options and you’ll reduce unnecessary plastic and paper bag use every time you shop for your groceries. 

Buy second hand

second hand clothes

Whether it’s clothes, furniture, books, cars, or electrical goods, buying secondhand is the savviest way to shop if you want to become more sustainably focused. Guaranteed to save you money as well as making zero impact upon the planet, if there’s an opportunity to buy something pre-loved that still makes your heart pound as if it were new, there’s no reason not to buy it. 

second hand furniture

The cyclical economy is central in fighting climate change, and being a part of it is easy – simply choosing not to buy new unless it’s absolutely essential makes you an active member of the initiative for change. Shaking off its negative connotations, buying secondhand is one of the simplest steps to minimizing the global waste issue, whilst the market for pre-loved luxury items is the biggest news in the fashion industry right now,  generating millions of dollars each year.

Here in the UAE, the pre-loved market is growing daily. From flea markets and second-hand sales groups on Facebook to sustainable fashion boutiques like RETOLD and online pre-loved sites like The Luxury Closet, finding everything you need for a fraction of the price that makes a minimal impact on the planet is as easy as finding your nearest shopping mall.

Say “So Long” to sanitary towels and tampons

Did you know that the average woman has around  450 periods in her lifetime, and disposes of around 137kg of sanitary waste? Or that a year’s worth of disposable pads and tampons leaves a carbon footprint of 5.3kgCO2 per person? And that a tampon’s plastic applicator will take more than 500 years to decompose, if ever? All shocking statistics that are nothing but bad news for the environment. Since menstruation is a fact of life, sanitary protection is essential – but there is an eco-friendly and sustainable alternative to pads and tampons that also won’t harm your body.

eco friendly Menstrual cup

Menstrual cups have gained huge popularity in recent years, not only because they save the average woman thousands of dirhams on buying standard sanitary goods, but also because they have no negative impact upon the environment. Designed and made in Finland from soft, toxin-free medical-grade silicone, a Lunette menstrual cup can be used for up to 12 hours at a time, lasts at least two years with proper care and can be burned to ash when it’s ready to be replaced.  

A brilliant solution for both the body and the environment, just one menstrual cup eliminates the need for up to six hundred tampons – saving around two years’ worth of waste sanitary products from damaging the environment. 

Lunette Menstrual Cup, PRP AED 157.50, available at sprii.ae

sustainable toothpaste and toothbrush

Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth

If you’re guilty of leaving the tap on when you brush your teeth, stick a post-it note to the mirror to remind yourself how much water (and money) you’re wasting by being forgetful. By simply turning the tap off every time you brush your teeth, you can cut your water bill by an average of 13 percent every year, and save thousands of litres of water while you’re at it.

Donate your old devices 

donating old devices
Student Estella May Francez Manaloto

Help local children in need and save the planet by donating your old smartphones and laptops to charity. From now until the end of September, Stop & Help is asking UAE residents to recycle, reuse and repurpose their unwanted devices and donate them to families unable to afford the IT equipment required to continue their children’s education. Functioning secondhand laptops, smartphones, and tablets to give away can be registered here, where they’ll be matched with the children who need them most. Items can be personally dropped off or couriered to a designated family from as little as AED30, allowing givers to play a significant role in supporting their access to education during these extremely challenging times.


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Your Guide on How to Rent in Dubai

Stretch Your AED

Dubai is a bustling city with a thriving real estate market, making it a popular destination for expats and locals alike. With a wide range of apartments and villas available for rent, finding the perfect place to call home can be overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of renting in Dubai and provide tips to help you find your dream home.

Understanding the Dubai Rental Market

Before diving into the rental process, it’s important to understand the current state of the Dubai rental market. In recent years, there has been an increase in the supply of rental properties, leading to a decrease in rental prices. This means that now is a great time to rent in Dubai, as you may be able to find a better deal than in previous years. However, the opposite is true during certain months of the year. Rental prices in Dubai tend to increase during the peak season, which typically falls between September and April. This period coincides with the cooler months in Dubai. Residents and tourists coming in during these months increase the demand for rental properties rises, leading to an upward pressure on prices.

Types of Properties Available for Rent

Dubai offers a variety of rental properties, including apartments, villas, and townhouses. Apartments are the most common type of rental property, with a range of options from studio apartments to large penthouses. Villas and townhouses are typically larger and more expensive but offer more space and privacy.

Popular Areas for Renting

When it comes to choosing a location to rent in Dubai, it’s important to consider your budget, lifestyle, and proximity to work or school. Some popular areas for renting include Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, and Jumeirah Lakes Towers. These areas offer a mix of residential and commercial properties, with easy access to amenities and transportation.

The Rental Process

Now that you have an understanding of the rental market in Dubai, let’s walk through the steps of renting a property.

Determine Your Budget

Before you start your search, it’s important to determine your budget. This will help narrow down your options and prevent you from overspending. In Dubai, it’s common for landlords to require a security deposit and multiple rent cheques upfront, so be sure to factor these costs into your budget.

Start Your Search

With your budget in mind, you can start your search for the perfect rental property. You can browse listings online, work with a real estate agent, or visit properties in person. It’s important to view multiple properties and compare prices and amenities to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Submit Your Documents

Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in, you’ll need to submit your documents to the landlord or real estate agent. These documents typically include a copy of your passport, visa, and Emirates ID. You may also be required to provide proof of income or employment.

Sign the Tenancy Contract

If your application is approved, you’ll need to sign a tenancy contract. This contract outlines the terms of your rental agreement, including the duration of the lease, rent amount, and any additional fees or clauses. It’s important to read and understand the contract before signing.

Pay the Rent and Security Deposit

Before moving into your new rental property, you’ll need to pay the first rent cheque and security deposit. The security deposit is typically equivalent to one month’s rent and will be returned to you at the end of your lease, provided there is no damage to the property.

Register Your Tenancy Contract

In Dubai, it’s mandatory to register your tenancy contract with the Ejari system. This can be done online or through a typing centre. The cost of registration is typically split between the landlord and the tenant.

Tips for Renting in Dubai

Now that you know the rental process, here are some tips to help you find the perfect rental property in Dubai.

Work with a Real Estate Agent

While it’s possible to find a rental property on your own, working with a real estate agent can make the process much easier. They have access to a wide range of properties and can help negotiate the terms of your lease.

Consider Your Commute

Dubai is a large city, and traffic can be a major issue during rush hour. When choosing a location to rent, consider your commute to work or school. Living closer to your daily destinations can save you time and money on transportation.

Negotiate the Rent

Don’t be afraid to negotiate the rent with the landlord. In the current rental market, landlords may be willing to lower the rent or offer additional amenities to secure a tenant. It’s always worth asking for a better deal.

Read the Contract Carefully

Before signing the tenancy contract, be sure to read it carefully and ask for clarification on any terms you don’t understand. This will help prevent any surprises or issues during your tenancy.

Be Prepared for Additional Fees

In addition to the rent and security deposit, you may be required to pay additional fees such as a commission to the real estate agent, a maintenance fee, or a fee for using the building’s amenities. Be sure to factor these costs into your budget.

Renting in Dubai can be a daunting process, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can find the perfect rental property for your needs. Remember to determine your budget, work with a real estate agent, and carefully read and negotiate the terms of your tenancy contract. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to finding your dream home in Dubai.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key factors to consider when choosing a neighbourhood for renting in Dubai?

Choosing the right neighbourhood involves considering factors such as proximity to work, amenities, lifestyle preferences, and budget. Our guide provides insights into popular neighbourhoods, helping you make an informed decision based on your unique needs and preferences.

How can I budget wisely when renting in Dubai, and what additional costs should I be aware of?

Budgeting wisely is crucial for a successful renting experience. Our guide outlines average rental prices in different neighbourhoods and explores additional costs such as security deposits and agency fees. Understanding these financial aspects ensures that you find a rental property that aligns with your budget and financial goals.

What legal aspects should I be aware of when renting in Dubai, and how do I navigate the tenancy laws?

Navigating tenancy laws is essential for a transparent and fair renting experience. Our guide provides an overview of Dubai’s tenancy laws, including standard lease durations, the renewal process, and the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. Understanding the legal aspects ensures that you enter into a rental agreement with confidence and clarity.

What is Ejari?

Ejari is an online registration system in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that aims to regulate and document rental contracts. It is a government initiative designed to ensure transparency and fairness in the rental market. Ejari requires landlords and property management companies to register their tenancy contracts and obtain a unique Ejari number. This registration provides legal protection for both tenants and landlords and helps maintain a reliable database of rental agreements in Dubai.

Are there any fees associated with Ejari registration?

The cost of Ejari registration typically includes a government fee, a typing center fee for document preparation, and any additional service charges from the registration service provider. The specific fees may vary depending on the type of property and the registration period.

Who are the top rental agents in dubai for renting a property?

Here are some of the most reputable real estate agencies that are known for their expertise in property rentals:

  1. Betterhomes: A leading real estate agency in Dubai with a strong presence in the rental market.
  2. Asteco: A well-established real estate firm offering property leasing services in Dubai.
  3. Hamptons International: Known for their premium property offerings, Hamptons International specialises in high-end residential properties.
  4. Allsopp & Allsopp: A popular real estate agency with a dedicated rentals team that focuses on finding suitable rental options for clients.
  5. Chestertons: Another reputable agency of rental properties in Dubai with expertise across different areas and cater to both residential and commercial rental needs.


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