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Cats sitting in the house

Ever Thought You Could Make a Career out of Loving Cats?

She ditched her desk job in favour of all things fluffy!

From established entrepreneurs to pandemic-borne pioneers, Dubai’s ever-growing gang of sensational female self-starters is nothing less than mind-blowing. Need some inspiration to go into business on your own? Today, we’re continuing our series on female entrepreneurs, introducing you to the amazing women making Dubai the start-up capital of the world – complete with a few gold-plated nuggets of business wisdom to set you off in the right direction. 

Good pet-sitters are hard to find in Dubai, as Claire Lambert discovered. After a disappointing experience with a pet-sitting company booked to look after her cat whilst she was on holiday in 2015, Claire realised there was a four-legged-shaped gap in the market for a reliable and trustworthy animal lover with a can-do attitude and brilliant business plan. 

WHO?

CLAIRE LAMBERT

FOUNDER OF?

The Dubai Cat Sitting Company, Dubai Dog Sitting Company,

My Pets & Co, The Vet Store, and Animalia Club 

AGE?

44

What was your ‘lightbulb’ moment?

It was when I realised I clearly wasn’t the only person who needed someone genuinely trustworthy to look after their pets when they went on holiday. For the first year, I was cat-sitting solo across the city, helping friends dotted everywhere from Mirdif to DIP. But when the after work and weekend kitty-sitting gigs became so frequent that I was struggling to keep up, I realised I had to quit my full time job to cope with the demand. The original whiteboard planner in my bedroom with bookings quickly became a CRM with over 50 cat-sitters on my team – and suddenly The Dubai Cat Sitting Company was born.

What was your vision when you first launched the business? 

My vision was to be the most trusted pet-sitting company in Dubai. Now, with five arms to the business, our vision is to build on our portfolio of services, offering quality and value to pet owners as a complete pet care services provider. 

What has the past six years been like for you as an entrepreneur? 

Full of extremely hard work, but rewarding. The pandemic affected our business in both a negative and a positive way. Our pet-sitting service suffered last year, but our online stores were booming. But, now, with everyone travelling again, our pet-sitting service has never been so busy. I haven’t had a day off since November 1 of last year, which makes socialising with friends and spending quality time with my husband (and eight cats and two dogs) a bit of challenge.

What do you think is the key to entrepreneurial success? 

Never give up – keep driving, keep evolving. I’m continuously dedicated to my work, and we’re constantly evolving to meet our customer’s needs.

What has been your proudest moment as a business owner? 

Being able to support Animals and Us in Fujairah with its monthly pet food supplies for strays and rescues. So many pets are dumped because of a change in people’s financial reasons; I want to help reduce this whilst supporting local businesses.

Which entrepreneurs do you admire?

Katherine Cebrowski, the co-owner and creative director of Furchild Pet Nutrition. She was the first in the market to introduce raw diets for pets and has been the leader ever since. She’s very strong-minded, knows exactly what her customers want, and delivers an exceptional service.

What’s the best piece of business advice that you can give to budding entrepreneurs? 

Stay focused and believe in what you’re doing. Dubai is a great place to start a business as there are still a lot of untapped opportunities waiting to be discovered. Identifying the next generation of opportunities is always the path to creating a successful new business.

NEXT UP: What makes interior designer Gabby Garvey’s business brain tick?

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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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