UAE Property: ‘Who can I complain to about construction noise at night?'

If the noise is higher than permitted levels, you can complain through the Dubai Municipality app

Dubai has allowed construction to go round the clock to support businesses. However, companies may have to apply for a special permit before starting work at night. Pawan Singh / The National
Powered by automated translation
An embedded image that relates to this article

Question: I recently renewed my lease for an apartment in Dubai. This is a new community and construction work has started on a new building on the neighbouring plot of land.

However, the construction noise is deafening and our building is shaking due to the impact. They continue the work until late at night.

I am worried for our safety. Despite repeated complaints with the site staff, there has been no respite.

Is the building landlord responsible to make sure we are guaranteed a peaceful atmosphere to live in since we pay our rent on time?

Who can I lodge an official complaint with? RK, Dubai

Answer: As Dubai continues its growth by launching and delivering new projects, the threat of construction noise can be a real problem for other residents.

The Dubai government has allowed construction work to go round the clock to support businesses. However, companies may have to apply for a special permit before starting work at night.

Construction sites are allowed to work normally during certain hours, but if they do not follow these rules and you are disturbed from 8pm to 6am on weekdays and 8pm to 7am on weekends, you can complain to Dubai Municipality.

It is important to know that this is for residential areas only and not for gated communities or private compounds.

The noise should be no more than 55 decibels, so if it is higher, you can complain through the Dubai Municipality app.

There are five easy steps to do this:

1. Tap services

2. Go to building construction and then choose report construction noise

3. Upload a video or pictures and mention the noise

4. Enter the location of the construction site

5. Press proceed

The municipality will visit the site and try to resolve the issue. If the noise persists, the company will be fined by the municipality.

Your landlord is responsible for you as the tenant and you pay your rent in exchange for “quiet enjoyment” of the property.

If dealing directly with the construction site has not helped you, your only other recourse would be to speak to your landlord to seek compensation, but this route is difficult because, ultimately, the landlord will say he/she cannot do anything.

If this proves to be the case, a civil case would be your last resort, but it can be time-consuming and costly and I cannot guarantee the outcome.

Therefore, it is always best to try to resolve things amicably.

Q: My tenancy contract is up for renewal and it seems to be a trend that landlords are asking for much more than what the Real Estate Regulatory Authority calculator says.

I have not received a rent increase notice in writing with 90 days’ notice, but the agent has reached out to me on WhatsApp saying the landlord wants to increase the rent and the amount is above 10 per cent.

The 90-day notice period is about to expire in one day. Do they have to formally write me a letter to notify me and should not both parties agree to the new terms for this to take effect? Does asking on WhatsApp hold up?

Also, the agent said he would come to me in a few days to draw up the contract and wants me to pay the full amount. This is more than two months before the contract end date. Is this normal?

The agent has also asked for Dh2,500 ($680) in agency fees and Dh500 in administration charges. Please advise me if this is permissible. UL, Dubai

A: In any rising market, it is normal for a landlord to try to get as much of an increase in rent as possible. The reason for this is the disparity between the rental price of a vacant apartment compared with the value of rent for the same apartment with a tenant in situ.

Emaar Properties reveals two Dubai megaprojects worth $26 billion - in pictures

In order to make any changes to a renewal contract, it is necessary to communicate those changes in writing at least 90 days before the expiration of the tenancy.

Email is preferable but WhatsApp communication is also allowed, so the landlord did communicate in time in your case.

The increase (which is a change of terms to the first contract) has to be in line with what the Rera rental calculator states is allowed. It cannot just be any arbitrary figure that the landlord fancies.

The contract can be drawn up early, in readiness for the renewal, and the cheques can also be collected, but the dates on the cheques should be in line with the contract date, not two months before.

Agents are also entitled to an administration fee to draw up the renewal contract and collect the cheques, but this fee is normally only Dh1,000 ($272.30).

The amount your agent is requesting seems a little excessive, given the work needed to complete the renewal, so I would contest this.

Mario Volpi is head of brokerage at Novvi Properties and has worked in the property sector for 40 years in London and Dubai. The opinions expressed do not constitute legal advice and are provided for information only. Please send any questions to

Updated: May 23, 2024, 4:00 AM