One of the key issues you need to take care of when moving to Dubai is activating utilities in your new residence. To solve this problem, you’ll need to contact the Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA). You can file an application at one of their offices or online. Tenants undergo a simplified registration procedure in the DEWA system. Read more to find out how to activate services and start using them.
A Few Words about DEWA
The Dubai Electricity & Water Authority is the largest utilities provider in the emirate. It has been in operation since 1992, and is considered one of the best utility providers in the world. DEWA uses green energy sources and implements innovations in its work.
Photo: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority - DEWA
The company’s main focus is on providing legal entities and private individuals with resources: water, electricity, and sewerage services. The organisation connects and disconnects your utilities and also monitors bill payments. All processes are automated, and service activation only takes one day.
Automatic Registration with DEWA for Tenants
Creating an account with DEWA couldn’t be easier. The whole procedure happens automatically once the tenant registers their lease contract with Ejari, a single database containing all temporary lease contracts. Once the information is on Ejari, the data on the tenant is passed on to DEWA, and the system creates a new account.
Clients are informed about the new account via text message or email. The same message or email contains instructions on how to pay for the connection of the utilities and the security deposit. They also send you your login and password to access your account. All a tenant has to do is log into their account, state their unique real estate unit number, and pay the fees. Utilities will be activated within 15 hours after the payment is completed.
Creating Your DEWA Account from Scratch
There are several districts in Dubai where people do not have to register their lease contracts with Ejari. If you are planning to rent a place in one of these districts, you will need to sign up to the system on your own. You will have to go through the same process if your landlord has registered the contract with Ejari but the account was not created automatically. Real estate agents sometimes assist with this issue.
Here is how to sign up for DEWA on your own:
- Go to the official website or install the UAE PASS mobile app. You can download it on the AppStore and Google Play.
- Go to the sign-up page. The system offers you to choose who is creating the account: for instance, you can pick Consumer, Contractor, or Supplier. Click on the Consumer option.
- Enter your Ejari number if you have one. If you are renting a place in an Ejari-free area, you will need to fill out a short form. You will have to provide all the data on your new residence: the contract number, its expiration date, the size of the rent, the property’s parameters. In either case, you will have to enter your Property ID number.
- Fill out the boxes with your email address and phone number. Click the button under the form to receive a unique code. Within two minutes, you will receive a text message with a verification number. Enter that number into the box on the website.
Apart from your personal data, you need to submit certain paperwork to DEWA. You can do this at one of the DEWA offices or online. The most convenient way is to submit them via the UAE PASS application. Tenants usually only need to provide their passport and lease contract.
How Can New Property Owners Sign Up for DEWA?
For property owners, the sign-up process is the same as for tenants but you will not be able to sign up automatically. New proprietors need to submit their passport and a title deed for the property. Once the account is created, you need to complete the process by paying the utility activation fee.
New buildings in the UAE
How Much Does It Cost to Activate Utilities?
The amount payable for utilities activation is the same for tenants and new property owners. If you are about to move into a new apartment, you will need to pay 2130 AED ($580). Connecting your villa to utilities will cost you 4130 AED ($1100). These amounts include compulsory fees and a security deposit.
The security deposit is as follows:
- 2000 AED for apartments,
- 4000 AED for villas.
This amount will be stored on your DEWA account until you move out. You will be able to collect the security deposit completely or partially when you move out as long as you do not owe money to DEWA.
Service activation costs 100 AED ($27) for small meters or 300 AED ($80) for large meters. 30 AED will be required to pay the registration, innovation, and education fees, which are 10 AED each.
Note: tenants with foreign citizenship need to pay an extra fee for the services provided by the Dubai municipality on top of their utility bills. This fee is 5% of the yearly rent. This amount will be added to your monthly DEWA bill.
How to Pay
There are several payment options available for DEWA: in cash, with a bank card, or with a money transfer. To make the payment, you can use the following:
- a partner bank office (you can find the list on the authority’s website);
- via the DEWA Smart app (only Dubai bank cards will work);
- EasyPay and Nogodi payment services (transaction processing takes a few minutes);
- UAE post offices (cash only);
- Etisalat or Emirates NBD payment terminals.
Keep in mind that some banks charge transaction fees. The cheapest way to pay your bills is with Sanad bank cards. If you list a Sanad card when connecting your utilities, you are entitled to a 50% discount for the set amount.
Do I Need to Re-Sign Up for DEWA When I Move?
If you decide to move to another place within Dubai, you do not need to re-register. You just need to inform DEWA of your upcoming move by submitting a special form. You can find it on their website on the Move To page. You need to provide your planned move date, the updated Ejari number, and the digital code of your new residence.
The last step to re-register your account is to cover all the debt and pay the fees for the connection of the utilities at your new place. The fees will be much lower this time, though: 120 AED ($32). The security deposit remains on your previous account, and you do not need to pay it again. Water and electricity supply is cut on the day of your move and activated within 24 hours after you move into your new residence.
In a Nutshell
Signing up for DEWA couldn’t be easier. If your contract is registered with Ejari, all you will need to do is enter your unique property number and pay the fees. If you are renting a place in an Ejari-free area, you need to create an account from scratch. The procedure, however, takes no more than a few minutes.
Once you finish signing up, you need to pay the fees. DEWA guarantees that your utilities will be connected within 15 hours after you activate the account in the system if you created it via the application, and within 24 hours if you signed up via the website or at one of the offices. If your utilities have not been activated within the stated time frame, you can call customer support at 991.
Cover photo: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority - DEWA