To rent a property in the UAE, you will usually be expected to pay the entire year's rent in advance, either in cash or by cheque. The majority of letting agents will also charge a commission of around 5%, which you must pay directly to them. You will be required to pay a security deposit, and in some cases an additional deposit against the charges for utilities. A municipal tax is payable on the annual rental paid for rented accomodation in Dubai, currently 5% of the annual rent for residential premises and this is added to your monthly water and electricity bill.
For rented apartments in the areas popular with expatriates, you should expect to pay in the region of 4000 AED per month for a studio apartment, 7-7500 AED for one bedroom and 9000 AED for a two bedroom property. The charges (telephone, water, electricity and air conditioning) will add between 1000 and 1500 AED per month to your outgoings.
Short term furnished rentals do exist, for example to rent by the month, but the prices are high when compared with usual rental costs.
Go Dubai has details of short term apartment rentals, generally in 'apart-hotel' complexes.
Generally, if you are an expat in Dubai, the contract for your apartment rental will be drawn up with your sponsor (your employer) named as the principal. This has the benefit of providing the owner with a contact who is not likely to leave the country, and who may also be a UAE or GCC national. The full year's rent is payable in advance and it is normal practice for your employer to make the payment, then deduct the charges from your salary each month. It is difficult to cancel a contract before it has run for it's specified period, so you should take care to select the right accommodation and avoid having to move before the expiry of the contract.
As with rental contracts the world over, a standard clause will be included stipulating that the property must be kept in good condition and you will be responsible for the cost of any degradation not attributable to normal wear and tear. As a tenant, you are expected to behave reasonably and with consideration to your neighbours; any antisocial behaviour or obvious abuse of the property is likely to result in your eviction.
If you rent a furnished apartment, it will be equipped with a range of goods, usually of a high standard. An inventory will be prepared when you move into the property and included as an appendix to the contract. The inventory will be checked when you leave the property and any damaged or lost items will be replaced at your expense.