Cafu founder Rashid Al Ghurair launches Urban to transform Dubai’s residential rental market

Image details: Cafu and Urban founder Rashid Al Ghurair; Credits:


Rashid Al Ghurair, the Founder & CEO of Cafu, a fuel booking app on Wednesday (12 February) launched a new tech startup called Urban to ease the rental journey for tenants and landlords in Dubai.

The newly-launched company aims to address concerns raised by Dubai renters in a 2019 YouGov survey commissioned by Intelligent B, the technology incubator behind Urban, which is also owned by Al Ghurair himself.

The avenue is available on desktop, Android and iOS devices to enable tenants to find pre-approved homes, take a virtual tour of the properties and pay rent in 12 monthly instalments. The platform is currently available in English language and the Arabic version will be launched in the coming months.

On the occasion of the launch, Al Ghurair affirmed that the chief aim of Urban is to bring transparency and efficiency for both property owners and tenants in Dubai.

“Our aim is to make Dubai’s residential rental market more transparent and efficient by using technology … globally it is a $1 trillion [Dh3.67tn] industry and offers immense scope of growth in our region,” Said Al Ghurair to The National.

In light of numbers, Al Ghurair commented that about 70 percent of Dubai’s population at present is renting, which means there is a huge opportunity for Urban to strengthen the residential rental market.

As of now, Urban exhibits over 200 properties located in Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence and Jumeirah lakes towers and will be adding more soon. In the words of Al Ghurair…

“Two hundred is just the beginning … we are working rigorously to add more to our inventory. Dubai will act as a perfect launching pad and help us to expand to other regions,”

Al Ghurair also mentioned that the idea of Urban triggered his mind nine months ago and he self-invested to form it. The company currently has no plans to step outside Dubai as its focus is completely Dubai.

“Today, we are a team of 40 people and I am looking to hire new talent from the UAE and outside,”

“We will surely move to other regions but currently we are only focused on Dubai … we will proudly market ourselves as a ‘made-in-Dubai’ start-up,”

Dubai’s residential market in numbers

As reported by, Dubai’s real estate market has slowed following a drop in oil prices that began in 2014, with further pressure from an oversupply of properties. The emirate is expected to receive 50,000 additional residential units in 2020, according to property consultancy Asteco.

A total of 31,000 residential units were handed over in Dubai last year, comprising approximately 23,600 apartments and 7,400 villas, with communities such as Damac Hills, Dubai Hills Estates and Akoya Oxygen accounting for the bulk of completions.

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Wajiha Wahab
Wajiha Wahab

Part of the editorial team at LAFFAZ, Delhiite by birth, Wajiha possesses a keen interest in reading about startups, accumulating information and presenting the same to the audience impressively.
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