I have previously written on the documents required for application of family visa in Abu Dhabi-Read Here.
It was not long ago that the Minstry implemented rule that require family visa applicant to have a valid tenancy contract. However, I was informed by on of my PRO friends that the requirement has been cancelled by Ministry in Abu Dhabi. There is no reason provided.
It will be a respite for all the families that share accommodation. I believe one of the prime reasons for sharing accommodation is the cost involved in renting apartment especially in Abu Dhabi which can range from anywhere upwards Dhs 60K per annum for a single bed room apartment. Though there are options to shift to places like Musaffah and Sheikh Khalifa City, most of the families prefer staying in the island of Abu Dhabi purely for convenience sake.
It is yet to be seen when the government will re-implement the cancelled rules. I believe their decision will be prudent.
UPDATE: Emirates 247 has published an official article on 12-06-2012 stating that the tenancy contracts have again been made mandatory. This has come as a surprise as well as anxiety for the ones who are waiting to apply for their family visa. Hereafter you are required to have a valid tenancy contract stamped at Baladiya. Dubai tenancy contract holders are required to furnish their DEWA bill if they have not stamped their tenancy contracts.
All the best