Sorry it’s taken a while for me to update this. I spent a good portion of last week with a bit of a tummy bug that turned out to be a case of dehydration/getting use to the heat. Adam was always on my case about not drinking enough water in London, and I’ve apparently taken that habit with me to Dubai. Must remember to increase my intake as temperature gets hotter.
We’ve now entered into the stage of our time here where we need to look for apartments. Having only really found our Notting Hill place six months ago, I was sincerely hoping the nightmare that is apartment hunting was a good 2 years away. Of course, after leaving London for Dubai, I knew that day would soon once again arrive.
The non-returned phone calls. The time wasted showing us a one bedroom apartment that’s actually a newly converted broom closet. And, oh look, the broom is still in there. The obnoxious double-speak. The foul stench of too much cheap cologne and wrinkled pinstriped suits. The irritating attempts to be ‘buddy buddy’ with me. Please. Stop. I don’t actually want to hug you.
And so I began, once again, with that much despised, fruitless search. Only this time, it’s in a different country Where the agent may or may night speak fluent English. There are rules like post dated checks and jail time if they bounce. Questionable maintenance responsibilities and potential AC fees (in a country where it gets to 120/50 in the summer!).
My first encounter was with someone who barely spoke English and, to top it all off, was on a dodgy cell line:
‘I have 1 bedroom…..JLT…..Tower’
‘Sorry, can you repeat that?’
’60,000 AED A YEAR!!!’
‘Sorry, what was the building?’
‘*Mumbles something inexplicable*’
‘Look, can you just text me the information and we can say that we’ll meet at 2pm tomorrow?’
We never actually heard back from him.
The next several phone calls and emails to various agents were ignored. And then we found our first property worth viewing with someone who spoke fluent English (not that this actually made a difference). It was described to us as light, airy and spacious:
‘You’ll notice how much room you have in here. Great value for money.’
‘The kitchen is the size of the guest toilet….’
‘Yes, but the sun comes in and makes it ever so bright and really gives you that spacious feeling.’
‘But the owner has covered every wall in dark maroon and black wall paper and the furniture is dark black leather…’
‘Yes, but the location so sought after.’
‘We’re looking out onto a golf course and the desert…’
We decided not not to take that one.
Finally, yesterday, I managed to snag an appointment to view a property that was actually great value for money, spacious and in an excellent location (not to mention the decor didn’t make me feel as though Marilyn Manson had a go at it). Of course I had to go through the whole process of standing there, listening to them go on and on about how ‘fabulous’ this property is and how ‘incredibly wonderful’ the decor and furniture are. Not to mention how the landlord managed to put in a proper electrical strip. According to him, when he had it plugged into the wall, he was told by the owner of the building that ‘it would probably blow up the refrigerator’. And because of this he couldn’t possibly meet my requests to lower the rent by 2,000 AED a year. I didn’t realise that ensuring that one of your appliances doesn’t blow means that you have the right to charge more than necessary. But then again, I suppose I’m new to this game.
We’ll see how it all turns out. I’m not entirely sure if we’ll take the property, but it is lovely and I do sort of have my heart set on it at the moment.
I can’t seem to actually upload pictures at the moment of the apartment, so please check back in the next few hours or so. Thanks!