Thursday, February 24, 2011

House Hunting

My beautiful pool. Be a dear and pass Grazia!
Ok, I'll admit it, I'm nosy (no shocked reactions?) so this week I've really enjoyed myself: I've been apartment hunting.  Not or me, which almost makes it more enjoyable, a bit like clothes shopping for someone else.

I think I have a pretty good grip on the various developments in Dubai; after living here for three years I've either viewed most of them as a potential resident or visited them through friends or randoms (the bathroom tiles at JLT with scenes of flying ducks were particularly offensive one confused hazy morning).  That doesn't stop me from loving a good root around other apartments though.

Things to consider when house-hunting in Dubai:

How many cheques? This won't make sense in any other country in the world, but here it's crucial. When I moved here 3 years ago, landlords demanded all your rent, up front. In one cheque. Crazy I know.  This meant that way back when, it was standard to hand over 25, 000 quid.  No wonder it took me a while to become a fan of this city!  Hello recession and this has changed, and thankfully, landlords are more reasonable. 4 and sometimes six cheques are the norm now. Not only does this mean you don't have to have such deep pockets, but it also means that you have some flexibility if you want to move.

What's the view like? Again, seems obvious, but it's building site central here and unless you live in a fully completed community, it's standard for an apartment to look onto a bottomless crater or neck-craning scaffolding. 

What's the finish like? I hate to sound like a princess, but we are spoilt here. Once you've had a brand new beautiful kitchen, and spotless gleaming bathroom, a shoddy tiling job or cheap doors just won't cut the mustard.  And don't even try to

How big is the pool and which way does it face?  After a 60 hour working week, sometimes a girl just doesn't have time to drag her sorry ass to the beach, so the pool/sun ratio becomes very important.  Likewise the number of sun loungers. Who wants to fight for a space when already wrestling with armfuls of celebrity gossip magazines and trying to maintain one's composure in a bacofoil bikini?

How close is the nearest mosque? I LOVE living in the Middle East and the call to prayer is one of my favourite ways of remembering where I am.  The sound of it wafting up to my balcony fills my heart with deep joy.  However, living right next door to one could be a problem - the first prayer is v early.  Luckily with ear plugs and modern windows, this shouldn't be too much of a problem.

The search continues.....

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