Moving house in Dubai is a minefield. Desperate agents, greedy landlords, rent inflation, and the possibility that your new place is in the path of the next “Worlds Biggest” construction to name but a few.
Rather than live on the building site our compound was rapidly becoming, we decided to cut our losses and move. Cue the standard soul-destroying trawl round the Dubai rental market. I think we looked at every property for rent in Dubai. No stone was left unturned, every neighbourhood cruised, no estate agent’s number uncalled.
A brief summary of our go-around of the usual suspects;
- Meadows, (too pricey)
- The Springs (too small)
- Jumeirah Village Triangle, Circle, and Village (none of which is actually anywhere near Jumeirah, though all of which are too much like a building site)
- Jumeirah 2 and 3, (too big, too expensive, and/or too much digging. Though at least Jumeirahs 2 and 3 are actually in Jumeirah)
- Um Suquiem (as per Jumeirah 2 & 3)
- Arabian Ranches (too remote).
So, after all this we finally end up moving one block away, much to the confusion of the cats, who can’t quite work out why they can see their old house, but aren’t supposed to go there.
We’ve always been lucky with our landlords, at least till the last one served us an eviction notice on New Years Day, so getting a new place in this town is always a bit of a gamble.
Our new landlord has been smart enough to divorce himself from the entire mucky process and instead outsource all communications and dealings to an agency, who take polite incompetence and obfuscation to a whole new, ‘Worlds Biggest’ level.
All conversations conform to the same 5 step process:
- Cheery opening; “Hello Sir, sorry to bother Sir.”
- Apology for previous failure; “Very sorry about this one Sir.”
- Mangled justification for previous failure; “Sir, for this one, we have emailed landlord,
and once have received back, we will take care of this one, which is no problem Sir, as he is coming into town, next week itself.”
- New promise (which will be broken); “We will get this one today or tomorrow itself, no problem, and come to you first thing tomorrow Sir.”
- Cheery sign-off “Thank you Sir, thank you Sir, goodbye Sir.”
We are getting there. All our teething issues are ‘high quality problems’, but it’s slow, draining and at times a sheer test of patience and resolve. In that respect I guess it’s like many things in this place.
p.s. Please come back ‘New-Years’s-Day-Eviction-Giving-Landlord’, all is forgiven!
p.p.s. Our move was handled by MackPack, great outfit owned and run by a lovely Kiwi guy called Rick. You can find them at http://www.macpackdubai.com. Highly recommended, and no, I’m not getting a kick-back for the plug!