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Abu Dhabi move?

(12 Posts)
ScottishInSwitzerland Tue 23-Feb-16 21:28:51

Hi. We are very tentatively considering an opportunity in Abu Dhabi.

I would really appreciate any insight from anybody with experience of living there.

I would (at least at first) stay at home. Our children are 4 and 6 and I think we might struggle with finding school places for them - so any hints on schools to avoid or aim for would be really appreciated. Our eldest has mild special needs - speech delay and needs a slower pace, although she is cognitively above average. It would be lovely to find a school(s) which might be more receptive to taking a child who needs a bit more support.

I'm sure there's other things I haven't thought of. So any hints or tips gratefully received smile
Thanks

Isthiscorrect Thu 25-Feb-16 14:03:49

Try expatwoman.com in the Abu Dhabi section. There will be a school for your DC and one able to cater fo mild SN.

Living there is fine. Expensive but fine. Md care is expensive so ar school fees. In fact most everything is expensive except petrol and water.

Personally I don't know enough specifics about AD but I do live down the road in Dubai and have friends who live and work there and they all like it.

Good luck

SoYouBetterRun Thu 25-Feb-16 18:34:45

Hi there scottishinswitzerland. I am Scottish in Abu Dhabi smile.

DCs are 12, 10, 7 and 5 and are at Cranleigh. Ds2 has been diagnosed with dyscalculia following a diagnosis of a form of childhood epilepsy. The school have been great. Brighton also very good as is al Yasmin's, pearl primary etc. The issue is your kids ages, but once one is in, the other will move up the list due to sibling priority.

I am loving Abu Dhabi. I am working here too. We've been here since last year so pretty recent. Ask away on any other specific questions.

SoYouBetterRun Thu 25-Feb-16 18:36:08

Al YASMINA. Damn you autocorrect.

YellowOlives Thu 25-Feb-16 19:10:23

Another school to consider is the Canadian International School. Small classes and a very inclusive policy.

ScottishInSwitzerland Fri 26-Feb-16 15:08:58

Thanks very much for the responses. DH just has a verbal offer at the moment and it is subject to what DH describes as a security check. So not definitely happening.

We have however been taunting ourselves by looking at property on the Internet.

Any thoughts on whether an apartment or a villa is better? And are there any good areas or areas to avoid?

SoYouBetterRun Sat 27-Feb-16 07:32:38

Accommodation varies wildly. And it's all expensive. If you want things a bit quieter, go off island eg kca, Al Raha Beach. On island lots of options but the compounds and villas seem to be a bit older. Mainconsideration is your budget. Al Zeina is great for apartments. It's got it's own private beach, waitrose, hairdresser etc. My friend has a 4 bed there for 225000 per year and it's perfect for the four of them. You would get a villa in khalifa city for less. School location another major consideration of course. What's your house like at the moment?

MardAsSnails Sat 27-Feb-16 07:48:25

Al Zeina is most definitely good for apartment wink there's townhouses too (and a FB community page which is great entertainment). Also have a look at www.alforsanvillage.ae - houses are a great size, no beach but all brand new and a few agents I've looked at show it as reasonable rents for what you get. You'll see decent prices villas at Al Reef, but it's further out of civilisation town and friends who've live there just didn't like it - no specific reason, but stayed a year only. Al Raha Gardens is decent if you want a modern villa. The roads inside the estate are very narrow though. AC costs have also just skyrocketed on the whole of Raha beach and Raha gardens - I'm paying about £100 a month for a 3 bed townhouse, on top of gas, electricity and water. Personally, I'd love to live in al bandar, but the huge price for a 3 bed puts it out of our league. Al muneera has bigger livin spaces than most Zeina flats, but with tiny bedrooms.

Has your DH checked that the package includes for the employer to pay rent up front and up to how much? What school fees are included in his package?

Where in town will he be based? Having said that, nowhere is too far really (my commute is 45 mins from near the airport to the furthest part of the island), but there's certain routes to avoid for traffic at rush hour as with any town.

ScottishInSwitzerland Sat 27-Feb-16 21:56:04

Thank you so much. I'll make a note of those areas.
The package is not at all firmed up. They have said they can better DHs current wage plus 'sort out housing' whatever that means. And pay for health insurance and give education allowance.

We have done our sums based on them equalling his current salary and not giving any extra housing allowance and we were looking at 200-220 per annum, but could afford up to 300 - it's just that the 200-220 ish seemed to get us the 4 bedrooms we would like.

We can't do anything of course until the offer is firmed up but we are excited and can't stop ourselves looking 😀

ScottishInSwitzerland Sat 27-Feb-16 21:59:03

And what does 'on island' mean please? I don't want to be too far out and would far rather have a smaller place in a more central location than a huge place where I would feel more isolated.

I like the idea of these apartment complex places which have amenities within the development

ScottishInSwitzerland Sat 27-Feb-16 23:21:11

DH has asked me to ask about the Etihad towers and the Corniche

Thank you so much for taking the time to help me

MardAsSnails Sun 28-Feb-16 03:04:40

The main city is an island, with 3 bridges leading to it (suppose 4 if you count the one from saadiyat island) from the mainland. Areas like al Raha beach andn Khalifa city are on the main land, therefore off island. The majority of the newer complexes are off island.

Etihad towers as featured in fast and the furious if you want a nosey is very nice - a friend lived there - but you get no balconies so no private outdoor space. The pool is nice, and you've got a hotel in the complex for nipping for a drink. When my friend lived there, it was mostly singles and very few families. Her flat was small though, a 2 bed was about 1350sqft. I don't know if the bigger ones are similarly undersized. Ideal location if working in that area.

Nation towers and capital plaza are also good on the corniche. Capital
Plaza in particular has massive flats (same friend's 2 bed in there was 2,500sqft - I know you're not after a 2 bed but just as an idea!). Some of the older corniche buildings are nice too, cracking views over the beach.

Also have a look at saadiyat island - st Regis apartments and saadiyat beach residences - if your DH is looking corniche area, this is maybe 10mins away.

Be careful looking around some of the olde buildings in the city centre though - there's no car parking and colleagues of mine have resorted to selling their cars and getting taxis to work. One guys building in particular was that busy he often had a 20
Min walk from where he could find parking to his building.

Marasy at al Bayern wharf may work too, as might eastern mangroves.

On his next call he should find out more about schooling. A friend gets 18k allowance, another friend 23k, mines 43k and DHs is unlimited, so very big scope.

For housing though I'd be looking at
Schools first. Cranleigh, for example, is on saadiyat and would be 20-25 mins from Raha beach and Yasmina is in kca and 10 mins from Raha beach. Corniche area would mean lots of travel to the British schools (apart from cranleigh)

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