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Choosing a home in Dubai

(7 Posts)
dubiousnewbious Sun 28-Feb-16 08:06:53

We (me, DS7, and DD3) have just joined my husband in Dubai. We're in a serviced apartment at the moment, but are looking to find a home as soon as possible.
We went to look at a few places yesterday and are finding it hard to know how to juggle the pros & cons.
One place we looked at had one school with available places close by, is an established community with a good selection of restaurants/cafes and small mall. There are communal pools and reasonable playgrounds within walking distance and it's a quiet peaceful area. The house was a bungalow, but we found the viewing a bit off-putting because the tenants were still in situ, and three of them were in their beds, so we felt a bit awkward and found it hard to look around and pay attention to the house. My husband found the strong cooking smells in the house very off-putting and thought it was a bit shabby. On the other hand, it was fenced and had a reasonably green garden area.
We looked at a couple of other places in a newer developments - these ones also had issues with build quality - some minor things and one major issue with an iron gate off it's hinges, private pools that were unfenced, etc.
We like the idea of a private pool, but worry about safety and cost of fencing and maintenance. We liked the bigger two-storey layouts of the new places, but wondered about the impact of being further away from schools. There were no communal pools and playgrounds are pretty basic (one slide), so if we chose a villa in this area without a pool there wouldn't be any other option for recreational swimming close by.
I'm just a bit flummoxed by the options - I suspect for someone who's just moved to Dubai being closer to schools and in an established community might be easier to adjust than being in one that's still establishing itself? Does anyone have any ideas what we should prioritise??

MEgirl Sun 28-Feb-16 15:27:00

You could try asking this on the Dubai board of Expat Woman. You'll probably get more answers.

Tweennightmare Sun 28-Feb-16 17:45:32

Hi dubious . I am a second time around Dubai expat . I would definatley choose the community with shared pools etc . Especially with the age of your children it will be easier for you to integrate. And you don't have all the maintenance hassle and dewa bills. Also although the new developments will prob get the facilities eventually time frames are very elastic in Dubai and it is likely to be later rather than sooner. We presently live in Arabian ranches and love it. (Previously lived in a small compound of 12 houses in Jumeirah which we also loved) you definatley need access to a pool though especially when the temp hits over 40c

Laptopwieldingharpy Mon 29-Feb-16 01:00:59

Totally agree with tween

dubiousnewbious Mon 29-Feb-16 06:18:24

Thanks very much - I think that's the direction we've decided to go in. It's the green community west, and I think my husband agrees that as I'm going to be at home most, I have to feel confident and happy about being in the area.
We're looking at the new Dovecote Green primary, as well as Greenfield community, and Safa community schools, and the Children's Garden for our youngest as another alternative.
The estate agent has said the place will be thoroughly cleaned and repainted before we move in, so hopefully it'll be a bit fresher. Nice to make your acquaintances all - no doubt I'll be back for more advice. Expatwoman seem a good source of advice but also seems to have a different 'atmosphere' - lots of catfights and snarky comments to each other...

Vagabond Wed 02-Mar-16 15:08:03

Green Community is really nice. Good choice. Most important housing decision will be based on where you get your kids into school. If you're within a reasonable school bus or school run, you're winning.

Good luck. Dubai is a great place to live. If you're into netball, let me know and I'll put you in touch with some great ladies who'll help you get involved.

Just be prepared for lots of visitors! Good luck!

Isthiscorrect Thu 03-Mar-16 16:55:29

Where does your husband work? Green community is quite far out, you could find yourself driving a long to play dates. And if you need to go back into town for whatever reason between 5.30 and 7.30 SZR is a nightmare. It is a lovely community, Dovecote is new, not much history. Greenfield has a long history.
Where will dh work? The. Decide curriculum based on ages of children and future plans, IB or UK curriculum. Doesn't matter so much when younger but important at high school.
Pools are expensive to run, need heating in winter, it might be 25-28 degrees at the mo but the water is still too cold. So check for heater and chiller. So very hot in the summer when they like bath water that's what they mean.
There is plenty of accommodation but your ability to pay one annual check makes a difference to the cost.
Never believe any work will be done before you move in.
Gardens are lovely but expensive, DEWA, water and electricity is expensive. It's important to me so I just suck up the cost.

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