Sunday, October 6, 2013

Moving In

     Two weeks ago we got our apartments, we had been waiting for this day for so long, I was ecstatic.  My excitement was soon extinguished when I discovered that the building I was placed in was sub par.  We were 22 placed in the building, it has minimal security (compared to the other buildings) and a lot of (male) foot traffic.  Considering we were all single females in our building we were a bit concerned.  We went down to ADEC to express our concern about the living situation and we were told that there was nothing that they could do at the moment. There were to many families that still did not have housing so we would have to stay put for a few months.  I was not happy, but at the end of the day, after all the emails that I sent and all the visits to ADEC they were not budging on their stance.

   I figured the only way to get through this was to make the best of a bad situation.  I got two woman to clean my place (cost only 70$) and that took care of the awful smell that had set itself into the apartment.  I also have to be out of the hotel later today, so last Friday I decided that I was not going to sleep until I had all my furniture and appliances purchased.  The best part of living in the UAE is that the malls are open until midnight, so that was a huge help in getting everything done.

   The positives of our building is that it is in a great location near the town centre and I have many friends living in the building.

     My friend and I went to IKEA in Dubai since it is closer to use than the IKEA in Abu Dhabi.  The hour drive went quickly and we showed up at IKEA at 11 am.  As per any IKEA in the world, it was crazy busy.  We spent 4 hours there.  After all was said and done I had to get the furniture I purchased delivered.  Since I had not purchased enough furniture for free delivery (you have to spend about 715$, I spent about half that. I had to pay for delivery, I also paid to have the furniture assembly since I had about 7 pieces that needed assembly.  The cost was reasonable at about 170$.  The best part was the furniture was going to be delivered the next day.

    After we went to IKEA we made a stop at the DUBAI mall, my friend is from Chicago and she wanted some Garetts Popcorn. I had never had this before and let me tell you that it was delicious.  I guess everyone needs something to remind them of home.  This mall was huge, I was in awe.  There is also an indoor aquarium that you can buy tickets to walk through.  Imagine going to the mall in your city and having an aquarium on one wall of the mall, that is how large this aquarium was.  There were sting rays and a bagillion fish.  I am going to have to go back and have a closer look next time I am in Dubai.  I also got a look at Burj Khalifah, the tallest building in the world.  Let me tell you that I was in awe, Dubai is something else.  I swear that Dubai had a head office specifically for "the largest/tallest/biggest"  because honestly that is the name of the game there.  I just read that they have been approved to have the largest man made lagoon in the world.

    On our way out of the mall we were getting ready to leave our parking spot, when we got a tap on the glass.  I motioned to the young lady that we were leaving and that she could have our spot.  She then tapped again, all I could think was"Jeez these people are impatient"  I rolled down the window and she explained to me that her husband had gone in the mall leaving her and her two children in the car and she doesn't know how to drive so if I could park her car for her.  Wow!  I still cannot believe it.

   When we got back from Dubai, my friend showed me her apartment, I was so bitter because it was new and beautiful, the only down side is that the location is a bit out of the way from Al Ain town centre.  They also have a new mall right next to them where they are building a gym.  She proceeded to drop me home and I showed her my place.  We came to the conclusion that the rooms are nice, but the bathroom (especially the floor) and the kitchen floor are the real issues.  They need to be regroutted.

   I went to a place called Pan Emirates and purchased a bedroom set.  Bed, 2 side tables and a dresser with a mirror all in dark wood.  I got a grey L-shaped couch and a glass coffee table.  They were having a special where you get a 25% check based on how much you spend and you have 3 months to use it.  I am happy because now I can get a TV stand and maybe some prints for the wall with that money.  After Pan Emirates, I went to get my fridge and stove from Sharaf DG is it similar to Best Buy.  Last but not least I got a mattress.  I am not sure if I mentioned this earlier, but ADEC gives each teacher almost 6000$ as a furniture allowance to set yourself up.  I know that there are some people (especially single guys) that go really cheap on their stuff so that they can save the money for vacation.

    For now I am set, I still need to get all the kitchen stuff like cutlery and small appliances like kettle and coffee maker. Since my bed and mattress is not coming until Tuesday I am going to have to sleep on a sleeping bag tonight.  The internet should be put in in 2-3 working days.  So that is also going to be interesting living with no internet at home.

   I have to admit that even with the few things that I have purchased the place is looking much better.  I am debating if I want to get someone to paint.
   When things are in there place I will post a few pictures. Until then thank you for reading!  New readers welcome! If you have any questions, place them in the comments and I will answer them!


  1. I always hum and haw about spending money getting my apartment how I like it when I change country (I mostly go for furnished places though so they big things are in already). In the end I think yes, you can keep the allowance and use it for other things, but I have to live in my place, and they're no point cutting corners and feeling miserable about it later. It sounds like you bought some great stuff, and I'm glad it's already making things better for you.

  2. You sound like you are settling in well.

  3. Hi there! My husband heads to AD in a few weeks and I'm hoping to follow by the end of the year. I love your posts - you answer a lot of the questions I have in my head about everything and you are so positive, while I sit here worrying about my potential move. ;-)

    FWIW, I think you're better to be close to a town center and living among friends than having shiny new digs. Maybe buy a few cotton rugs to cover up that grout mess?

    Sorry to post Anonymously for now. Work doesn't know I may be leaving, and google is not my friend in that kind of situation!

  4. Malls until midnight? Garrett's popcorn? It ain't home, but those are a plus!

    Glad you're settling in. Can't wait to see the pics. One of the things I love to buy when I travel to a new place is local fabric. Are you incorporating anything with a local flavor? If not, I'd understand. Sometimes it's nice to have things that just look like "home."


  5. With the malls open so late, is it safe for a woman alone to go shopping and catch a taxi home at that hour? I am waiting for my ticket from ADEC and have been reading your blog - I am a librarian and know already that I will be working in Al Ain. Does your friend live in the Hili complex? Since from what I can see my school will be in al-Masoudi I am guessing they will place me in Hili but since I don't drive I would prefer living in the town centre - guess I will just deal with everything when the time comes, insha'allah...

  6. Hi!
    Trust me the malls are bit empty at that time! It is so weird but the later it is the more people are at the mall!
    I have a friends that live in Hili and it is nice. But honestly ADEC can put you anywhere they like even if you don't drive. They will just expect you to find your own way there whether it is by cab or other.

    Good luck and let me know when you arrive!


  7. Hi Haneefa been reading all your blogs new and old. love them. tell me when do they give you your furniture allowance. when you move in to your apartment?

    1. Hi Kim,
      It took about 2-3 weeks to get our furniture allowance from the time we signed up for our bank accounts (10 days after I arrived in the country).\
      We got our apartments about 4 weeks after I arrived.