I am a teacher moving to Abu Dhabi from the UK. Where do you suggest I live and should I buy or rent? AR, London
Relocating to a different country can be a daunting prospect, especially if you are doing it alone with no family or friends. Deciding whether to relocate and ultimately choosing either to rent or buy is a personal one and a decision that is determined by several factors. The ability to buy, the length of your impending employment contract and your ability to raise funds or a mortgage; these factors and more come into play.
It is normal when first coming to a new country to look to settle down as quickly as possible; therefore the easiest way to do this would be to initially rent. Renting gives you time to decide which areas or types of property are more suitable for you.
As a teacher, I am sure that the educational entity will be giving you some form of housing allowance. If this is the case then perhaps the limit of that allowance may determine where you may end up living. Alternatively there may already be plans to house staff in certain areas/buildings, so the choice may not necessarily be available to you.
Coming from the UK, my advice would be to stay in short-term accommodation or a hotel for a brief period; this will enable you to get to know the area you will be working and therefore help you make a good decision about where to live.
Al Reem Island is a popular area for expats and one where many schools and universities are scheduled to be built.
One-bedroom apartments here range from Dh75,000 to Dh80,000, but they can also go as high as Dh90,000. Two-bedroom apartments in the same area are available for Dh110,000 to Dh140,000.
Another popular area with expats is Al Raha Beach. This location is slightly more expensive than Al Reem but very sought after nonetheless. One-bedroom apartments range from Dh80,000 to Dh100,000 and two-bedroom apartments from Dh140,000 up to Dh180,000.
The above is just a guide of specific areas. I would, however, recommend you use a reputable real estate or relocation agent for all your property requirements.
Mario Volpi is the managing director of Prestige Real Estate in Dubai and has worked in the property industry in London and Dubai for the past 29 years. Send any questions to email@example.com