x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Observing Life: estate agents try to up-sell my move

I humbly ask you, agents of the UAE, to restore my faith in humankind and the real estate industry.

Few people enjoy moving house; I therefore count myself especially lucky to relish the entire bubble-wrapped process. In fact, nothing lets my inner Kelly Hoppen run wild quite like viewing endless empty apartments with freshly painted white walls.

There's only one thing guaranteed to wipe a smile off my face: time-wasting agents. They are the exception, no doubt, rather than the rule and with previous moves I have been fortunate enough to find exactly what I was looking for at the right price and in record time. The move I am currently trying to engineer, however, is an entirely different story.

The problem appears to be one of communication, for I am speaking a very different language from that of my key-brandishing chums. How else could one otherwise explain my umpteen viewings of two-bedroom apartments with "community views", despite my desire for a one-bed with marina vista?

"It's the right time to upgrade!" one stern-faced agent instructed me as he flung back the double doors of a vast, marbled, duplex loft on the beachfront.

"You really should consider a Sheikh Zayed Road view if you want any light at all," another strained to tell me above the drone of the six-lane motorway beneath the balcony.

And my personal favourite, taking first place in the charm and persuasion stakes: "Keys are at reception. You can see the apartment at 3pm. I need your answer by 3:15pm and a deposit left with security or I'll give it to someone else."

My, how times have changed in just a few years. Is the recent handover of new residential towers in the marina to blame for this surprising complacency on the agents' side? I was mulling over this exact thought at the weekend when the shrill ring of my mobile phone jolted me back into action. "Hiya Rebecca, it's Brian here," a cheery voice said. "I think I have exactly what you are looking for!"

My eyes grew wide, my pulse quickened - could it really be true? Well, for the next chapter of this story you'll just have to wait, as will I. The owner, of what could very well be my future abode, is travelling for another week and I won't get to lay eyes upon the apartment until he returns. But if - and it's a mighty big if - the pictures online are to be believed, I may have indeed struck gold.

And so I humbly ask you, agents of the UAE, to restore my faith in humankind and the real estate industry. After all, you alone have the power to help me move up in the world, at least to the panoramic views of the 39th floor.