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Searching for an apartment in Abu Dhabi, UAE

At first the attractions seemed limitless.

The prospects of living in a new intriguing location, where the sun shines each day… Oh! and where your salary is tax free - seemed almost just too good to be true!

Well the location proved to be new and intriguing and by and large the sun does always shine each day and of course we all know about salaries. But no-one warns you of the menace that, it seems, is the blight on everyone’s horizon … the unexpected costs of actually finding somewhere to live!

As soon as it was confirmed that I would be moving to Abu Dhabi, I was typing into Google for somewhere to rent. Within seconds of the search results appearing on my screen I was greeted with forum after forum of recent expats rent experiences. And it didn’t look good. From stories of not being able to find anything for at least six months to over-the odds rental prices, plus havingto pay a whole year up font, my nerves were in tatters - how was I going to afford anywhere?

Still trying to be optimistic I made the move across seas, dragging my belongings behind me.

Six months later, I’ve had enough. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s near impossible to be able to afford to live in Abu Dhabi and have decided I’d rather face a commute than pay greedy prices for inadequate properties.

A few months ago I had look around a couple of studios and one-bedroom apartments. Promised they were new and in a reputable area. I was eager to investigate. Instead I was greeted with near-mouse sized cockroaches and a kitchen that couldn’t cater a cat, let alone a human. All this unfurnished, for the hysterical price of AED 125,000 - paid yearly of course - and the landlord assured me this was a good deal. I suppose it was, compared to another ridiculous one bed priced at AED 160,000 a year. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t even bother viewing that one.

And I’m not the only one not wanting to live in squalid conditions and having to plead for a bank loan to be able to just about scrape by on costs. While rents drop in other nearby emirates, Abu Dhabi shows no signs og relenting on its astronomical prices and people are quickly leaving. What I find most baffling is that whilst hundreds of residents are packing up and choosing to live outside the capital, there’s no push to entice people back. Maybe someone’s hoping that the huge number of soon-to-be empty villas and flats will help the thousands still having to share rooms in the city to space out a little more.

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