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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

New to the site and was hoping for some feedback.
I'm seriously considering moving to Dubai. The job in question pays well but I'm looking for somewhere cheap to begin with until my girlfriend moves over as well ( about 5 months after me)
Can anyone recommend a nice (ish) area that is pretty inexpensive.
Not looking for paradise but also not gang land if you know what I mean.

Any advise/help would be great.

S
 

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No ganglands in Dubai! the cheap areas (Hor al Anz, Al Qusais, Karama, Satwa) are in no way dangerous or rough. They just have slightly older housing and not as much by way of swanky hotels or shopping malls.
Areas like Mirdif and Business Bay are slightly nicer and newer (though have less in the way of hotels (ie bars)) and cost slightly more.
Then you have areas like Downtown and JBR and the Marina that cost a bit more but have more facilities.

The problem you might find is that unless you stay in a residential hotel, which can be expensive, you are unlikely to find anywhere for 5 months: the standard rental agreement is for an initial 12 months. You might be able to find an apartment share, but beware as many are 'bedspace' (a single bed in a room shared with many others and not for westerners.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So cheap doesn't mean rough, that's good!

Thanks for your response, really appreciate it.
Ok I'll keep the rental thing in mind?

People have said to me that in order for my girlfriend to live with me we would need to be married, can you confirm??

S
 

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In order to cohabit, you do need to be married, yes. A huge amount of expats ignore this and most get away with it, but bear in mind if the police have any reason to come to your house and they find you illegally cohabiting, you are likely to face imprisonment and deportation.
 

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People have said to me that in order for my girlfriend to live with me we would need to be married, can you confirm??

S
Legally you cannot live together unless married, that is not to say it is not done. This thread will now turn into a 4 page debate about if it is or is not OK to live together if not married.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok so it's one of them.
Ok thank you. It was something i was going to be doing at some point anyway but I guess popping the question is probably the best thing to do. Not really keen on the idea of imprisonment!

S
 

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If you wish to be renting and apartment for 12 months then discovery gardens is also a good place to look into. You can get a 1 bed room apartment for about 45000 dirhams.
 

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No ganglands in Dubai! the cheap areas (Hor al Anz, Al Qusais, Karama, Satwa) are in no way dangerous or rough.
Not entirely true Dannysigma. Crime in Dubai may not be "in your face" but it still does exist and some of these areas are quite dangerous. Just because it is not reported does not mean that it doesn't happen.

Lots of break-ins and attempted robberies in many of these areas to say the least.

Western Expats do not typically reside in these locations so I wouldn't recommend that the OP look for housing in these places but it's not right to say that it's not dangerous or rough either.
 

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Not entirely true Dannysigma. Crime in Dubai may not be "in your face" but it still does exist and some of these areas are quite dangerous. Just because it is not reported does not mean that it doesn't happen.

Lots of break-ins and attempted robberies in many of these areas to say the least.

Western Expats do not typically reside in these locations so I wouldn't recommend that the OP look for housing in these places but it's not right to say that it's not dangerous or rough either.
Yes crime happens in Dubai, but the areas mentioned aren't exactly ganglands, are they now? It's not like, say, the Lion estate in Deptford where you can and probably will get mugged and beaten (and worse) in broad daylight just because the gangbangers don't recognise you. And there are loads of Western expats in Qusais and Hor al Anz: I lived in the former for 2 years as did every single one of my colleagues. Not one crime was perpetrated on any of us in that time (unless you count the prices charged in the school canteen). I currently have many colleagues who live quite happily in Hor al Anz. Nary a break in or attempted robbery between them. I also know quite a few Western expats in Satwa. By western 'gangland' standards, these areas are not dangerous - even the 'nice'parts of London are much worse.
 

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Rentals and more

No ganglands in Dubai! the cheap areas (Hor al Anz, Al Qusais, Karama, Satwa) are in no way dangerous or rough. They just have slightly older housing and not as much by way of swanky hotels or shopping malls.
Areas like Mirdif and Business Bay are slightly nicer and newer (though have less in the way of hotels (ie bars)) and cost slightly more.
Then you have areas like Downtown and JBR and the Marina that cost a bit more but have more facilities.

The problem you might find is that unless you stay in a residential hotel, which can be expensive, you are unlikely to find anywhere for 5 months: the standard rental agreement is for an initial 12 months. You might be able to find an apartment share, but beware as many are 'bedspace' (a single bed in a room shared with many others and not for westerners.
Any info out there for Abu Dhabi. I'm presently staying in a residential hotel but am considering staying in Abu Dhabi on a permanent basis. I need info on two points, Where can I find good cheap housing? Also, I'm looking for a job. My backgroung is in home renovations, restaurant management, teaching cooking or jewelery design. Does anyone have ant contacts -- I know this is a shot in the dark. Where can I get in touch with other expats in Abu Dhabi?
 

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Yes crime happens in Dubai, but the areas mentioned aren't exactly ganglands, are they now? It's not like, say, the Lion estate in Deptford where you can and probably will get mugged and beaten (and worse) in broad daylight just because the gangbangers don't recognise you. And there are loads of Western expats in Qusais and Hor al Anz: I lived in the former for 2 years as did every single one of my colleagues. Not one crime was perpetrated on any of us in that time (unless you count the prices charged in the school canteen). I currently have many colleagues who live quite happily in Hor al Anz. Nary a break in or attempted robbery between them. I also know quite a few Western expats in Satwa. By western 'gangland' standards, these areas are not dangerous - even the 'nice'parts of London are much worse.

Even the least safe areas of Dubai are safer than inner city projects in most western cities
However, pesky soft crime does exist in some parts, and if it didnt happen to one person does not mean it wont happen to someone else. There are New Yorkers who were never mugged, but that does not mean muggings dont happen there,

For whatever reason, Downtown Dubai, Marina, Umm Suqeim, SZR are all safer than Qusais, Int'l city or Satwa. You wont be mugged in the latter areas, its just that the chances of being the victim of vehicle break-ins or pickpockets are higher there.
 

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Even the least safe areas of Dubai are safer than inner city projects in most western cities
However, pesky soft crime does exist in some parts, and if it didnt happen to one person does not mean it wont happen to someone else. There are New Yorkers who were never mugged, but that does not mean muggings dont happen there,

For whatever reason, Downtown Dubai, Marina, Umm Suqeim, SZR are all safer than Qusais, Int'l city or Satwa. You wont be mugged in the latter areas, its just that the chances of being the victim of vehicle break-ins or pickpockets are higher there.
Granted, but the OP was asking about cheap areas and my response was that, unlike in most western countries, cheap in Dubai does not equate to dangerous. My response to Pamela was to take issue with her portrayal of said areas as 'quite dangerous' and that Western expats do not live there.
 

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There's something to be said that if you don't expect crime at all you're least prepared for when it does happen than you would be in an area where crime is more common.

I wouldn't describe any part of Dubai as unsafe but thefts do happen. Even in the more upmarket communities. Break ins are rare but they do happen. Bikes do get stolen. People are more careless about leaving their villas unlocked and expensive items lying around because they "feel" safe and secure.

As for Al Qusaias - other than teachers at certain schools who are the Western expats who live there? There are probably western expats in every single area in Dubai but AQ is well off the beaten path for western expats so what would get someone to move there? Only mildly curious.
 

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There are a lot of schools and a lot of teachers! There are also several blocks of Emirates airline accommodation. I'd only choose to live there if I was seriously trying to save money (and even then I'd probably go for Hor al Anz), but most of the schools there either insist that you live in nearby school accommodation or give you a housing allowance that wouldn't be enough to rent anywhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks people all great responses.

One quick question........ I have a choice between Abu dhabi and Dubai for work and to stay obviously.
Has anyone been to both and which if you have is best for someone new to the expat scene??
Thanks
S
 

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Even the least safe areas of Dubai are safer than inner city projects in most western cities
However, pesky soft crime does exist in some parts, and if it didnt happen to one person does not mean it wont happen to someone else. There are New Yorkers who were never mugged, but that does not mean muggings dont happen there,

For whatever reason, Downtown Dubai, Marina, Umm Suqeim, SZR are all safer than Qusais, Int'l city or Satwa. You wont be mugged in the latter areas, its just that the chances of being the victim of vehicle break-ins or pickpockets are higher there.
I stay in Al Qusais, 15 minutes walking distance from DAFZA (where my office is). Find it quite, safe, and the rates are reasonable, and the building is very well maintained. The only con is that no bars around.
 
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