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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone think the price of city dwelling is money well spent for the convenience, or does the reduced cost of living out of town a bit actually equate to a better place ? I am not much for going out etc and when I get home I just settle in with a meal and the TV, and also is it safe for a none Arabic speaking Englishman to live in the outskirts ?
 

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Does anyone think the price of city dwelling is money well spent for the convenience, or does the reduced cost of living out of town a bit actually equate to a better place ? I am not much for going out etc and when I get home I just settle in with a meal and the TV, and also is it safe for a none Arabic speaking Englishman to live in the outskirts ?
This is an interesting question, especially if one has a western perspective of rural and/or suburban living in mind. On the face of it, if one was to only consider cost, then yes, one could find much lower rents out of town - in theory.

One major issue is to find an area that actually caters for foreigners. If you look at the residential communities that were built out in the desert between 2000 - 2005, these were built for locals and are not supposed to be leased out. You can find places but what they generally do, they convert the majlis or build out from the servants quarters. Occasionally you'll find a complete villa, but these are vast, impractical buildings which are often shared between a number of families.

My personal experience was living in one of these places that have sprung up between Dubai and Abu Dhabi on either side of Sheikh Zayed road. At that time (2006) there were other options such as renting a unit at Jazirah resort - a lovely, seaside setting if you didn't mind the commute, so it doesn't always have to be quite so stark if you are able to find space. Plus those sort of places were not necessarily cheaper (they were offering a 2-bed for AED 180k a year which contrasted well with Abu Dhabi at that time, but not with Dubai)

My pet hates were:
1. Commuting time - work etc. was a good hour away. More practically, I had great difficulty in getting a taxi to come out to where I was, so if the car broke down I was practically stranded.
2. Shopping - now it is a lot better but at that time the nearest shopping was a good half an hour away so I had to bring an eski for my frozen/refrigerated stuff.
3. Sand. Gets everywhere. No matter what you do. And not the find dust - this is gritty, sticky mess that crawls into the crevices of your delicate electronics and is a devil to shift.
4. Sense of community. My experience of rural living elsewhere in the world is the bonding with the local community. This just didn't happen over here. Probably I was mostly to blame since I don't speak Arabic. Another factor could be that these are new communities with no real centre as such so the residents don't socialise in public places. But for the 2 years we were out there, it felt as if I was on the moon.
5. Inconvenience factor - infrastructure can be ropey although in fairness it is generally of high standard. Nonetheless we had a lot of issues with water and water pressure, much of it due to the unofficial nature of the residence I suppose.

Sorry to be so negative - perhaps I had too high expectations but it wasn't much fun living in the desert for us. I often drive out to places like Hatta and used to wonder whether it would be nice to live there but now I am not so sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is an interesting question, especially if one has a western perspective of rural and/or suburban living in mind. On the face of it, if one was to only consider cost, then yes, one could find much lower rents out of town - in theory.

One major issue is to find an area that actually caters for foreigners. If you look at the residential communities that were built out in the desert between 2000 - 2005, these were built for locals and are not supposed to be leased out. You can find places but what they generally do, they convert the majlis or build out from the servants quarters. Occasionally you'll find a complete villa, but these are vast, impractical buildings which are often shared between a number of families.

My personal experience was living in one of these places that have sprung up between Dubai and Abu Dhabi on either side of Sheikh Zayed road. At that time (2006) there were other options such as renting a unit at Jazirah resort - a lovely, seaside setting if you didn't mind the commute, so it doesn't always have to be quite so stark if you are able to find space. Plus those sort of places were not necessarily cheaper (they were offering a 2-bed for AED 180k a year which contrasted well with Abu Dhabi at that time, but not with Dubai)

My pet hates were:
1. Commuting time - work etc. was a good hour away. More practically, I had great difficulty in getting a taxi to come out to where I was, so if the car broke down I was practically stranded.
2. Shopping - now it is a lot better but at that time the nearest shopping was a good half an hour away so I had to bring an eski for my frozen/refrigerated stuff.
3. Sand. Gets everywhere. No matter what you do. And not the find dust - this is gritty, sticky mess that crawls into the crevices of your delicate electronics and is a devil to shift.
4. Sense of community. My experience of rural living elsewhere in the world is the bonding with the local community. This just didn't happen over here. Probably I was mostly to blame since I don't speak Arabic. Another factor could be that these are new communities with no real centre as such so the residents don't socialise in public places. But for the 2 years we were out there, it felt as if I was on the moon.
5. Inconvenience factor - infrastructure can be ropey although in fairness it is generally of high standard. Nonetheless we had a lot of issues with water and water pressure, much of it due to the unofficial nature of the residence I suppose.

Sorry to be so negative - perhaps I had too high expectations but it wasn't much fun living in the desert for us. I often drive out to places like Hatta and used to wonder whether it would be nice to live there but now I am not so sure.
Thank you so much for your reply that is exactly the type of candid information I needed !!! I do like to immerse myself in the culture of the country I am adopting, and when working in Spain I lived away from the tourism and it was the best decision I ever made as my language skills improved dramatically and I forged genuine friendships with people I would have never crossed paths with, it seems however as I said in my previous threads that the negatives would out way the positives as far as Dubai is concerned but with my trade being in Facilities Management it would probably benefit me to be as close to my site as possible and with the commuter traffic being as bad as I have heard it all says a resounding no to the rural ethos !! So once again thank you for your post Paul
 
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