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Hi all -

I am moving to Abu Dhabi at the end of the month and things are moving along quickly. I'm very excited about this move and starting with a new employer.

I have a list questions and eager for advice, suggestions, and polite snarks.

1. What banks in Abu Dhabi will accept Americans as customers? (I have read that many banks in the UAE and other parts of the world will no longer accept Americans due to our laws)
2. How do I find a bank that has low cost/fees/expenses/reliable? What is a good deal? What is a bad deal?
3. What are the safe and inexpensive methods of transferring money from UAE to my American financial institution?
4. What are the expenses of transferring money to the US? What is a good deal? What is a bad deal?
5. Do I need checks in Abu Dhabi or are large financial transactions (paying rent, utilities, etc.) done by on-line banking/bill pay?
6. How do I find a professional in Abu Dhabi will be able to help me with my taxes and financial reporting? How much do they charge? When should I meet them? I looked on the US consulate website and only saw a list of attorneys and doctors.

Housing questions -
1. What neighborhoods that are near Mubarak Bin Mohammed St. and Zayed The First St., Khalidiyah Abu Dhabi and grocery stores should I look at? What neighborhoods should I not look at? I plan on taking the bus and/or taxis around Abu Dhabi. I'm looking for a 1 bedroom apartment – my stuff is being shipped over. I'll wait a year before a purchase a car.
2. What is a good deal for apartments wrt price, location, size, quality, etc? What is a bad deal?
3. I have checked out dubizzle.com and I think I have learned that unfurnished apartments do not include the refrigerator and stove/oven (cooker). Is this correct?
4. If I need to purchase refrigerator and stove/oven (cooker) suggestions on buying, transporting, and installing is welcomed.
5. What utilities do I pay? What utilities may be included? How do I turn on utilities?
6. What other expenses besides the rent are their for renting an apartment?

Thanks!
 

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Hi all -

I am moving to Abu Dhabi at the end of the month and things are moving along quickly. I'm very excited about this move and starting with a new employer.

I have a list questions and eager for advice, suggestions, and polite snarks.

1. What banks in Abu Dhabi will accept Americans as customers? (I have read that many banks in the UAE and other parts of the world will no longer accept Americans due to our laws)
2. How do I find a bank that has low cost/fees/expenses/reliable? What is a good deal? What is a bad deal?
3. What are the safe and inexpensive methods of transferring money from UAE to my American financial institution?
4. What are the expenses of transferring money to the US? What is a good deal? What is a bad deal?
5. Do I need checks in Abu Dhabi or are large financial transactions (paying rent, utilities, etc.) done by on-line banking/bill pay?
6. How do I find a professional in Abu Dhabi will be able to help me with my taxes and financial reporting? How much do they charge? When should I meet them? I looked on the US consulate website and only saw a list of attorneys and doctors.

Housing questions -
1. What neighborhoods that are near Mubarak Bin Mohammed St. and Zayed The First St., Khalidiyah Abu Dhabi and grocery stores should I look at? What neighborhoods should I not look at? I plan on taking the bus and/or taxis around Abu Dhabi. I'm looking for a 1 bedroom apartment – my stuff is being shipped over. I'll wait a year before a purchase a car.
2. What is a good deal for apartments wrt price, location, size, quality, etc? What is a bad deal?
3. I have checked out dubizzle.com and I think I have learned that unfurnished apartments do not include the refrigerator and stove/oven (cooker). Is this correct?
4. If I need to purchase refrigerator and stove/oven (cooker) suggestions on buying, transporting, and installing is welcomed.
5. What utilities do I pay? What utilities may be included? How do I turn on utilities?
6. What other expenses besides the rent are their for renting an apartment?

Thanks!
Hello indyjones,

Here are answers to some of your questions:

1. Am not really sure if any bank will do that. I think all banks will accept you as a customer.

2. Experience with banks varies for everyone. Some prefer banking with the MNC banks and some prefer the local banks. Although you can be more than sure that customer service from any bank will not match up with any US bank.

3. A lot of people use their banks to transfer the money although money exchanges are also a good option. Typically you don't get a great rate with the banks.

4. See above. To add, if you use a money exchange you can haggle a bit too, while transferring a large amount.

5. You will need cheques (checks) to pay the rent (if that is not already included in your package). For all other things like utilities, you could pay using your debit/credit card.


Housing:

1. Khalidiya is nice and is very near to the beach/corniche. There are plenty of apartments in that area, however all depends on your budget. Due to recent removal of rental cap in Abu Dhabi, rents have increased quite a bit and Khalidiya is a popular, in-demand area. You could also look at Bateen, Khalifa Street, Reem Island, Marasy. Also try propertyfinder.ae - UAE's #1 property site for your apartment hunt.

There are quite a few grocery stores in Khalidiya area - Lulu, Choithraams, Spar. Also you will be never to far off from a small grocery shop called 'Baqala'.

2. Good deal/ Bad deal is subjective :) All depends on your allowance for housing.

3. Yes, unfurnished apartments would not include fridge, over and other white goods.

4. Quite a few retail chains here from where you can buy these items. Lulu generally has good deals compared to others but then there may be better deals at other chains when you are buying.

5. You will be paying for Central Gas, Water and Electricity. Once the tenancy contract is finalised, you will need to get a connection for all of these.

6. Not really sure, but I guess some landlords do charge separately for 'chiller'. Generally it is included in the rent.

Hope this helps.
 

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Thanks for the excellent info. I assume unfurnished items purchased there at a retail store will offer to ship and install it?

It is interesting that you need to haggle to tranfer money from US to AED. I lived in Japan and Korean... difference in culture are always interesting.

- NoVAexpat
 

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3. I have checked out dubizzle.com and I think I have learned that unfurnished apartments do not include the refrigerator and stove/oven (cooker). Is this correct?
Actually quite a few of the newer apartment buildings (e.g. Saadiyat Beach Residences, all (?) of the apartments in Al Raha Beach) offer some or all of the appliances as included. For example, at Saadiyat Beach Residences fridge, stove, dishwasher are included.
 

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About your banking question…
We had to go through NBAD (National Bank of Abu Dhabi) because my husband's check is direct deposited. I can't tell you if this was a requirement of his work, or the banking industry regulations. He was told it was because he was American and this bank complies with all US disclosure requirements. So there is that bank for certain, but there could be others depend on the specifics of your situation.
 
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