So this year I have not blogged no where near enough, this is mainly because I have moved... to a different country. When I decided to move to Dubai I was super excited and couldn't wait to start my new adventure. I had a job waiting with a Real Estate company and they were going to help me with my apartment and visa... I was so excited. In April 2014 I got on the plane and left the UK for my new life in Dubai. Little did I know it was not going to be straight forward... I started work for the Real Estate company, I was brought over on totally false pretences I had no help finding an apartment, was not issued a visa and could not get any medical insurance. I hit targets but what HR failed to tell me before I came out meant that I received no real pay. Luckily I have savings and a very good mum who helped me. I signed up for what I thought was a perfect 1 bed apartment after spending a couple of thousand on a hotel! I paid an agent AED 5000 to find me the apartment and check everything was all ok. I moved in to the apartment but received no access cards to use the facilities. My landlord promised that they would be with me within a week... they never arrived. I had paid 4 months rent upfront to my landlord plus AED 10,000 bond so I was a little stuck so just stayed there.
After a few months I decided to leave the Real Estate company as I was not getting paid properly, I had money taken from what I did get paid and more importantly I could not get a visa with them! I tried to leave but it took me 2 days to get my passport back as they refused to hand it over... another little illegal move on their part. Luckily for me a friend of mine put me in contact with her friend and I was offered another job, I took the job and absolutely love it. My visa was processed straight away and my pay is consistent and on time! Everything happens for a reason right!? I am now settled in to a job I never thought I would do but I am loving it and have found myself very passionate about my work!
While the job front is all good the apartment situation was not. I found out that I had no access to the facilities because my landlord was in a lot of debt and was on the verge of having the apartment repossessed. I spoke with my landlords husband who told me if I was not willing to pay the next lot of rent then I needed to move out as they needed my rent to pay off the debt and I would therefore not get any access to facilities. I decided to move, I did not want to pay any more money to a landlord who could potentially have the apartment repossessed and leave with AED 33,000 of mine! After trying to contact my landlord for 2 weeks she finally contacted me and refused to deal with me, I had a friend of mine contact her stating what we would be doing going forward. My landlord refused to collect the keys and do an inspection and hand over my bond. I had a number of issues with my landlord who I believe was in a lot of money trouble and was trying her best to keep my bond. The communication went back and forth for weeks with my landlord refusing to pick up the keys and hand over the bond. I went to RERA which is Dubai's way of regulating rental properties and they informed me I could take her to court to claim compensation, my bond and then the agency fee. I told my landlord I was willing to drop it all if she would take the keys and hand over my deposit... still she refused. I then found out that she had rented the apartment without any title deed, which is very illegal in Dubai and is punished with a hefty fine or an arrest. Not long after I confronted her about this she offered to collect the keys and hand the deposit back. This was not straight forward she had me running about and she was cancelling meetings and changing the goal post daily. Eventually she got the keys and I got my bond back after I had to taken them to her. She refused to connect the electric to check the apartment so non of the electrical items had been checked, I think she did this as she could not afford to pay for the electric connecting not for my benefit.
After weeks of getting no where I finally got my bond back but did not get my agency fee. I tried to contact Pan Emirates Real Estate who I rented the apartment through but got no joy from them. I could not speak with a manager or even be given the managers name. They did admit that they should have checked everything before I moved in and they should not have rented it without a title deed but this did little. I still have not go anywhere with them so I am taking this further and filing a complaint with the land department as I have had to pay another agent AED 5000 to rent a new apartment.
Despite the first 9 months in Dubai been incredibly stressful and has cost me a lot of money I would not change it for anything! I love the country and the culture and I love my lifestyle here. I love that on the weekend I can go to the beach and that on an evening I can go for a swim on my rooftop pool. I think I have just been incredibly unlucky with meeting a bad job, bad agent and a bad landlord but unfortunately this happens quite often. I would not change where I live and now fingers crossed I am more settled I can start to enjoy myself, they say the first year is hard and I have nearly done my first year so hopefully the stress will lift!
If you d plan to move to a different country I would seriously look in to it first, check you have a good job to go to and somewhere to live. I was completely mislead by the Real Estate company I worked for but I was so desperate to escape the UK I took their word for everything. If you do want to move to Dubai it is fantastic and the lifestyle is great but please look in to everything, don't just jump straight in! I am not going to sugar coat the move and it has cost me about AED 60,000 to move here so please if you are considering it make sure you have the savings in place.
Now I have hopefully battled through the stress I can start to relax and enjoy the beautiful country I am living in. My new years resolution is to get back to blogging and get more involved in beauty and make up. Now I have more time, I am more organised and have a little beauty room I can hopefully get back track and start my beauty blog in Dubai!
This post seems very rambly but is only a brief overview of everything that has happened. If you do want any more advice on moving out here or how to find an apartment please ask I am ore than happy to go in to more detail. At the end of the day we all need to be protected as it is a lot of money that we are putting forward so I am more than happy to help you all.
Here are a few pictures of Dubai :)
I hope you have a happy and healthy New Year and I will be back with some more beauty themed posts soon :)
Samantha Louise XX