Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Mother of the Groom

I need help and lots of it. On a normal day, it's no make up and hair scrapped up in a ponytail. This photo however was taken after a couple of hours with a make up artist, hairdresser, a professional photographer and with excellent lightening and probably some editing as it was for a national newspaper.

I can do dressed up, I love having my nails done, not such a big fan with my hair and make up as I can never recreate the look, but don’t do too bad by myself.

Next year Peter is best man at a friends wedding. I bought a dress, have shoes, jacket and a bag and wasn’t bothering with a hat. I made a hair appointment for the morning and I was good to go.

But now child 2 and 2a have announced they’re getting married in June 2018. I’ve gone into meltdown, there’s so much to do. I need a hat, my dress is lovely but it’s NOT Mother of the Groom, it’s Wife of the Best Man.

I’m chilled out about any help, guidance, support that the Bride and Groom want or need. I’ve been shown the guest list, been asked for my input into the cake, wedding dress, photographer,  bridesmaids etc although these decisions will mainly be decided upon by the Bride and her family.

I’ll appreciate any and all help/advice please that you have for me and my choice of outfit, including where to shop and recommendations on what I should avoid wearing (other than a full on white dress of course)

Sunday, 12 November 2017

One Daily Positive - Week 45

I started the week in Dubai and I've been having my fair share of Michael Macintyre moments so far this week. I watched 'the best of' on youtube on Sunday morning and realised how much my life mimics his comedy.

I totally relate to leaving the house in Dubai in the middle of the day and was wondering if I could cook Sunday dinner just by leaving it outside, but I did try frying an egg here in the middle of summer and it's not possible, something to do with evaporation. I also stood at the crossroads for two turns with another woman waiting for our turn to cross the road and realised neither of us had pressed the button and I was phased on a few occasions with the sensors on the taps in the public bathrooms and went all karate style trying to get the water and air to flow and had to seek assistance. This isn't a first for me, I've had to ask how a tap works here before in Dubai. I also did that thing at the airport where I opted to walk  at the same speed as those on the travelator.

My week ended in the UK still on the same theme, wondering if I can be overwhelmed and underwhelmed, why I can't just be whlemed somedays, my kind of normal.

309 Sunday Bonfire. Putting the kettle on is the closest I get to any fire in Dubai.
Dropped Bob at pre school, had the car valeted and popped to the beach for 5 minutes for this weeks My Sunday Photo, had my nails done, hospital appointment with the Pulmologisit and called in at Home Affairs to check the status of the teens visa, quick hoover, collected Bob, walked friends dogs and fed them while their owners are away, dinner, packed and early night.

310 Monday Rule of Thirds. 3 seats to myself for the flight.
Up early and off to airport for my flight to the UK. It was an uneventful journey and I was collected by a friend for the drive back to South Wales.

311 Tuesday Looking Up
Not feeling well so took it easy with a stroll into town and a coffee and a catch up with the UK post. Mum popped round in the afternoon.

312 Wednesday Street
Off to mums to box up the last of dads stuff, one last chance to look through all his things before they go to auction.

313 Thursday Blue
Auction house arrived, with driver only, so the task of loading the van fell to my sister and I and getting a 6ft pool table down the stairs was not an easy task. It was a bitter sweet day.

314 Friday Graffiti
Mum and I went to Cwmbran for some Christmas shopping, to get 2 parcels sorted and out to the Middle East and Australia to 2 of the kids. In the afternoon I met friends for a drink and in the evening off to see another. Mum's car wouldn't start, so calling on a 3rd friend to collect me, I left the car for the night to deal with in the morning.

315 Saturday Unbalanced
Sister took me and mum to rescue the car, we ended up in Gloucester having a new battery fitted and stoped out for lunch, she dropped me at a friends on the way home and I walked back to the flat in the rain and was asleep in bed by 8pm.

I can't believe the difference in the weather since I was here only 3 weeks ago, it's now winter and I'm so done with this rain already. My health isn't improving, despite finishing yet another course of antibiotics. I've had enough now

In the blog this week:

My Sunday Photo - Week 149 S is for Sun. On the beach in Dubai.
TriumphantTales TweenTeensBeyond PoCoLo Bob's preschool assessment. Bob the Dog goes to day care.

My Sunday Photo - Week 150 R is for Rain.

So last week I was back home in Dubai with S is for Sun. This week I’m back in Wales with R is for Rain.

When I left the UK mid October the weather was still quite mild, 2 and a half weeks later, despite the odd sunny day, it's now cold, dark and very damp.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Bobs Pre School Assessment.

As a mother of 5 kids ranging in ages between 18 and 29 it came as a bit of a surprise when Bob came into our lives.

We opted to do things differently this time and chose to home school Bob, but he is now 7 and we've come to realise that he needs to spend more time with others, despite him having good social and communication skills. He is a little clingy towards me and with me having to spend so much time away, he has been having anxiety issues that my husband has found difficult to deal with on his own. So my hand has been forced and I've had to go through the process of selecting a school for him to attend.

I had already visited several schools and done my research carefully over the past 3 years, knowing this day would come and we have of course used some of the holiday facilities in the past, but I'd never left him on his own. So last week, I made the decision to book him into a school near where we are relocating to at the end of the month for his pre school assessment.

I must confess I hadn't done much preparation in regards to discussing this with Bob, I really didn't want to put my anxieties and worries onto him. So the night before we packed his day bag, with a drink and snacks and a familiar toy and made sure we had an early night.

In the car on the way there in the morning I told Bob about where we were going and what was going to happen, how they were going to assess him and that I would be back after lunch time to collect him. I filled in all the paper work on arrival and then Bob was led off into the school, without glancing back once. I then asked what I was to do and they said I could go home and return at 1pm.

I didn't want to go home, what if there was a problem? It was a 30 minute drive each way, so having not done this for a good few years, I turned to Social Media for advice and was told to go find a coffee shop near by, buy a magazine and keep an eye on the phone, this is after all a very stressful situation for any parent and was a natural response to be worried and concerned.

I couldn't wait for 4 hours, so I arrived back an hour early and was told Bob had been fine, he'd passed the assessment with flying colours and had been accepted into their day care facility and I was welcome to go and see him at play and view the facilities.

Bob was extremely happy to see me and show me around and introduce me to his new friends. He seems happy there and the staff were welcoming and friendly and I'll be more than happy for Bob to attend regular sessions from now on. Bob was shattered when we got home so it was Macdonald's for tea all round and another early night as we had Halloween to prepare for the following day.

Oh just one thing........Did I mention Bob is a dog?

Sunday, 5 November 2017

My Sunday Photo - Week 149 S is for Sun

I'm returning to the UK tomorrow so I thought I'd make most of the my last day of living near the beach, as when I return to Dubai at the end of the month, we're moving further inland to a brand new, smaller and much cheaper property. As much as I love living near the beach, it's too hot to visit most of the year, and whilst I love swimming and there is a life guard, there are also rip tides that worry me and the new house has a gym with pool near by and we can always drive down to the beach on the weekends anyway.

My plans to spend time on the beach were scuppered by a last minute hospital appointment at midday the other side of the city, but I managed to pop down for this photo while my car was being valeted.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

One Daily Positive - Week 44

I may also have been a little curt and not my usual cheerful happy self this week, but sod it. I'm fed up of smiling and saying I don't mind when inside I'm sobbing and wondering why I tolerate things so much, it's certainly not for an easy life. We're all sorted now with our current tenancy contract so we'll hopefully be signing for a new place before I return to the UK next week, which takes a lot of pressure off me.

No clock change here, but that means we're now 4 hours ahead of the UK which makes communicating back home more difficult.

I'm feeling a lot better, I don't know if you've ever had pneumonia? I had it in 2007 and was hospitalised with it for over 2 weeks. It took me several months to recover. I have been diagnosed with 'walking' pneumonia, which means I don't realise how ill I actually am. I get my blood tests back this week that will show the strain, but the doctor suspects it's where I'm run down from the summer in the UK, a chest infection that I was probably unaware of, that has been left untreated since June when my white blood cells were sky high but any infection I had, had been masked by a 9 day migraine and the identification of a lesion on my brain as well as tests to rule out leukaemia. Yes, I ignored the cough, especially after my dad died in July.

Anyway on with the week.

302 Sunday Warm. Seeing as I'm not sleeping past 3am, I made the most of the night time weather and cleared out the sheds ready for moving, caught up with a ton of paperwork, realised if anything happened to me, hubby would have no clue how to access our online accounts so made a secret, password protected file stored online. He chose the password. Walked to the local shops for coffee to stop myself sleeping during the day and dropped hubby at the airport for an overnight trip to Saudi. I was exhausted by 6pm.

303 Monday Scare. Took Bob for an assessment at a play park, it lasted 4 hours, I stayed for a bit then went off to look around the area to see if it's somewhere we'd consider living. Got my car sorted in the afternoon, needed a new battery. Driving is challenging in Dubai, if you want to turn left you have to do a you turn, unless you're at a major intersection. Today's route involved 2 x 16 lane highways, I entered from the left slowly, everyone was trying to exit right at speed. I visited a Halloween store in the evening and bought inflatable balloons and spoke with the neighbour for the 5th time in 3 years, didn't know she'd had another child.

304 Tuesday Halloween. Hubby arrived home in the early hours. Food shopped, carved a melon, it was cheaper than a pumpkin, baked some cakes for the neighbourhood kids and decorated the outside of the house. I then took Bob to a Howl O Ween party, it's at the place where he boards and he loves it there, came away with a goodie bag full of treats. Got back to hand out treats to the neighbourhood kids and ran out in an hour, tidied up and went to bed early. I may have over done it today.

305 Wednesday First. The whole day was spent house hunting, considering we have to move out at the end of the month, you'd think we'd have something sorted by now, but no, that's not how Dubai works. There are loads of places we like it's just all about location.

306 Thursday Must. Doctors appointment first thing. White Blood Cells still high, in fact they've gone up again so more bloods taken and a bit B injection in my bum. Hubby dropped me off, we had coffee and afterwards I tried to catch the bus home, but my travel card was empty so I walked to the shops and got a taxi. 2 companies came to quote for packing and moving us. Such a wonderful view from the bus stop outside the Doctors.

307 Friday Self Portrait. More house viewing, everything looks the same, everything is the same. Took Bob to a new play place in the afternoon Paw Parking, he chewed through all their tennis balls and took home a goodie bag full of treats.

308 Saturday Fireworks. Can't find any bonfire events anywhere. Found a house to rent, deposit paid and contract signed, just trying to get something in writing to confirm dogs are allowed. The front looks exactly like Day 305 but in a different location as in that location there is no shade at all.

On the blog this week:

My Sunday Photo - Z is for Zoo.

Triumphant Tales - I get really frustrated that companies assume everyone has access to the internet and knows how to use it. How to get things done without the internet?

PoCoLo - It iratates me when people tell me what I can and can't do in Dubai, especially when they don't live here and only go by what they read in the media. This week we did Halloween.

TweenTeensBeyond - Parents, Teens and Alcohol. Did you allow your kids to drink? 

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

They don’t do Halloween in Dubai.

The word on the street is quite literally ‘get in your car and drive round to where we live’ as apparently our street gives out the best treats in the neighbourhood. Despite half the street being knocked down this week, this evening we’ve been inundated with trick or treaters of all ages and nationalities. Dressed as witches, vampires, superhero’s and unicorns.

Dubai is full of Halloween, from the stores selling over priced, imported Pumpkins (I carved a melon) to shops dedicated to Halloween costumes and displays in shops selling cards.

There are themed parties at some of the top hotels for children and adults alike and we’ve even been a long to a HowloWeen party especially for the 4 legged variety kids.

Whether you like Halloween or not, it really does happen here in Dubai. It’s friendly, safe and nearly everyone joins in, whether it’s understood or not.

It’s the same as Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Ramadan and Eid. And all the other festivals regardless of  religion or origin. Everyone is encouraged to participate and learn about the different cultures. Even the cat has joined in.

I personally love this the most about living in Dubai. In that respect it’s the best city in the world to live in, if you ask me.

How to do things without the internet

When my dad died earlier this year my mum had to transfer everything into her name, close accounts and set up new insurance policies. She had to do almost everything over the phone or online.

My mum is 73, she has a hearing problem, she struggles on the phone and only has access to the internet on her mobile phone and in all honesty, as much as she's savvy with face book and skype, setting up accounts such as online banking and using emails is a bit of a challenge.

Everything required an initial phone call.

Press button 1 for
Say your reason for the call after the tone
Did you say xxxxxx?

Each time I had to say I was calling to report my father was deceased was bloody difficult, I'd then have to explain that my mum struggled to hear over the phone and was told I could do everything online. But 9/10 times there were other questions to be asked such as how do we transfer Dad's car to mums name when he was unable to sign the form. Arrrhhh we write deceased in the box and mum signs as normal. Enclose the death certificate or read the number over the line. Mum has to confirm her name, address and date of birth and that she is happy for me to deal with the issue on her behalf, but that permission is only valid for the duration of the call. Paperwork received in post addressed to my dad, thanking him for informing them of his death. Give me strength, more calls, more permission needed to be given.

We finally resolved this issue by buying mum some new phones, she was then able to make the calls herself.

Some companies would deal with me directly, some tried their best to make me go online, the banks were the easiest to deal with, we popped in, they made an appointment and told mum what she needed to bring and dealt with everything in a side room, giving us privacy, access to a phone and support and guidance.

It took 8 weeks after my dad died to get everything sorted, the pensions are now being paid into a bank account, the new direct debit payments have been set up, Dad's car sold and insurance cancelled at no additional charge (which was an added bonus) his name has been removed from all the utility bills etc, the house was on the market, the garage and attic emptied and most of his stuff has been sold.

We've managed it all without using the internet to get things done. Obviously I've been googling the arse off everything before we've done anything, making sure we've covered all basis, but mum needed to be able to hear/see what I was doing so she could deal with things in the future herself and not have to keep on relying me to do things for her.

We hit a barrier last week when I had to return to Dubai and an influx of paperwork arrived for Mum to fill in, in regards to selling her house and the purchase of her new flat. We did have to eventually rely on the internet. There was no other way of doing it. I'd scanned all mums documents before I left and the solicitors were able to send everything to me electronically to save Mum having to photograph every letter and send it to me via facebook, but we hit a high hurdle, when it came to me relaying the information back to the UK on what to fill in as mum's phone wouldn't play ball and she was struggling to read the print on the small screen. It also didn't help by the fact the company who built the property she was purchasing were phoning her up saying they'd been in touch with her solicitor, could you hurry up with the forms and then endless letters from the purchaser solicitors asking questions about building and planning permission for her current property that she'd purchased with my dad in 2001.

I completed forms, took a photo and sent it back to her, I made endless and very expensive phone calls back to the UK, there was confusion, missing forms, information my mum was unable to find, but in the end we got there and all the paperwork was sent off over the weekend. Any further paperwork will be sent back and forth via the teen who will then print it out for my mum to copy, to save her the stress.

When Mum moves she will have access to the internet, she has a new laptop which currently has only her photos on it and she will hold out as long as possible from having to go online to get things done. There's a whole generation of people out there who don't want to use the internet and companies need to take this into consideration and stop assuming it will make everyones life easier, it doesn't. Half the time to a lot of people it just causes more stress.

I really do dread to think what happens to people who don't have family around to support them during difficult times. They say the 5 most stressful things in life to deal with are Death, Divorce, Moving, Major Illness and Job Loss. They take over your life and require endless filling in of paperwork and tight deadlines in which to complete, all of which is overwhelming on top of the situation you are facing.

Do you find you have to do everything online these days? Do you prefer it or would you rather go back to receiving paperwork and being able to pop into the office to speak to someone face to face rather than getting put on hold to call centres?

Alcohol, Parents and Teens.

Last week on #TweensTeensBeyond Co-Host Mother of Teenagers asked 'What is Responsible Drinking for Parents?' I am a great believer that children follow by example and experience has shown me that if parents drink heavily or un responsibly in front of their children it can lead to them consuming alcohol at an earlier age.

I rarely drink when I'm on my own. There have been quite a few times when I've had a call in the middle of the night which has resulted in an emergency dash to a hospital with a child or for a family member. There was a situation about 12 years ago when I poured myself a rum and coke before bed and I was distracted by a last minute 'hunt the PE kit' when hubby phoned to say he'd arrived back at Heathrow but his luggage and car keys hadn't and I had to bundle 4 kids into the car and drive down from Worcestershire with the spare keys.

Back in 2014 I worked with South African Breweries whilst living in South Africa to raise awareness of their 18+ campaign to educate children and teenagers about the dangers of drinking and to say no to alcohol. It covered a range of subjects from signs your child is drinking, talking to your teen about alcohol and alcohol responsibility at social events. Part of the campaign included a family day out to Sun City where we spent the day on Segways providing us with the opportunity to talk about the dangers of drinking alcohol. I had another opportunity and a captive audience a few weeks later when the teen and I spent 27 hours on the Shosholoza Meyl Train traveling from Joburg to Cape Town.

Peer pressure is one of the biggest reasons kids drink. Adverts in the media show young adults, drinking alcohol and having fun, being grown up. TV adverts glamourize alcohol and the message of ‘enjoy responsibly’ is rarely taken in as a warning, more of a slogan.

There are many reasons as to why under 18s drink alcohol, they mimic behavior of others around them, their friends and family members, they may complain of being bored, stressed, unhappy, lack confidence, want to rebel or are angry. There could be death in the family, a change of school, not doing as well in their subjects as they wanted. 

Many teenagers go though these stages and not all take to drinking alcohol, some may take drugs also, self harm or become reclusive, some have eating problems. But not all teenagers resort to the above, some will choose to talk to a parent, a teacher, a family member or a friend. From an early age we teach our children about the rights and wrongs, we teach them to say pleases and thank yous to say no to strangers if offered sweets or a lift. We can empower our children from an early age to say NO to anything they don’t want to do, teach them to walk away, ask them will these so called friends be there to help them in a difficult situation? Teach them the concesquences of their behavior, their actions, even the future implications on their working and family lives and future relationships. A lot of what you say may appear to go in one ear and out the other, but they take in a lot more than you realise.

I've fallen out with many a friend because they've purchased alcohol for their child, as they put it 'to control the situation' I’ve had children to sleep over who've brought alcohol with them and had my kids return from parties where alcohol has been provided by parents. I’ve seen parents sneaking a bottle of alco pops to their children as as they call it ‘it’s not proper alcohol anyway’

As a child we had alcohol in the house, my parents weren't drinkers, in fact my Mother doesn't like the taste of alcohol and even as an adult has felt peer pressure to 'let herself go, unwind and have a drink'
We also have alcohol in the house and while I enjoy a glass of wine or a spirit from time to time, I rarely drink in the week and hardly ever alone. I tend only to have more than a few when we have visitors for a braai or a party and only have an alcoholic drink when out if hubby is driving and doesn't have any alcohol. I usually volunteer to be the driver because I don't NEED alcohol to have fun and to be honest too may people here tend to think one or two drinks won’t impair their ability to drive and besides as they say ‘I’ve had something to eat, it’ll be out my system soon’

I must say for us now with no children living permanently at home we tend not to invite friends with children round to social gatherings and many of our friends have babes in arms, we have never allowed our children alcohol at home other than to have a sip to try it when they’ve pestered and every time they’ve been disgusted by the taste and ask why do we drink it?

When the eldest child turned 18, we were in America where the drinking age is 21. We bought him a bottle of cider and he didn’t drink it, I guess being given permission by your parents isn’t a lot of fun.

The legal age in South Africa to buy and consume alcohol is 18. Alcohol to under 18s is only permitted for religious reasons and can only be given under supervision of the parents. In Dubai the legal drinking age is 21. You also have to have a license to purchase alcohol if you are resident here, which requires you having permission from your sponsor and proving you are not a muslim.

However the legal age in the UK differs greatly, a child under the age of 5 may only be given alcohol under medical supervision, aged 5 drink alcohol only on private premises, aged 16+ with a meal on licenced premises but the adult must order and pay for the alcohol and aged 18+ to purchase and drink alcohol, unrestricted. 

Do you allow your child to consume alcohol? What are your reasons?

Sunday, 29 October 2017

My Sunday Photo - Week 148. Z is for Zoo

For My Sunday Photo for 2017 I decided to use a different letter of the alphabet as a prompt for each week. As we get toward the end of the year I am left with N for New Year. Q, R, S, Xx2, Yx2 (I'm having 4 xmas/yule posts) and Zx2. So as I was bored on Wednesday so I popped along to Dubai Zoo to tackle one of the remaining letters.

All I will say on the subject of my 2 dirham visit with free parking is that I'm grateful most of the animals have already been relocated to the new Safari Park with the rest to follow. However I am a little sad that animals are already being brought in from their natural habitats to fill the new Safari Park.

With the internet, apart from breeding and conservation programmes I really don't feel there's a need for Zoo's in this day and age other than for revenue and entertaining families. Also having lived in South Africa for 4 years and having camped on several occasions at Kruger National Park, I can safely say this is the last time I will be visiting a zoo and I will definitely NOT be visiting Dubai Safari when it opens.

I leave you with a couple of photo's from my visit and you can make up your own mind as to whether we need zoo's and safari parks in this day and age.

Please read this link about how and why Dubai Zoo was set up. All the animals were either confiscated by customs, including 2 Gorillas, or donated by residents who were keeping them in their homes. Yes people really do keep Lions in their homes in Dubai and they often escape.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

One daily Positive - Week 43

Don't be fooled by this weeks photo's. I have dragged myself out the house this week as Peter has been away, I've been incredibly lonely, very ill with pneumonia and extremely stressed with events in the UK, due to miscommunication and not on my behalf. To say I feel cross and let down is an understatement and I'll leave it there.

We're still waiting to find out when our moving date is, so we can reserve a new build town house, hopefully we'll find out soon, but with Peter being the one with the work visa it has to all be done through him and with him travelling and pinning him down to make the calls it's tricky. So I've started having a sort out regardless and it's soul destroying having spent the past 3 months going through all my dad's stuff, I really can't keep on living in groundhog day. Of course every drawer or room I tackle I find more and more stuff of my dad's here, from his old bedtime books he gave me on a recent visit, from his grandmother, to a pen and a box of paperclips with his old company logo on, to photographs that have yet to be shared with the rest of the family, an album of dad's teenage years, mum helped me smuggle out the attic last October, ready for me to start sorting something for dad's 80th birthday. Sadly he died just short of his 78th.

295 Sunday Silver. Spent most of the day back and forth between Doctors, getting diagnosed with walking pneumonia. As in the patient doesn't realise how ill they are. Bad cough, bone pain and high white blood cell count. Leukaemia was ruled out in early July, whilst I was in the UK, but I obviously had some infection, still waiting to find out if it's viral or bacterial. My Pandora jewelry all tells a story, linked to my family and life.

296 Monday Cosy. Met a friend for coffee in the morning and slept most of the afternoon before house viewing in the evening. The world doesn't stop just because I'm ill and with no one to do these things for me, what else am I to do.

297 Tuesday Brown. Called in at Dubai Mall to pay some long over due medical aid cheques in, but apparently I need to go to my own branch for that. The canal looks far nicer at night time when it's all lit up.

298 Wednesday My Joy. Still tempting to clean the house, hubby has hoovered and cleared up after himself while I was away for 3 months but it's not 'Suzanne' clean and I decided to spend some time on the beach, because I can, but I was back in the car within 15 minutes of taking this picture, too hot, too ill and too much of an effort.

299 Thursday Purpose. Lazy morning and a bit of housework, it was hard work and took me way longer than it should have done. Was collecting hubby from the airport at 9pm. It was our wedding anniversary, which we both forgot, although I had packed a card in his case when he left the UK in September which he did find later in the afternoon and I'd forgotten all about and he bought me a rose and chocolates on arrival in Duty Free. I called in at Ikea to buy 2 more storage units to replace an old MFI desk.

300 Friday My Town. Catching up on sleep from last night and started sorting the study and craft room. Started to develop a migraine, took a walk over the local shops, phoned hubby to collect me within 15 mins, felt sick, slept in the spare room.

301 Saturday Wide Angle. Headachy, but much better after a solid sleep, ate plenty of fruit and took myself over the shops for a coffee and some blogging. I hate being stuck in the house, regardless of how ill I feel, I need to get out and it's still too hot, just to sit outdoors. I don't think the air con helps, I hate the noise of it and the cold feel on my skin. They've knocked down half our street and the next 2 streets back from us as well this week, good job we're moving, suspect apartments will be built and it'll be dusty and noisy for the next year or so.

On the blog this week:

My Sunday Photo N is for Normal.  Still drinking coffee and blogging just in slightly different surroundings.

PoCoLo Moving House in Dubai, Part 1. Giving notice and choosing an agent and removal company.

TweensTeensBeyond and TriumphantTales Advice for a new mum. I've been parenting since 1992 and to behest with you, like giving birth, I've actually forgotten what it was like to raise kids.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Moving House in Dubai Part 1

Handing in your notice:

You need to give written notice of 90 days to your landlord as per your tenancy agreement. I'm seriously hoping that a WhatsApp message to the Land Ladies daughter will suffice or we'll be staying put. The last two years we've rearranged the new teensy agreement this way and last year, it was how the 5% increase in rent was relayed to us via WhatsApp also. So far the only response I’ve had is that we’ll get the deposit back once we’ve settled the DEWA (electricity and water) account. 
Our contract states we mustn’t remove anything attached to walls, so must I sssume we leave the curtain poles in place? It’s the only thing we’ve put up and that the house must be clean.
I’ve heard other contracts stipulate the house must be repainted and all plants removed from the garden. As our garden was bare other than a patch of half dead grass and 2 office chairs, I’ll be digging up our shrubs and small trees regardless.

Contacting an agent: 

Google ‘houses to rent in Dubai’ there are quite literally 100’s if agents. Set a budget, location, size of house (number of bedrooms) and be prepared to have agents a) ring you within several minutes with a list of available properties or b) not reply to your calls at all. 
Ask agents to ‘drop a pin’ on WhatsApp but be prepared that a) you’ll never find that location or b) the agent fails to turn up.

We’re moving to downsize, save money and be closer to Peters work. Downsizing and small are not words that Dubai are familiar with. Most of the properties viewed so far are bigger than where we are now, it have gardens of epic proportions. 

Some things to take into consideration when renting a new property:

Does the landlord accept pets? Does the land owners ie construction company allow pets on their land they manage? I know of a couple of areas in Dubai where pets are allowed in the buildings (mainly apartment blocks) but the land owners have declared the outside area a ‘dog free’ zone.

Will the landlord be doing any work to the property? What? Timescale? Decorating before you move in? Landscaping the outdoor area? What are the t&cs in regards to repairs? It is common that the tenant is responsible for repairs up to AED500. Make sure all this is in writing. 

Find out how many cheques the landlord will accept. It’s commercial n to pay rent a year up front. Some places will accept 2-4 cheques in advance for the year, but the price will go up if you accept this method and remember it’s illegal in Dubai if a cheque bounces and you will face prosecution if you don’t have the funds. You’ll also require a deposit. 

Agents fees? You’ll need to budget for them also, but don’t expect them to manage your rental agreement, that’s between you and your landlord. 

Getting a quote for packers and moving:

You’ll find details of removal companies in adverts on the rental agents pages. Find out if they’ll pack and unpack and if insurance is included and over how many days they’ll move you.

Here are some of the properties we’ve been looking at.
We’ve decided we want to rent a townhouse. They are 3 beds but much smaller and with less outdoor space than the 2 bed villas. Both properties are however the same price to rent.
There are only so many different styles to townhouses and villas, so preference comes down to location and quality of property.
We want to be within walking distance of the mall/shops and access to public transport and not on the front row on the entrance road.

2 bed villa

3 bed townhouse