Expat Life in Dubai

Dubai House Rentals

February 4, 2011

contrary to what you might have read/heard/gossiped about, the rentals here in dubai are still as high as the skycrapers along sheikh zayed road, well that’s for someone like me – a third-world citizen.

Disclaimer: i may have said it a lot – “third world citizen” in my previous blogs. i just want to make it clear that i’m not ashamed of my nationality nor do i put down my own people. it’s just that, there’s an unspoken caste system here in dubai to which your nationality defines your social status. i don’t get bothered by it though, i’ve been here for 3 years now and i’m used to being called “you filipinas” by a pakistani cab driver when he doesn’t want to go to the place where i’m going. i just call RTA about him. tee hee.

when i was new here in dubai (younger and clueless) i used to live with 5 people….. in one room and here, if you’re living with JUST 5 people in one room, it already is considered a “luxury” – that is if you compare it to 10 people living in one. two people can’t walk side by side going in and out of the room, it’s a one way flow of traffic if i must say. i can’t say that i don’t like my roommates then because i had a fabulous time living with them but there are times when you just want to have some peace and quiet and your other roommates decided to invite some friends over for drinks. well, you really have to compromise a lot of things with the people you’re living with if you’re a bedspacer.

so after about 2 years of sleeping on the upper deck of a bunk bed, i have decided to get a room with lesser people living in it. that’s the time when dubizzle.com became my frequently visited site other than facebook. 🙂

living in comfort in dubai comes with a price – a HUGE price and i’ve noticed one trend though, if the person who’s renting out a room is a filipino then the price will always be higher compared to the rooms being rented out by other nationalities on the same area and sometimes even on the same building. it’s always a minimum of AED500 difference which can go up to AED1000 or even more. well i guess corruption is not only for politicians. i have no qualms living with other nationality but i still prefer my own kind. different nationalities in one house can get messy (literally and figuratively). first off, your way of life will be different and the most important part is you might be of different religion too although for me it’s not really a big issue but some people are just really “hardcore” believers and i’m perfectly fine being a low-key catholic, i just can’t give up eating pork though. 🙂

after months of searching and walking the streets of dubai every night, me and my new roommate KiKi found a great place in Oud Metha being rented out by an Indian guy who’s married to a Filipina. it was the best deal for us, the area wasn’t crowded compared to bur dubai and deira and we really got along with the family living with us. my roommate is a good cook, i can probably sue her for making me gain weight during our 1 year stint in that house. yes, unfortunately it’s only a year and some few months as my roommate had to move out and live with her husband.

so once again, i’m left with no choice but to browse thru all the ads on dubizzle which is harder that time as i’m the only one searching for it now. i’ve encountered incredulous and funny landlords along the way. from people renting a bunk bed with the price of the upper bed AED100 lower than if you’ll sleep on the lower bed. apparently, there’s also a caste system inside your very own room here. hahaha. or people having 10 people fit in a room good for only two, it seems to me that the owners of the flat will put a bed or anything you can sleep on as long as they see the tenants still walking comfortably around the room. getting a room in a flat which isn’t crowded here in dubai and would fit my measly budget is like looking for santa claus in the amazon jungle – hard but maybe possible. just maybe.

but searching for a house may probably be the your only chance of meeting really funny landlords:

(it’s funnier in tagalog but ok, for the benefit of my non-tagalog speaking readers, i will translate it to english)

Mi: ate, ilang bedroom ang flat niyo?
ATE: 3bedroom plus maid’s room
MI: ilang tao ang nakatira ngayon?
ATE: bale ngayon isang room pa lang ang occupied, so 9 pa lang silang nakatira sa flat.

translation:

Mi: how many bedrooms do you have in the flat?
LANDLORD: it’s a 3 bedroom flat with a maid’s room
Mi: so how many tenants do you have now?
LANDLORD: for now, it’s only one room which is occupied so i have about just 9 people staying there.

** i think the landlord is trying to make a whole community inside the flat.

Mi: ate, inquire ko po yung room for rent. how much po ang monthly? ATE: ilan kayo?
MI: ako lang pong mag-isa.
ATE: ah yung master’s bedroom kasi ay good for 8 person. 4200 yun, kung magisa ka lang pwede ko ibigay sayo yung isang partition for 2400.
MI: ate ok ka lang? makakakuha nako ng isang room for 2400 eh.
ATE: 3br kasi yung apartment namin.
MI: ilang tao po ang nakatira?
ATE: 20. MI: sige ate, thank you!

translation:
Mi: i just want to inquire about the room for rent
LANDLORD: for how many people?
Mi: just myself
LANDLORD: the master bedroom is AED4800 but i can give you the partition for AED2400 (a partitioned room is 1 room divided by a plywood in the middle to create two rooms)
Mi: i think i can get a room for myself with that amount
LANDLORD: well, it’s a 3br apartment
Mi: how many people are currently living?
LANDLORD: 20
Mi: great! thanks!

** another person running for mayoral candidacy

well anyway, those two are the remarkable ones that i can still remember. hehehe. i’ve already found my own place and i’m perfectly happy with it but then again, i’m still logging on dubizzle from time to time…. a cheaper place might come up, you never know. 😉

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