Monday, April 28, 2014

The-Life-In-Abu-Dhabi Calculator: Chapter 3 - Transportation

Roaming around the city is one way of familiarizing with the place.  If you are a newbie going around Abu Dhabi it is advisable that you take the taxi.

Taxicabs here in Abu Dhabi is not so expensive compared to Dubai.  Flag down rate is around AED 3.00 during the day then a bit pricier by night which starts at AED 4.00.  If you will be riding the taxi around 9 pm and up minimum charge is AED 10 even if the meter reads less than AED 10.  Another plus point when taking the taxicab is you can be assured that you will reach your destination faster and safer than by taking the bus or by walking.  Taxicabs are the best solution if you want to be fresh and on time for an interview or to get to the office faster.  It would be difficult to get a taxi during school days, so better be early to avoid the morning rush.  You can also call a cab through number 600 53 53 53 to pick you up.

A few weeks in Abu Dhabi and you'd want to hop on that bus and explore more of Abu Dhabi.  I did that once, when I was still new here, I decided to be adventurous and took a bus ride.  Took the No. 54 from Hamdan going to Al Wahda mall.  After a few rounds in the mall it was time to go home.  From the same bus stop where I got off, I took the same bus and imagine my fright when the scenery was no longer familiar.  I ended up in Umm Al Naar Petroleum Institute.  Good thing the bus drivers were nice and informed me that I should alight from the bus stop across the mall.  Lesson learned the hard way - I got an earful from the hubby for that.

Anyway, here are some tips when taking the bus:

a.) Bus No. 5 Landmark stops:
                  -  Abu Dhabi Mall
                  -  Tourist Club City Air Terminal
                  -  Central Souq Market/ WTC Mall
                  -  Hamdan Center
                  -  Spinney's Corniche
                  -  Marina Mall

b.) Bus No. 8 Landmark stops:
                  - Lifeline Hospital
                  - Khalidiya Mall
                  - Philippine Embassy

c.) Bus No. 9 Landmark stops
                 - Philippine Embassy
                 - Marina Mall

d.) Bus No. 11 Landmark stops  
                  -  Al Wahda Mall
                  -  Philippine Embassy
                  -  Spinney's Corniche
                  -  Marina Mall

e. Bus No. 54 Landmark stops:
                  - Hamdan Street/ Al Salama Hospital
                  - Central Market Souq/ WTC Mall
                  - Al Wahda Mall

Bus fare is AED 2.00 if within the city, outside the city would be AED 4.00.  Before boarding the bus be sure to have enough change.  Bus cards or "Ojra Bus Pass" are also available in the amount of AED 30 for a week or AED 80.00 for one month.  For more information regarding bus fares, cards and routes click here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Life-In-Abu Dhabi Calculator - Chapter 2 Accommodation

So you have finally landed in the land of the zaby.

What's the next move?  Look for an accommodation, of course.  Some of you who ventured to visit UAE for employment usually has a contact here to assist you in your adventure.  If its your first time to go outside your own country, the first week would probably end up as the sight seeing period.  You would be so overwhelmed with the activities and the culture you are currently in.  The food, the place and even the people are just so interesting.  But after some time the excitement of being in another country subsides a bit, then you'd start thinking about why you came in this country.  The constant issues here for expats are housing and employment.

Finding a lodging where you are comfortable, near where you will work and cheap is very hard to come by.  Something is always missing among the three factors stated.  One factor will always be sacrificed. 

For the individual on a super tight budget.  The cheapest way to get a good night's sleep is through renting a bed space.  Bed spacing is basically what it is called you will only be renting a bed space.  In a room there will be three to four bunk beds.  Therefore there will be 6-8 person in one room.  If you want a little privacy you can put up a little curtain around your space so you will have your own little world within your bed area.  The bed space occupant will also have to deal with sharing toilet with the rest of the flat if the room you are renting doesn't have an attached bathroom.  Occupants can also vary, there are rooms with mix occupants and there are some rooms with one gender occupant.  Bed space cost ranges from AED 750 to AED800 per month. 

bed space picture grabbed from yahoo

For the individual with somewhat more moolah to spare.  The partition accommodation is your type of living space.  The partition rental is a room subdivided by a partition or in other words you will be sharing the room with one individual.  This is lesser crowd in the room and more space for you.  You can use cabinets/cupboards/ or curtains to serve as your divider.  This accommodation costs around AED 1000 to AED 1500 per month

For the individual who can afford a bigger space with privacy you can rent out an entire room.  You can have the entire room to yourself where you can set up your own living space with a sitting area and a small nook where you can eat and entertain.  Most couples/family rent this type of accommodation.  The room costs ranges from AEd 2500 to AED 3500.  The price depends if the room has an attached bathroom or a sharing bathroom.

For those who wants to have the whole units on their own a.k.a. not sharing anything with anybody (I'm not implying you are selfish - you are just shy *wink*)  you can rent out a studio unit or a studio flat.  This actually depends on the number of occupants.  If you are single a studio unit is fine.  But if you are single but likes to entertain a lot, a single bedroom unit is better.  Flats and units depend mostly on the size and location.  Most units located in the CBD will cost higher.  The good thing about living within downtown area is that transportation is easier but if you have a car parking is another issue.  Costs for studio units ranges from AED 30,000 to AED 60,000 annually.   For One bedroom units cost ranges from AED 45,000 to AED 80,000 annually.  If you are lucky, you can also find monthly rental for studio units. 

Advice to those who will be renting out to studio units, check with the agent if the unit has a tawtheeq or checked by the municipality.  A benefit if you have a rental contract and a tawtheeq is that it will be easier for you to get a visa for a family member if you want to sponsor any of them to go here.

Ads for accommodations can be found online through under properties and Dubizzle under properties for rent.  Some public bulletins also post ads like in Abela Supermarket, Spinneys in Corniche and even St. Joseph Church have this ads posted.  If you are keen, you can also find ads posted on lamp posts on the streets or phone booths.  People are just so creative to get the word out with less cost.  

adds on phone booth (grabbed from yahoo)