Early hours Friday 17th October 2014 and I had arrived at my hotel city max in Al Barsha 1 this was gonna be my home for the 1st week while I got my bearings, the hotel was very close to the metro line and a 2 min walk to the mall of Emirates and a 5 min taxi ride to my new office of employment.
This was the 1st photo i took in Duabi of the skyline at the marina, this was taken at Barasti beach bar for Octoberfest.
My 1st weekend in Dubai I meet up with a friend who had moved there in the May and he gave me a tour of the city,on my first night there I went to a bar called barrasti which is full of expats and it’s like being in Ibiza or Marbella with the comfy beds on the beach and the view of the sea it has a bar inside and outside with a hug seating area they did food as well which was nice, like a posher weetherspoons.
I visited the biggest mall in the world on the Saturday and got to see the beautiful building the Burj Khalifa I couldn’t get over how big it was it touched the clouds, Dubai has got to be the cleanest country I’ve ever been too, there’s not litter or graffiti anywhere it’s really respected and well looked after.
On the Sunday I had to meet my new bosses and employees at my new place of work, everyone was so friendly and welcoming as they all had moved at some point from England or Russia to Dubai so they knew what it was like, I had to go and have some blood tests done and an X-ray on my chest as this is a standard procedure for moving and working in Dubai at the local health centre which was in Deira about a 25 minute drive from the office up the sheikh zayed road which is there 7 lane motorway.
I had shorts on this day and was told they wouldn’t give me a blood test as I had my legs on show, I had to borrow a scarf and wrap it around my waist to make it look like a skirt, it wasn’t until I went to the health centre I didn’t realises how strict they where on dress code for women, I never made the mistake again.
The 1st week of being in Dubai I had a 3 day course to get my license to become a realtor and had to pass an exam before I could work for the company, it was straight forward and common sense they give you a big book to revise and make notes and you have to score over 75% I scored 88% so I was happy, it took a week for my brokers license to come which had my picture on it and a number to show I was licensed to do the job as some people there aren’t.
My company concentrated on 4 areas in Dubai for properties being the marina, downtown, the springs or the Arabian ranches, there where 6 employees per area who specialised in rentals or sale, I was given the springs area and did rentals which is 2-4bed villas as well as 6-7 bed villas in the lakes which where very posh with private pools, I went out on some accompany viewings to understand how they showed the homes and getting ideas on figures of the market what they would rent for.
As this was a commission based job with no salary is was very competitive and everyone for themselves which I came to find out, other real estate agents would take your clients or be sneaky and make out they where interested to get the listing from you, I played them as there own game as that’s what you had to do to not lose in the business.
I did my first rental within the first week I earned about 600 English pounds on it which is good for a days job, I built up a good customer list and contacts and did a lot of business card droppings through doors and cold calling as call lists in Dubai are available to use to find out who owns what home and there contact details are there at your disposal, I didn’t enjoy the cold calling as when someone rings me in the uk with a ppi claim or an accident claim I just hang up!
I was hurled a lot of abuse over the phone in Dubai and it does get disheartening at times, as this was the bit of the job I disliked the most but we had targets of the amount of calls we had to make a day at least 100 per day every day 5 days a week, I wasn’t aware or ever told how pushy we had to be on the phone.
By November I was getting used to my area I was given and I had about 15 homes under my name I was representing for landlords and 30+ customers on my database, the market for properties is very fast paced in Dubai it changes every day a house can be up for rent in the morning and gone in the afternoon, there are no credit checks there or guarantors required you pay either a year upfront in a cash or 2-3cheques they don’t do anything monthly or via direct debit.
The broker fee is good as you get 5% of the property price in commission and then the company take half and you get the other half at 2.5% paid straight away in to your account as soon as the deals done, I was earning money but enough to get by as living cost is insane I found a 1 bed apartment fully furnished brand new overlooking Ernie Els golf course it was 600sq ft and really small and pokey, this was 6,000 and a month which is just over 1 thousand English pounds a month,the place called home was sports city which is off al Khail road about 15 minutes from the gold and diamond park where my office was.
The building I lived in was nice there was underground parking a pool on the roof with a female and male gym, sauna, steam room, 24 hr security close shops, chemist, restaurants it was the cheapest of areas, as if I wanted to live in the same size apartment elsewhere I was looking at 2-3 thousand English pound per month unfurnished.
My next blog will go into the culture of Dubai, respect and do’s and dont’s and the real cost of living..