Moving to a new country can be daunting. One must learn how things are done, communicate with the locals all the while trying to make it work every day and just figure out how to survive in the new land. As the move and adjustment to the lovely emirate of Fujairah seemed easier than usual, preparation is indeed needed to find a home (flat/apartment).
Before moving on, a brief history lesson about the emirate of Fujairah. Although Fujairah is the youngest among the seven Arab Emirates, as it only became independent from Sharjah in 1952, but it’s represented as a historical place. It no longer has high buildings or that hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a city to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Arab nature. If you like to take photos, then you will be very busy in Fujairah capturing the most amazing pictures of the Gulf nature. Fujairah is a real jewel of Arabia covered by sandy white beaches. It is home to some of the finest and most charming beaches in the United Arab Emirates.
Fujairah is the only Emirate that is located on the Persian Gulf coast, and is washed by the waters of the Indian ocean. The Emirate of Fujairah features amazing natural landscapes in the UAE. You will view the magnificent mountain peaks, deep gorgeous, picturesque valleys and waterfalls, instead of seeing the sandy deserts and artificial vegetation. The water of Fujairah’s waterfalls helps for treating diseases of the joints and skin, which makes it very attractive to a number of tourists all over the world. (ThanksPropertyFinder.ae)
Now, knowing that Fujairah is the youngest of the Emirates, then an apartment building or home/villa must be found. There are a few ways to locate a home. One can either:
1. Use Dubizzle.com,
2. Find a realtor, or
3. Locate the buildings his/herself and call the numbers.
First, using Dubizzle is an easy way to go. Dubizzle is the UAE version of Craiglist. Although there is Craiglist is here, there is nothing of use on it. This way is the easiest because it will circle to a realtor or a building owner. Therefore, the realtor or owner can set up a meeting and display the listings. The only bad thing about using this website is that not all the listings are shown so you may have to move to the next step.
Another outlet, there are plenty of realtors around Fujairah. Some of the realtors can be found in the Etisilat Yellow Pages or in the The Fujairah Observer. How can one know who to use? The potential tenant just will have to call and ask. If the link is clicked above, it should take you to a Fujairah Yellow Page Entry for them. Although this site does not want to appear biased, but for brief period of time we were using KW Properties. This company worked really hard to find a place for us but due to certain restrictions (our dog Lucy), we were not able to close on a location. If you are in Fujairah and want to get in contact with KW Properties, leave a message and email the site. Email us anyway but for faster service, just click the link: KW Properties. The key thing to remember is realtor fee.
The third outlet is the hardest which is to drive around and find the buildings on your own. This way is the most difficult because you will need a vehicle, knowledge of the area, have GPS (Navigation), and have a mobile (cellphone) to contact the building owners directly. With these buildings, one will call the number and that number may set you up with the watchman of the building. This person will then take you to see the apartment or the style that is available. If feeling adventurous then this is the way to go.
These three ways are the most common options for finding long-term accommodations. It all depends on what your needs are. Does the place need to have a pool, gym or be near a large grocery store? Also, the size of the apartment does help with finding a location. Just choose the best way possible. Know the limitations or restrictions and be honest.
What did we do?
After mentioning the previous ways of locating an apartment, we had found a apartment using a combination of a the three ways. In the end, it was Dubizzle that gave the assist. We tried driving around to different areas, calling numbers on the buildings, and even went with a realtor but due to certain animal "restrictions" it was indeed hard to find an apartment. We could have called the number on the building but ended up going through the advertisement to contact the building owner.
There were two possible ways to go. If we had chosen the route with the Realtor, the realtor would have set up everything for us. We could have just moved in without any worries, but we opted for the do it yourself method. It was largely due to the amenities that we chose the apartment. The apartment with the realtor was a spacious two bedroom, kitchen, balcony, wardrobe in the master bedroom, ceiling fans and with other perks. The second apartment, the one without the realtor had a pool, gym and plus everything the other apartment had except the ceiling fans and the dog is also on the lease agreement. Once you have the lease agreement/rental contract, then these steps must be fulfilled to authorize the contract. You will need your Emirates identification card to set up everything.
What did you have to do for the Lease Agreement?
Since option two was chosen, there were a few steps to set up the apartment. Please understand, when we came to the UAE we had enough money to live in a hotel. As the months went by, we saved everything that we could beside for certain expenses. Also, if you just arrived, ask for checks from your bank when you sign up with a bank. The checks will be needed. The rent is usually paid in quarters (every three months). As we went for the agreement we had to have the first quarter rent, a security deposit, processing fee for new contract and 3 checks made out for the amount the rest of the year. These checks are post dated which maybe referred to as PDC (post dated checks). Some feel that it is a lot of money to start up with, but I had saved a good portion of money. For example, if living in the hotel cost about 6,000 aed a month (a bit on the hight side), then over a twelve month time, a person will have paid 72,000 and not add on room service. If the rent is 55,000 for the entire year, then the renter is coming out cheaper because 6,000 at the hotel vs 4,833 a month for the apartment. I know there are bills but we haven't received them yet so that can not be used as evidence. The building owner will also give two accounts that are needed, but these will be for later when it is time to turn on the utilities and the internet/tv service.
*The article will be edited and updated once we have received the bills. For now, internet service, which is talked about later is costing us about 360 aed a month for efamily service which covers home phone, a package for television, and internet services at 20 mbps. When we have created an average for the water and electricity then we can add that here.
After signing the lease, the contract needs to authorized by the government. The contract must be taken to Fujairah Municipality. This place DOES NOT takes cash. The fee that must be paid is 2% of the entire cost contract (percentage is subject to change). Make sure the money is withdrawn from the bank. The FJM only takes payment from cards given from the National Bank of Fujairah. The process is to go to the FJM and get it authorized. The government employee stamps it and tells you the cost. Then you go back to customer service and fill out the form for a prepaid card. Once the form is accepted and you receive the card in the same day, you will take the card to the NBF teller machine. Insert your cash but include an extra 20 for processing fees.
After, leaving the FJM, then head over to FEWA. FEWA is the Federal Electric and Water Authority. Here, bring your original and a copy of your Emirate id. If it is available, you can pay for copies. You will also need the account given by the landlord to turn on the water and electricity. At FEWA, an application needs to signed and filled out. Also, a deposit of 2,050 will be needed. it will be returned after the contract is completed. FEWA does take card.
After getting the contract authorized and the water and electricity, the contract will then need to be returned to the leasing officer, company or building owner. Once the power and water are turned on, the company can commence having the apartment cleaned. While the apartment is being cleaned, it will take about three to five days to get the keys made. In the apartment, which is a two bedroom, it has five sets of keys. The keys go to the laundry room, master bedroom, second bedroom, main door and kitchen. Once these keys have been received, the tenant is now able to move in. The key amount will be different depending on where you are but be sure that if your apartment has had a previous tenant that they do change the locks and give you at least 2 sets of keys.
What to expect?
Finally, after the tenant is ready to move in, there are a few things that must be known. The main thing to be aware of is when getting an apartment in Fujairah, the majority will be unfurnished. The tenant will need to purchase a washer, refrigerator and all sorts of furniture to make the apartment a home. If tenant is currently residing in a hotel, I found that it was best to get about 30,000-50,000 aed saved up depending on how much your flat will cost. `If you are in a crunch however realtors are flexible and willing to work with different financial needs and circumstances. Our apartment is on the expensive end of the spectrum for Fujairah. Remember all the things that must be paid for before you ever move in.
Since it is a two bedroom, the cost of furniture may be higher than one would like to spend. We have a full living room set. This is includes an arm chair, a two seater and a three seater couch. Also there is coffee table and tv stand. The dining room has a four seater table. There is a bedroom set but the mattress was purchased separately. The second bedroom which is an office is filled with two desks, futon. The kitchen needed a gas stove and refrigerator. A microwave was also bought. There are a few other things needed but they are coming. The laundry room has a washing machine. The best thing, strictly opinion, is to purchase all these items during Ramadan because of the massive sales. If the tenant is moving during this time then it is highly recommended. It can ease the cost of moving. Another piece of advice, if the tenant has a one bedroom or studio apartment the start up cost is less but remember that Fujairah is still geared towards family. It is not difficult to find a one bedroom but more difficult to find a studio. If you are a single man, it may be hard to find housing if he is a bachelor to live in some buildings. This is what has been relayed by some single male friends. This may change in the future. Just be aware of cultural practices.
As we await for the delivery of our furniture, the excitement is building. The last thing that will be done is to sign up for internet/television service. The next place would be to go to is Etisalat. There are two providers DU and Etisalat. Also, find out which area is the sole provider for the area. It will help cut the time down. From section discussing the lease agreement, the lease provider gave two accounts: one for FEWA and the other for Etisalat. Then go to the Etisalat Tower (building shown on the left) to turn on the service chosen.
Moving into a new place is exciting and tiring. It is increasingly so if one is learning what to do on the fly. Once these things have been learned or one has been made aware, the move will not appear to be so daunting.