Yesterday we went out again with our Real Estate agent, Felicia to look at a few more places. Felicia is originally from Sweden (and as such is gorgeous) and has lived in Abu Dhabi off and on from age 13. She's also spent time in Canada, Sweden, the UK and I think a few other places. She knows the area very well and of course is tapped into the real estate scene.
For this trip, we viewed 2 more high rise apartment buildings that are complete except they can't get the final permits that allow them to finally release the apartments and begin move in. There is some confusion and speculation as to why this has been such a challenge. The buildings we saw were originally scheduled to open almost a year ago, but the project got way behind as construction projects are prone to do everywhere. Now, they're ready, but can't seem to get the final paperwork approved. In terms of when they will be ready, we've been told everything from end of February to June, so who knows. The real frustration is that the apartments would be perfect for the team - close to work, nice amenities and within our budget, but the timing is off - we were hoping to move into permanent housing as early as next week, but now it looks like March may be the earliest we can hope for.
You'll also notice I don't have any photos of this trip. For reasons we couldn't understand, security was tight at these buildings. First, Felicia couldn't even secure appointments with more than 2 of the buildings (and there are probably about 6 in total), then we had to sign in 3 different times, be escorted everywhere by at least 3 people, wear visitor badges and promise not to take any photos. It was peculiar. Our only speculation on the subject is that the buildings are finished, but not yet cleaned so maybe they don't want photos getting out that show the properties in less than pristine shape?
So, if the timing will work in our favor, we've found our housing location, but that's a huge IF, especially when we don't even have an idea of when we would know the timing for sure. We'll keep looking in the meantime and keep our fingers crossed that the government provides approval very soon. As nice as the temp housing is, it would be nice to settle in permanently and truly unpack and get organized.