After an extremely long hiatus, I am pleased to say I am BACK and I have finally put together my most requested blog post to date. I can finally reveal exactly what it is like living in Cabin Crew accomodation!
During my 6 year stint living in Cabin Crew provided apartments I was extremely lucky to have the most amazing flatmates. I think my opinion and experience would have been extremely different if I wasn’t placed with such lovely people.
On arrival in Dubai back in 2012, I was assigned my first apartment located about 20 minutes away from Downtown Dubai. I managed to find a few snaps that I sent my parents via email when I first arrived. I apologise for the low quality – I wasn’t exactly an Instagrammer back then with my iPhone 4. To be honest I never thought these photos would ever see the light of day again.
This was a 3 bedroom apartment and it was still relatively new when I first joined as Cabin Crew. We each had our own bathroom and we all shared the kitchen, living and laundry facilities. There are 2 bedroom and single apartments available as well however, your tenure and seniority are considered before you can be eligible for a single apartment.
Linen, a shower curtain and towels were provided along with a welcome snack pack. The Cabin Crew starter pack consisted of things like an ironing board, bin, pots and pans, cutlery, glasses and plates. The apartment came furnished so the only things I really needed to purchase were a toaster, microwave, kettle and a hairdryer. The bed frame, mattress, bed side table, dresser and lamp in the bedrooms remain property of Emirates until you choose to leave.
Even though I wasn’t located in the prime position Downtown or by the Marina, I grew to love that apartment. It was nice and quiet, I was located on a high floor and my flat mates were amazing. It was a great community, as there were actually 5 different buildings all accommodated by Crew. Initially, there was only a Costa Coffee shop, All- Day mini mart and the drycleaners where we would send our uniform to be cleaned. Slowly, over the years restaurants, 3 different markets, a nail/hair salon, a dentist, a chiropractor and even a yoga studio opened which made things even easier for us all.
It really wasn’t that bad living in the desert, I remember one morning Eddy called me at 5am and told me to look outside. I was so grumpy that he woke me up but was so glad that I was able to see beauty fly away. You wouldn’t wake up and find this in your backyard Downtown!
Even though I was quite happy with where I was, the opportunity came up for me to move closer to Downtown. It would mean I wouldn’t have to get up as early for flights as the new apartment was much closer to Headquarters and it also meant I would be moving in with friends that I joined with! It was a hard decision to make, as I was so comfortable in the apartment I was already in. Funnily enough, Eddy who at the time was one of my best friends in Dubai was the person to convince me to make the move and looking back now, it was actually the best decision.
He helped me pack and move to a much more spacious apartment in Al Hudaiba. The bedroom was almost double the size of my previous apartment and there was even a guest bedroom which was perfect for when family and friends came to visit Dubai. As it was so much bigger than my previous apartment, a quick trip to Ikea was needed to buy some more furniture because the room just looked too bare. Eddy helped me pick out a chest of drawers, a wardrobe, a bed side table and 3 ottomans. We spent the entire day putting together the new furniture and swore we would never try and do it ourselves ever again. Those instructions did our heads in hahaha. We eventually managed to put everything together and I was much happier with the extra room and storage space!
The common area in this apartment was nearly triple the size of my previous one! It was a much older building but with its proximity to Downtown Dubai and all the extra space a room in this apartment block was in high demand. I was extremely lucky to be given the chance to move here! With two balconies, it also meant I could actually let my washing air dry rather than air-condition dry. With a view of the Burj Khalifa, we were only minutes away from City Walk, La Mer and Dubai Mall which was so convenient.
Typically, the walls in Crew accomodation are painted a white or shade of cream. You may paint either your bedroom wall or common area wall a different colour, however, you will have to pay a fee to repaint the wall back to the original colour upon moving out. The feature wall in our common area went through a couple of phases, it was originally a mushroom brown shade before we decided to paint it yellow. That meant we had to paint it white before the yellow coat could be applied. We weren’t too pleased with the yellow and it eventually remained this blue-ish shade.
Each Cabin Crew building in Dubai has access to a pool/sauna and gym. I hardly ever ended up using these facilities though, I was too busy catching up on sleep. I think in 6 and a half years I visited the gym about 5 times and only used the pool twice!!
Sadly, Emirates decided not to renew the contract at the building after I had lived there for a couple of years. Funnily enough, guess where I ended back up? The exact same building from when I joined. I was headed back to the desert, I guess it was just meant to be!
This time I was assigned an apartment on the first floor and had a much bigger bedroom, you can see the sheer scale from these pictures compared to my very first apartment. I actually had a balcony this time but to be honest I hardly ever used it because it was ALWAYS covered in sand.
Each building has Security and all visitors must sign in and out like most buildings in Dubai. There is also a maintenance team on hand that assist with things like changing light bulbs, fixing the air conditioning or any plumbing issues/leaks you may have. You are also able to request a replacement mattress if you have had yours for a few years. I also received new curtains, replacement common area couches and the entire apartment had a fresh coat of paint applied before I arrived.I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into what Cabin Crew Accomodation really is like! It was amazing not to have to pay rent or utilities for 6 years but now that Eddy and I are back in the real world we have started apartment hunting in Sydney. We want to find just the right place before we take the plunge and buy our first property. Stay tuned for my next post – our quest to find the perfect apartment!