The cartons from England have been delivered. A man from Bombay organised a pick-up truck to transfer a few possessions across town for about £12, a mattress is due on Sunday night and the bed and wardrobe should follow on Monday.
After five months in hotels, on the floor of a colleague's then empty flat and now staying with a friend, I am finally about to move into a place of my own.
Not Colditz, the flat with an extensive terrace but three significant problems: there is no access to it from inside, a 7/8ft wall is the only view from all but a tiny part of it and the building is still not read for occupation. Salut!, having given that one up as a bad job, will settle for a small apartment that boasts a large balcony, great views and cheerful rooms with bags of light and, in the case of the lounge, a tree outside the window.
The only drawback is size, or lack of it. It is one room and a hallway short of ideal. But the flat is in an excellent location, Khalidiya, minutes from the Corniche and central Abu Dhabi. And, unlike so much here, it is not hemmed in by tower blocks but occupies the top floor of a converted villa.
Abu Dhabi has achieved so much that is to its credit - economic success, crime-free streets and a high degee of religious and social tolerance - that it can afford to apply some thought, and perhaps some radical solutions, to the appalling accommodation shortage and the rip-off rents and practices that result.
The crisis will not go away, and it is pointless to pin so much faith on skilled people from outside when they cannot get good, affordable homes and struggle to find school places for their children. Rents have shot uo by 30 per cent or more in the time I have been here.
At last I am no longer a part of that crisis. The contract is signed, Mme Salut will soon be on her way back and she will be followed, doubtless in business class, by Monette, the ungovernable French cat that has made more moves in less than three years of life than many people experience in a lifetime.
Born at Giverny, where Monet had his home and gardens (hence the name, necessarily modified to take account of her sex), she has had spells as a Parisian apartment cat, with occasional trips across the Rue de Rivoli to the Tuileries or over to the Bois de Boulogne; toying cruelly with lizards and cigalles on the Mediterranean coast and sulking beneath grey London skies while keeping out of the way of thuggish feline neighbours.
Time will tell how she will take to the Arabian sun.
* For the benefit of Monette, and anyone else who may be interested, more pictures of the flat can be found at Salut!'s overspill site