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Dhaka



What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

Apartment in Baridhara, very close to the US Embassy. - Apr 11, 2017
Almost everyone is in apartments, which typically have 3-4 bedrooms, and are located in the Baridhara and Gulshan neighborhoods around the Embassy. Commute times depend on traffic -- it can (and has) taken 30 minutes to drive the 0.5 miles home to Baridhara from the Embassy, and it could take up to 1.5 hours to get to Gulshan. - Jun 17, 2016
Almost all housing is apartments. A few people have the first or second floor of a duplex. Commute time to the Embassy ranges from 5 minutes to 15 minutes, but that depends on traffic and it can sometimes take much longer. - May 18, 2016
Apartments are ok but may collapse in an earthquake. - Jun 20, 2015
Most of the housing consists of apartments. - Mar 2, 2015
Apartment high rise. There may still be a few people in houses but that is almost over as they are not seismically safe. I find my apartment very comfortable and huge. 4 bdr, 5 bath (seriously, we use showers as storage space, who needs this many?). I have no complaints on housing. - Sep 29, 2014
The Embassy was transitioning to apartments only. They're pretty decent. You can drive to the Embassy in 5-15 minutes from Embassy housing. - Aug 3, 2014
All embassy housing is within 3km of the Embassy. Large apartments, weird layouts but plenty of space. Not many houses left, as they're torn down and apartments are built. Nothing is seismically safe despite being an earthquake zone. This place will put Haiti to shame some day. - Jul 28, 2014
Embassy personnel live in one of two neighborhoods (Baridhara is close to the Embassy and the school, Gulshan is close to the American Club, stores, and restaurants). Nothing is more than a couple miles from the Embassy, but traffic can turn a 5 minute commute into a 35 minute one. Walking in professional clothes would be a hassle due to mud, dust, heat, and lack of sidewalks. Biking is dangerous because drivers leave NO space between cars and aren't used to sharing with cyclists. Housing is good! The Embassy pool has gone through a major upgrade to become seismically compliant, which has resulted in putting people in new apartment buildings. There are very few single family homes left, but the new apartment buildings are spacious and have good amenities (finished rooftops, balconies). I am single and have a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom apartment. - Aug 9, 2013
Mostly apartments, either near the American Club (Gulshan 2) or the US Embassy (Baridhara). I'm single and I have a 3-bedroom apartment (or 2 bedrooms and an office). Many buildings have rooftop space (mine does). It is a 20-25 minute walk to work, an 8-minute rickshaw ride, or a 5 to 10 minute car ride (depending on traffic). It's either hot and dusty or hot and muddy all the time, so it's a little tricky to walk to work in the morning. Walking is okay in the cooler month(s) but then you have to beware of the swarms of mosquitoes. - Apr 11, 2013
Nice housing here! Most families are in large houses with yards or apartments (no yards). It is getting harder to keep houses in the housing pool, so most new leases are switching to apartments. It seems the apartments have nicer, more open floor plans, fewer maintenance issues, and are safer anyway. We are a family of 4 (3 when arrived) and have a 5-bedroom, 6-bath apartment. - Aug 14, 2011
Apartments, not much more. Landlords have figured out they can make more money on high rise apartments and are tearing down very nice homes to build apartment buildings. The apartments are spacious, but construction is everywhere and you'll be lucky to find a place that isn't sandwiched between two buildings under construction. - Jun 25, 2011
Every Embassy employee lives within 10 minutes of the Embassy, in the diplomatic enclave (Baridhara and Gulshan). Single family homes are being quickly demolished in favor of large apartment complexes, but the apartments for Embassy employees almost all require size waivers (in favor of larger ones).Most other expats I know live in seriously large apartments, either in the enclave or in nearby Banani, which has more shops and restaurants. - Feb 8, 2011
Most housing for expats is in the diplomatic enclave in the areas of Baridhara and Gulshan. There are large houses and apartments. The commute time varies greatly, based on traffic, but most people work and live in the same area. There are a lot of bicycle rickshaws on the road. - Jan 29, 2011
Most of he expatriate community lives in either Baridhara or Gulshan. Most, but not all, embassies, NGOs and aid agencies are there, too. However, the Secretariat of the government where all the government ministries are is 10 KM away, which takes between 1 and 3 hours by car. You could usually walk faster, if walking 10KM were practical. - Jan 7, 2011
Most US Embassy expat staff live in Gulshan and Baridhara. In Baridhara, you might be close enough to walk to the embassy. Gulshan is a little farther away, but unless there is heavy traffic (a high likelihood in the mornings and in the late afternoon/early evening), it's only 10-15 minutes one way. Even with traffic, driving from the embassy to Gulshan was not majorly time consuming- no more than 30 minutes even in the worst traffic. As for housing quality, the embassy housing pool has some very nice apartments and homes, but they also have many that are old, outdated, and have chronic problems. Many of these homes are also very dark, and if you are unlucky enough to be put in a first-floor apartment, you might feel like you are living in a cave! Aside from the crushing workload and long working hours, the poor quality of my housing was one of the worst aspects of my tour. I also had more than one key household appliance burn out -- the load shedding is bad, and it is easy to fry appliances in Dhaka. I advise anyone going to Dhaka (particularly with the US Embassy) to investigate your housing very carefully before coming. There are some very bad houses and apartments in the housing pool, and it may be hard for you to move once you arrive at post and are unhappy with your house or apartment. - Oct 25, 2010
For families, the houses are usually gigantic. For singles and couples, there are some great apartments near the embassy. It takes me 5-10 minutes to walk to the embassy, but I do happen to live near it. - Apr 27, 2010
U.S. Embassy housing is generally large and very nice (the situation for most expats seems similar).It is all located in the diplomatic enclave (which sounds more like a walled fortress than it really is); commutes are 2-15 minutes driving (though this is unpredictable given the traffic). - Oct 30, 2009
The spacious housing offers little storage space. The floors are tile. The bathrooms can have some interesting color combinations, and kitchen layouts may be interesting. There is a mix of houses and apartments. All are within 15 minutes of the embassy. - Aug 6, 2009
A mix of apartments and houses. All are huge, although we hear the units in the housing pool are going to get smaller in the future, there is no evidence of that yet. Almost all are within 10-15 minutes of the Embassy (walking or driving). - Mar 13, 2009
Can't comment. I lived with the extended family, and didn't have to think about this much. My sister lived with a group of Fulbright scholars, however, in Gulshan, and though it was pricy, it seemed to go well. - Nov 20, 2008
Good housing is hard to find. - Oct 27, 2008
Most are big and close to embassy; getting anywhere here takes time because of the traffic. - Mar 2, 2008
housing is excellent. Everyone associated with the embassy lives in baridhara or gulshan. Apartments are spacious and houses tend to have strange layouts and small yards. To the embassy, a typical commute is about 5 minutes. Commute times anywhere around the diplomatic enclave is about 20 minutes (with light traffic). Commute time to downtown is at least an hour. - Feb 24, 2008