Three years ago, housing was affordable. Now, it is not. By not affordable, I mean you can almost guarantee that whatever your allowance is from your company, you will need at least 10 – 20 % MORE (and probably more than that) to get a home that you want. That said, I do not know anything about any of the housing complexes, flats, or compounds. I don’t know anyone who lives in a flat or complex, and I have never been into one. So sorry. Don’t let this discourage you though. I am hearing of some families that are getting lucky and finding a “gem in the rough”, so be persistent and be patient. The hotels here are used to extended stay guests and are very welcoming and comfortable if you need to stay for an extended amount of time.
As far as animals go, all of our animals are rescues from here, so I do not know the process of bringing an animal here with you. I do know that the British vet in Abu Dhabi issues passports for animals and will help you with vaccinations and such. They are very good and reliable. There is a link on their page with information on how to bring your pet into the UAE and vice versa.
Good luck with your move everyone. Sorry I couldn’t have been more help.