My Own Home: Dubai family find their Dh6.4m Arabian Ranches 'forever' house

Polly Williams and her family moved from a smaller three-bedroom home to one with an annexe and a private swimming pool

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My Own Home takes you inside a reader-owned property to ask how much they paid, why they decided to buy and what they have done with it since moving in

Polly Williams and her husband have lived in Arabian Ranches since they moved to Dubai about 10 years ago.

At first they rented, before becoming homeowners five years ago when they bought a home for Dh2.5 million ($680,735).

They had no plans to move, but after a fateful knock on the door by a property agent whose client was keen to buy their home for almost double the price they paid, they upgraded in September to a three-bedroom home in Saheel 1, also in Arabian Ranches, worth Dh6.4 million.

While her old property also had three bedrooms, now they have a two-room annexe for visitors, plus a private pool in the garden.

Ms Williams, 40, managing director at TishTash marketing and PR agency, and her pilot husband, share their “Dubai forever home” with their daughters, Rosa, five, and seven-year-old Esme, who can ride their bikes to school every day.

The National took a tour.

Please tell us about your home

The house is very much my dream home. I have two young children and they were sharing a bedroom in the previous property.

Now they have their own very large bedrooms, so they're very happy. We have a lovely swimming pool and a bigger garden.

For us, it's the kind of home we can grow into with young kids. I don't think we'll need to move house again while we live in Dubai.

Why did you choose Arabian Ranches?

It’s the only place I've ever lived in Dubai and now we have two young daughters who go to Jumeirah English Speaking School. That's a 15-minute cycle ride to take them to school, which is lovely.

We always knew we would stay in the Ranches.

What facilities do you have access to in your area?

We have everything from playing fields to coffee shops in the community centre.

Saheel 1 is a really nice area because it's close to the golf course. Neither of us play golf, but there are nice restaurants there.

There are also nice parks for the kids, and every community has a big swimming pool as well.

There are definitely some nicer community centres out there, but we have a good supermarket and now Dubai Hills is really close, which has one of the best malls.

It’s the greenery and the access to parks that is one of the biggest things about the Ranches that we love, and just being able to walk.

We can walk to the golf club and we are also close to Studio City, so we walk down to the nice coffee shops there.

What renovations have you carried out?

My mother has always said to me, you have to live somewhere for at least a year before you renovate. You’ve got to make sure you're comfortable with it and you know what you want to do.

But as soon as we got in, the first thing we did was renovate the kitchen.

The kitchens in Saheel are quite small. I don't know whether it's a British thing, being in the kitchen and having that island, but everyone congregates there.

We went for an Ikea design and we used a really cool local company called Fronteriors to do the kitchen fronts.

It was not a super expensive way of renovating, it cost about Dh60,000 in all.

How long do you expect to be in this house?

For as long as we're in Dubai, I imagine we will stay where we are.

We already have estate agents ringing us on a regular basis, because the property market is still pretty crazy out there, so you never know.

They say moving house is one of the most stressful things you'll ever do in your life and I think that's probably true.

I did it on my own because my husband was away working.

Moving house with two young kids on your own is not the most fun experience, so I don't feel the need to do that again any time soon.

Hopefully it's our Dubai forever home.

Updated: April 03, 2024, 9:42 AM