My Own Home: Dh2.4m Motor City property still perfect pad after 11 years

Elrona D’Souza and her husband have no plans to move out any time soon

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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

It was early 2013 when Elrona D’Souza and her husband bought their Motor City home.

The HR consultant paid Dh2.1 million for their three-bedroom apartment in Foxhill, which was a premium price at the time, but Dubai had been experiencing a property boom.

Eleven years on and they still love it as much as they did the day they moved in, although they’ve made a few adjustments along the way.

The National took a tour.

Please tell us about your property

It’s a three-bedroom apartment in Foxhill, but it looks quite different to other Motor City apartments, as we changed it to suit our preferences.

How have you renovated since moving in?

We’ve changed the kitchen, the flooring, the toilet, the bathrooms. After 10 years, we redesigned the terrace and the living room was a little bare, so we redesigned that.

In Motor City, we have very, high ceilings, so, to do something of scale, it is not like an Ikea shelf will fit. It's somewhere between a big villa and an apartment in terms of size, so we had to do a little bit more customisation.

For one wall, we did floor-to-ceiling shelves with a wrought-iron railing and a wooden ladder with it. It looks like a library bookshelf.

Are you planning to do anything else?

This year we will redo the kitchen again. We are seeing the wear and tear of it. No one who visits us notices it, but as the people who live here, we’re conscious that it is getting worn out.

We think it's time for change. Plus, all of social media gives you so many different ideas of what kitchens look like nowadays.

How did you choose the style for your interiors?

The home is a mix of two cultures. I’m an Indian who has lived in the UAE my whole life and my husband is German and moved as a resident in 2006. I call myself Indian by passport and Emirati by heart.

We try to represent our backgrounds but also represent us now as a family unit. For example, in the kitchen, we agreed we’d have German appliances, but also granite from India.

We have to respect each other's unique backgrounds. Although they're quite different, we can always find commonalities.

What amenities do you have?

We have multiple pools in the community. We have lots of walking spaces and lots of children's play areas. We have some nice, open fields for the children to play.

There is a dog park at the back, there are even people who have vegetable gardens at the back.

It doesn’t have tennis courts or basketball courts – that they can improve on. We have gyms, but I hear complaints about them not being in the best condition.

Motor City is a very unique development. The Foxhill properties have big terraces and we're all enclosed, so you will just see greenery. You wake up to nature.

You get to hear all the birds chirping and not the irritating crows. Yesterday I saw five parrots just flying past.

From our balcony, you see a beautiful sunrise. My cousin lives down the road and she faces the front, so from there, you see a beautiful sunset.

How has Motor City changed in the years you’ve lived there?

It feels like it's flourishing. Now we have a lot more amenities around us.

There have been new developments, but still, Motor City has managed to stay very serene. It's still very calm, it still has that very inviting feeling.

There's a vibe around it that, no matter how busy the street is, you still feel that it's a really nice and preserved space. It seems to be attracting more and more commercial activity around it. It’s buzzing.

When we moved here, there was enough that we needed. We didn't feel like we were missing out on much. Similar to Dubai, what you have around you seems adequate, then more comes and you look back and wonder how we lived that way before.

Why did you decide to buy instead of rent?

I've lived all my life in UAE, so I was accustomed to living in rental apartments that renew every year. I was quite comfortable with it.

When my husband and I got married, we felt like we wanted to set down roots in Dubai. As he comes from Germany, he has only lived in one home, so for him, rental is all temporary until you buy a home.

I'll be honest, when we bought it, I was a little nervous because I'd never lived in an apartment that I'd owned. Usually, if I wasn't not happy, I'd move, because I had that flexibility.

But I forgot about it the moment we moved in. It really felt like home.

Do you have any plans to move or sell?

Every once in a while we do think about moving to a villa or a bigger place. If we're going to have a family, we think, oh, we need four bedrooms. The temptation comes from that perspective.

But it’s good for the moment. It's just a very spacious apartment and we’re not sure where we’d get the same sort of space anywhere else.

Updated: May 08, 2024, 5:42 AM