My Dubai Rent: Family pay Dh104,600 for huge three-bedroom flat in heart of the city

Nick Aquino has lived in Al Mankhool since he moved to the UAE in 2006

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My Dubai Rent takes you inside a reader's home to have a look at what they get for their money, how much they pay in rent and asks them what they like and don't like

For Nick Aquino, his three-bedroom apartment, a stone’s throw from BurJuman Mall, is a tropical paradise in the heart of the city.

By adding plants to his flat, Mr Aquino has tried to create an atmosphere that reminds him of being back home in the Philippines.

Mr Aquino, a regional managing director and entrepreneur who runs his own e-commerce business in Dubai, has lived in Al Mankhool and Bur Dubai areas since he moved to the Emirates in 2006.

It was the peaceful environment, accessibility and convenience he said helped him choose the area.

He took The National on a tour of their home to reveal why it is so special to him.

Tell us about your home

Our house is in the centre of Dubai, behind BurJuman Mall.

It’s a 2,852-square foot, three-bedroom apartment with a maid’s room, which I converted to a stockroom for my e-commerce business. I pay Dh104,600 in rent.

My sister, her husband and her two-year-old daughter, and my cousin live with us.

This is a pet-friendly building and I'm an animal lover. I have birds, a dog and fish at home.

I have indoor plants at my house and my home is very accessible to many places. Also, it's a two-minute walk from the BurJuman metro station.

Why did you choose Al Mankhool?

The accessibility is a big plus for me. Also, it's a peaceful environment.

I feel like that when I'm here in this area. On one side there is the latest innovation and technology and on the other side the historical and cultural side of Dubai.

How have you made the apartment your home?

I have created a home-away-from-home concept. The Philippines is a tropical country and we love to have plants inside and outside our homes as much as possible.

I'm really into nature but my work doesn't allow me to stay far from the city. I need to be near the business hubs.

I have tried to convert my home into a tropical setting in the city by adding indoor plants. I like having a touch of nature in my house.

This home is like my stress reliever, a place I can detach myself from the competitive world of business. It's a way of coping up with the daily activities.

Where did you live before?

I have lived in this area for almost 20 years and I have been in this apartment for three years.

I have always lived in the Al Mankhool area in and around Bur Dubai.

I've been staying in this area but keep moving to different buildings.

Is there a sense of community?

I have had relatives in the area since I've lived close by since 2006.

We have weekly gatherings and people come to my place, that is why I see to it that I have a spacious seating area that can accommodate 20 to 30 people at a time.

The community is very peaceful. I always ensure the building is not immediately next to the main road but next to a service road, so that I cannot hear the noise of the cars from my room.

It's a family building so it's not very crowded.

Do you plan to stay in the property?

I'm planning to stay and renew my contract in August for a third time.

Given the chance, I would like to stay for another five years. I am hoping they will not increase the rent as they have been increasing by 10 per cent every year.

Updated: May 19, 2024, 7:50 AM