My Own Home: Meet the woman looking to sell her 10-bedroom Dubai mansion for Dh200m

Nicole Rodrigues has been a homeowner in Dubai for the past 20 years and loves life on Palm Jumeirah

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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 in 2003 that Nicole Rodrigues bought her first home in Dubai with her now ex-husband. It was in the Springs and she has not looked back since.

Today, the founder of Diva Dubai Model Agency and Diva Development Dubai has lived in Palm Jumeirah for the past 18 years. And she wouldn’t live anywhere else, she said, as she resides in and creates luxury homes for billionaires on the most exclusive fronds.

The National takes a tour of her latest 10-bedroom mansion.

Please tell us about your home

I bought it about a year ago. I picked it up when it was half built for about Dh83 million-Dh84 million ($22.6 million-$22.8 million) and I put in another Dh35 million to complete the whole house.

If someone comes and pays me my price [it’s listed for Dh200 million], I’m happy to sell it, but it’s not like buyers who pay that number come every day. It has to be somebody who really needs what I’m offering because there’s nothing else like this on the market.

You have the basement and three floors, plus you’ve got the roof terrace. You’ve got 10 bedrooms, six staff rooms and outer security rooms.

There’s a massive swimming pool, a spa, sauna, steam, cold bath, cardio gym and the weight-training gym, a cinema, an entertainment area and an outdoor bar area.

Plus it’s on H frond, so there’s no villa opposite, which makes it really exclusive, very private and you’ve got this fantastic view of Atlantis The Royal.

How have you furnished it?

It’s fully furnished with high-end luxury designer furniture, such as Fendi, Versace, Roberto Cavalli. I think it’s fun, it brings the fashion aspect into construction.

A lot of times people like buying homes, but once they have the home, they don’t know how to put it together.

What’s your favourite part of the house?

My home office. I love it. It’s the place where I spend the most amount of time. I’m a workaholic. I love being in a space where I can create and do things and plan.

What elements of sustainability did you consider when constructing the house?

In terms of the choice of materials, the wallpaper, we used recycled items as well … our solar panels cover all our rooms.

I think it’s extremely important to ensure that sustainability is taken care of and accounted for in construction or when anything is being made today. Going forward, we’ve got to ensure that we’re using products and things that are good for the next generation.

But it’s not as though the whole thing is sustainable, because you can’t really do luxury with full sustainability. You’ve got to bear this in mind, you still may need to maintain the luxurious aspect of it.

You should at least try with whatever you can – it's baby steps towards the bigger picture.

Why do you love Palm Jumeirah so much?

I have other homes around Palm Jumeirah and we were among the first ones to move here. I’ve owned so many homes that I’ve bought and sold.

It is our eighth wonder when you think of it. It’s just fabulous, there’s nothing like it.

What financial benefits are there to owning over renting?

I think everyone should own their home. When you want to leave, you can always get that money back and it goes into savings.

It goes into the next generation and you start getting into the habit of legacy planning, thinking about the children, having some sort of security for them.

We started with a home in the Springs 20 years ago, then we went to the Meadows, then Arabian Ranches, then Palm Jumeirah.

How do you decide which development is right for you?

I think it all depends on where you are in life. I mean, I think that in 2000 to 2003, when I was starting up and setting out to build, I think the Springs was great. It was fabulous to have a three-bedroom home, which is probably 120 to 150 square metres, not much more than that.

Then you move up to 200 square metres. Today I’m sitting in a house that’s 2,500 square metres. But you’ve got to understand, there’s no jumping to the goal. It’s steps, being consistent is important. You’re constantly going forwards building and expanding, building and expanding.

You just have to have patience and be resilient, keep working hard, have a focus and a goal and keep manifesting.

Updated: May 22, 2024, 9:53 AM