My RAK Rent: Relocation expert swapped the bustle of Dubai for a quiet life by the sea

Deborah Bellis Wyborn now pays Dh70,000 for a three-bedroom villa after her previous landlord served her an eviction notice

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My 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

Deborah Bellis Wyborn was spending so much time relaxing in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) at the weekends with friends that she wondered why she didn't just move there permanently.

So she took the plunge and moved out of Dubai, relocating to RAK, where she pays Dh70,000 in rent for a three-bedroom villa by the sea.

Ms Wyborn, who runs her own relocation company, Relocate MENA, said she has never looked back since moving seven months ago.

The 52-year-old from the UK invited The National into her home to see why she made the move from the city to the seaside.

Why did you choose to live here?

There were a number of reasons. I had lived in several gated communities in Dubai over the years but a lot of my friends had made the move to RAK.

I was spending a lot of time in RAK as a result, especially at the weekends when I would do a lot of travelling back and forth.

It meant the majority of my quality free time was spent here so I began thinking about moving permanently.

House prices in Dubai were going through the roof and when an agent contacted me to say there was this amazing property available in RAK, I didn't think twice.

How much do you pay in rent?

The landlord originally asked for Dh80,000 but I offered him Dh70,000 and he accepted.

I was living in a town house before in Damac Hills 2 and now the same property is being advertised for Dh150,000.

I was paying Dh70,000 for a five-bedroom until the landlord served me an eviction notice.

That's more than twice what I am paying to live by the sea with stunning views of Saraya Islands.

What is the community like where you live?

I live in Al Mataf and there's a real sense of community here. There are lots of Emirati families who live close to me so it definitely feels very traditional.

It's lovely here. It's super-quiet and relaxing. The scenery all around me is gorgeous.

I thought I would miss the hustle and bustle of life in Dubai but that hasn't been the case at all.

It's only about a 15-minute drive to the mall. When I lived in Damac Hills 2 it would often be an hour and 10 minutes' drive into the centre of Dubai.

I realised quickly that I wasn't really missing out on anything, especially as I work a lot from home anyway.

There's a real coffee culture here too. There are so many brilliant, little independent coffee shops everywhere.

At the weekends you'll see groups of people together in the most obscure places that you wouldn't ever think of going into, the reason is because the coffee there's so good.

You don't get many branches of Starbucks or Costa here.

What touches have you made to make yourself feel more at home?

My home's my haven. My house is full of plants and pillows, as well as cats.

Are you glad you swapped Dubai for Ras Al Khaimah?

I've got so much peace of mind living here. There are so many expats moving here from other emirates, especially those from the UK.

A lot of people are moving here because it offers a change of pace.

The cost of rent is so high in Dubai as well, which is another factor.

People don't want to pay those prices unless they absolutely have to. If you've lived here for a certain amount of time you'll want to save money where you can.

It's about the value of money for many.

Living here you get all the scenery of the sea and the mountains, it's only 20-minutes away from Oman.

It's just so relaxing to live here. Another advantage is that everything is so much cheaper here than in Dubai.

Updated: May 26, 2024, 8:37 PM