My Dubai Rent: Estate agent settles down in Dh175,000 villa after hotel living

Inside the new Tilal Al Ghaf villa community with Laura Goldman

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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

A new community with a strong family vibe has proved the perfect destination for Laura Goldman, 36, who has moved to Tilal Al Ghaf after spending almost a year living in a Wafi City hotel.

Ms Goldman, her husband Russell and their two children aged eight and four, were staying in a Sofitel while the community in Al Hebiah 4 prepared to welcome its first residents.

The rent for a three-bedroom townhouse across 1,500 square feet is Dh175,000 a year, which Ms Goldman - who works in real estate for The Urban Nest - says offers value for money for the space they enjoy.

Tell us about your home

Tilal Al Ghaf is still massively under construction but, by 2026, it will be a fully thriving community and luxury resort style living.

We've got the lagoon here, which is a massive draw. Within Elan itself, which is our community, you’ve got two gyms, three pools, lots of recreational areas, parks, splash pads and paddle courts.

We have a lovely outdoor space, it’s small but again, I've tried to be quite clever with the landscaping. There is artificial grass and some nice minimalistic garden furniture, a barbecue area and some planters.

Where did you live before?

Before, we lived in a Sofitel hotel for a year, while we were trying to decide where to live. It became like home for us and everyone knew us and treated us like their own family.

Moving into our own home and having the children being able to let play out in the garden has made a big difference.

Why did you choose Tilal Al Ghaf?

Living here is a great advantage for me as a broker because I work with a lot of British families and I bring them into my home. I'll let them see how a three-bed townhouse can be modelled. Because I actually live here I can give an honest opinion on the community.

We chose Tilal Al Ghaf because it was brand new. The developers have excelled themselves in the finish and the quality of the properties.

The finish is second-to-none, and is of a higher quality and a better price point than other developments around this area.

How have you made the apartment your home?

I'm quite clutter-free and I like to think I have good taste in interior design. I’ve worked quite cleverly with the size and chosen the furniture carefully to make sure the house is not cluttered and overpowered by big, heavy, clumpy furniture.

It can be difficult trying to maintain that when you've got two young kids in the house. But I think if you've not got too much clutter, it stays nice and tidy.

And I think it's very much an outdoor lifestyle here so the kids tend to play outside a lot. Their toys are in their room, so their rooms double up as their playroom. I don't have toys anywhere in the house, apart from in their bedrooms.

Is there a sense of community?

There's a great sense of community around the parks and the pool. All the children are out and about knocking on for each other, it's only been a year but everybody's really made an effort to build relationships and there are a lot of community events happening.

That's something they're really good with, with iftars and Christmas events. It's a real mix of nationalities and different people living there, it’s very multicultural and reflects Dubai in that way.

Do you think it offers value for money?

In comparison to the likes of Arabian Ranches and Dubai Hills, it is definitely value for money and there's lots of opportunity to meet people.

We've got a great community hub here - The Distrikt, with coffee shops, a supermarket, cafes and a gym.

Are there any downsides?

The only downside is the ongoing construction and it does get very dusty. That's one of my biggest gripes because I'm very meticulous with cleaning and things being spotless. But in terms of the property itself, like the finish, it coped very well during the floods.

Updated: June 09, 2024, 4:44 AM