My Dubai Rent: Family adore Dh160,000 villa in the 'happiest part of the emirate'

Felice Hurst and her three children love the neighbourly Jumeirah compound that they call home

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My Dubai Rent takes you inside a reader’s home to have a look at what they pay each month, see who they live with and find out what they do and don’t like

Recruiter Felice Hurst has lived in Jumeirah for almost a decade.

She moved from the UK after hearing stories that people were the happiest in Dubai.

Now, nine years later, she said that moving to the villa compound in Jumeirah was one of the best decisions of her life.

The mother-of-three has lived in the same four-bedroom villa for the past four years, having moved there from a three-bedroom property in the same area that was her family’s first home in Dubai.

The 46-year-old from Lancashire was happy to invite The National into her home and explain why it was so special to her.

How much do you pay in rent?

I pay Dh160,000 each year over six cheques. When I first moved here, it was Dh180,000 and it has gone up and down a bit since then.

I know I could probably pay less for a similar-sized property elsewhere in Dubai but I do not want to live anywhere else.

Everybody is so friendly and helpful. I am a single parent so living in a compound like this is great because it is so sociable
Felice Hurst

A lot of people move to places like Arabian Ranches but it would cost too much having to get taxis in and out all the time.

I have three teenagers who are settled at school, which is only a five-minute walk away as well.

Before we moved here, I read an article saying the happiest people in Dubai lived in this neighbourhood.

We have only lived in one property in Dubai which was 100 yards away and cost Dh195,000 when we first moved in nine years ago.

What makes the house so special to you?

The community around me is amazing. The neighbours are all on a WhatsApp group together and we help each other with everything.

If you need little things like flour or batteries, you can ask and they bring them around.

Everybody is so friendly and helpful. I am a single parent so living in a compound like this is great because it is so sociable, there is a shared tennis court, gym, squash court and a sauna.

There are about 20 villas altogether in the compound. We all get together for the likes of New Year’s Eve and celebrate together.

I also like having the extra space here to entertain friends and neighbours.

It was a blessing to have that bit more space during the pandemic.

The villa is five minutes' walk from the children's school and close to Safa Park. Victor Besa / The National

We are five minutes from most places. It is only a few minutes to the beach which my children love because they are crazy about surfing.

I have lots of friends from the old compound that I used to live in and that is just around the corner as well.

The fact it is not so hectic as other parts of Dubai is a big plus, too. Our lives are hectic enough so it is good to have somewhere quieter to relax and call home.

I love that we are right beside a mosque. It is soothing to hear the call to prayer.

When the children were younger, they knew when they heard the evening prayer it was time to go to bed.

There is also a cycle track outside the villa.

What have you done to make the house your own?

I have redecorated and painted the walls in different colours and changed all the bathroom suites to white.

They were multicoloured before and I had them redone to be a bit more simple.

The landlord has been very accommodating on that front.

I would love to do more but I am not sure it is worth it when you do not own the house.

Is there anything you would change about your home?

The only thing I can think of is that I would love to buy it.

You are not able to buy property around here unless you are an Emirati, unfortunately. I try not to think about how much rent I have paid in nine years living here.

Other than that, there is absolutely nothing I would change.

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Updated: April 05, 2022, 11:17 AM