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 ask what they like and don't like
Dubai resident Luigi Mazzolla lives in a five-bedroom villa in Damac Hills on the outskirts of town.
The father-of-three made the move just before the pandemic restrictions kicked in and has been counting his blessings ever since.
The 40-year-old investor invited The National to take a look around his home and find out why it is so special to him.
How much do you pay in rent?
I pay Dh140,000 a year over four cheques.
We moved here two years ago after living in a four-bedroom townhouse in JVT.
We were paying Dh140,000 there as well but we’ve upgraded to a bigger house for the same as we were paying. The only issue is that it’s a little bit further outside of Dubai.
Why did you choose to live here?
My wife and I moved to Damac Hills because we didn’t have to commute to the centre of Dubai for work anymore.
Another reason was the space we have. There is a community our kids can grow up in with a nearby petting zoo, climbing frames, skateboard and a man-made beach right on our doorstep.
There’s a golf course next door, which is great as I am an avid golfer.
It just ticks all the boxes.
The landlord has kept the rent the same for the past two years, which is really reasonable, too.
There is a real sense of community here as well. There is a strong Facebook group that all the neighbours are part of.
When one of our cats went missing we put it up on the group and everybody was knocking on the door asking how they could help.
They were literally walking around the community with us; it was incredible.
I can’t see us moving anywhere else anytime soon.
We enjoy the lifestyle and we are looking at schools in the neighbourhood as well.
We managed to get here just in time before the Covid-19 lockdown kicked in.
We thought to ourselves it was time to make a move because otherwise we wouldn’t be able to hire any removal companies.
We actually terminated our contract a month early in our previous place to make sure we could move in time.
We got here just before the lockdown started and it’s been great ever since.
What are the downsides to living where you do?
The only way into the centre of Dubai from here is either through Umm Sequim or Hessa Street - the traffic can be quite heavy on those roads.
If we want to go, we have to time it so it’s not rush-hour traffic or people aren’t making school runs then.
Having to drive to The Palm from here takes at least half an hour and that’s not much fun if there’s heavy traffic as well.
That’s the only issue, really, and it is not that bad if you’re able to work from home most days.
What touches have you put in to make the place your own?
We had tables made from exotic trees that had already been felled in South America.
The garden was a total wreck when we moved in but we completely landscaped it and we added an island to the kitchen.
However, my absolute pride and joy is my pool table.
Moving here hinged on getting the pool table into the house because I wasn’t selling it for love nor money.
The beauty of this house is there is a bedroom on the ground floor, which lent itself perfectly to becoming a man den.