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
When Patricia Finn first landed in Dubai in 2000, she viewed one apartment in Bur Dubai and moved in shortly after.
Twenty-two years later, she still calls the same place home.
Living in Bur Dubai is a win-win for the equine nurse from Ireland.
While the rent has fluctuated a lot over the past two decades, she said she’s never been keen to move away from the area as she loves the buzz of old Dubai.
When she first moved in, her rent was Dh64,000 for 13 months. In 2007, it jumped up to Dh84,000 and now she pays Dh72,000 ($19,600) for the year.
With a closed-off kitchen, balcony and separate utility room, she said while the rent is not as cheap as some other one-bedroom properties, she would be hard pressed finding an apartment as spacious as hers.
Here, Ms Finn invites The National into her home for a look around.
Where do you live?
In Bur Dubai. I’ve been in the same apartment for more than 20 years now. I moved to the UAE in 2000, this was the first apartment I viewed. I moved in shortly after and never left.
Tell us about your property?
It’s a one-bed apartment in a low-rise building called Golden Sands 2. I’m on the sixth floor. When I first viewed the property I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is big enough for a family of 10, never mind just one person.
I have a huge lounge and dining area, a separate kitchen which is large and has plenty of storage space, as well as a separate utility room.
The place was fully furnished when I moved in but over the years I’ve given furniture away and made my own mark.
How much do you pay in rent?
The rent has fluctuated a lot in 20 years. In 2000, it was Dh64,000 for 13 months as I get one month free. It went up to Dh84,000 in 2007 and now it's Dh72,000.
I pay the rent in four cheques — it works out at about Dh6,000 a month.
How have you made your house a home?
I love colour, so I have lots of different coloured furniture in my sitting room. I'm not fussed about having everything matching.
I got rid of my TV in 2013, so you’ll usually just hear music playing when I’m at home. I love my little balcony too.
I'm on the 6th floor so I enjoy lazing on my couch in the evening just before sunset, watching all the birds getting ready to roost for the night. I have water left on my balcony for them.
I’ve worked all over the world, so I have lots of little trinkets from my travels, as well as old photos from years gone by. When you come into the apartment, it's a real mix of styles, colours and patterns.
How did you find the apartment?
My employer helped me find the apartment, as it was part of my benefits package — and still is. One of my old colleagues used to live in the property before I took it over.
What do you like about the area?
I love Bur Dubai, especially the creek area. It's so multicultural and has great character in comparison to new Dubai, in my opinion at least.
There's lots of restaurants nearby that serve delicious and very cheap food, especially biryani, which I love.
Any time I have visitors, I always encourage them to explore the area as it’s the part of Dubai you don’t always get to see on the holiday adverts. But it’s really the gem of the city.
Do you plan on staying in the apartment?
I have thought about moving a few times but I always come to the conclusion that I'm better off where I am in lots of different ways.
Golden Sands 2 is a very clean and very well maintained building, even though it must be about 50 years old now.
I have pleasant neighbours and, as I’ve said, I just love the area. I'm very grateful to my employer for giving me the opportunity to be able to spend more than a third of my life working and living in this beautiful city and my beautiful apartment.