My Dubai Rent: Couple's first family home has 'everything you need' for Dh81,000

After relocating from International City, business owner Piyusha Bokil has lived in two apartments in the same building

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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 ask what they like and don't like

After moving to Dubai in 2011, Piyusha Bokil set up home in a spacious studio.

When she had a baby, it made sense to look for a larger home, which in turn meant increasing her budget.

Having spent several years in the studio in International City, paying only Dh25,000 a year on rent, she tripled her budget to Dh75,000 and moved to a one-bedroom apartment in Barsha Heights in 2018.

While staying at Arabian Oryx House, opposite The Greens, Ms Bokil upsized again during the pandemic to a two-bedroom property — this time only a few doors down from her old apartment in the same building.

Working remotely as a design architect, she now pays Dh81,000 a year on rent and plans to upgrade again in the next few years.

Here, she invites The National to take a look inside her home.

Where do you live?

Arabian Oryx House in Barsha Heights. I’ve lived here with my husband for four years now and we welcomed our first baby just under two years ago.

This is the second property we’ve lived in within the same building, so I guess that means we like the place.

Tell us about your property

The building has 11 floors and we live on the seventh. It’s a two-bedroom apartment with three bathrooms, which is great when visitors come by. The building has everything you need — a pool, a gym and a good on-call maintenance team.

The kitchen is semi-open, in that it has a large counter separating it from the dining and lounge area. We did have a separate door leading into the kitchen but we removed it as it was a bit cumbersome and we wanted to open up the space.

The dining and lounge area is very spacious, which allows us the privilege of having a large dining table in the room. There is a balcony that comes off the lounge area that faces The Greens neighbourhood, so the view is nice although the balcony is a little small.

We have two bedrooms. One is used as a spare room and space to store my child’s things and our master suite is really large, with an en suite. It’s big enough that I am able to use part of the space as my home office.

The high-rise towers of Barsha Heights. The area was constructed in the early to mid 2000s and is home to businesses, restaurants and apartments. Its residents benefit from being on the Dubai Metro Red Line. Antonie Robertson / The National

How much do you pay in rent?

We recently renewed our rental contract, which increased by Dh5,000, so now we pay Dh81,000 a year for the apartment.

I still think that’s good value for the size of the property and location.

How did you find the apartment?

It took a lot of research and effort to find a place we truly loved. I can’t even tell you the amount of properties and areas we looked at before settling on this place. We viewed villas and apartments in Silicon Oasis, The Greens and several in Barsha Heights.

I think we just saw the advertisement online and got in touch with the agent.

Because I’m an architect some things are really important for me in a property, like natural light and open space, so I guess that was why we viewed so many places.

How have you made your house a home?

I have my own firm, EXS Design. We design and fit out interiors for commercial spaces. Despite that, I started off with a very minimal budget when we first rented our apartment so we haven’t done a whole lot to the interior. That surprises people, given my job.

My husband and I are from India and we have visited Sri Lanka so we have a lot of colourful tapestry hanging up and we’ve taken colourful silk saris and used them for blinds and curtains. I love house plants too so we have a bit of greenery throughout the house.

In terms of furniture, we don’t really have anything that stands out, but it is our plan to pump a bit more money into the space in the future, so maybe we will get some unique bits of furniture then.

What do you like about the area?

I mainly work from home but my firm has two co-living spaces nearby that I can walk to, which is great. My son’s nursery is also within walking distance so it saves time and money on travel.

For me, where you live is all about the location. While International City had cheaper rental prices than Barsha Heights, I’d rather pay more to have amenities nearby like the metro, cafes and supermarkets. I used to forever get caught up in peak hour traffic driving to International City so being more central is a welcome relief.

My son is 21 months old so we also love walking over to The Greens and enjoying the surroundings there. Like its name, it's lovely and green. It’s a really pet-friendly area too and, while we don’t have pets ourselves, my son loves seeing the dogs while out on walks over there.

Do you plan on staying in the apartment?

For now, yes, as we only renewed for another year but we have been talking a lot about upsizing to a villa, maybe over in The Greens. We will wait and see what happens though.

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Updated: July 18, 2022, 8:54 AM
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