My Dubai Rent: Briton pays Dh45,000 for one-bedroom apartment in Dubai Marina

Long-term Dubai resident Emily Stansfield is saving to buy her first home in the emirate

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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

Emily Stansfield, 31, says she pays Dh45,000 ($12,250) for a one-bedroom apartment at the heart of the action in Dubai Marina, where she lives with her partner, Paudie Marum, and rescue cat, Penny.

Ms Stansfield, from Yorkshire, England, has been in Dubai for 10 years and has lived in areas including Business Bay and The Palm Jumeirah.

The HR manager pays her rent in one cheque and is saving to buy her first home in the emirate.

She invited The National into her apartment to show us how she has turned it into a cosy short-term home.

Why did you choose to live here and not somewhere else?

I chose the Marina for the central location. I barely use my car any more and can walk to work in Jumeirah Lakes Towers in 20 minutes and avoid all the traffic.

Dubai’s roads are really busy, especially at this time of year, and I’d much rather walk to a restaurant than spend an hour sitting behind the wheel.

It’s great for keeping me fit and, as well as walking to work and back, I like to stroll around the Marina at night. When it’s all lit up, it’s beautiful.

What kind of facilities do you have around you?

The pool in our building is really nice and gets a lot of sunshine. We also have a gym, which is great for keeping active when I’m short on time.

There are so many bars and restaurants in Marina and I love having so many cuisines on my doorstep. The metro and the tram are both really close by if I do want to go further afield.

Do you think this apartment offers value for money?

Definitely. The rent is really cheap, especially when you split it between two people. When you consider how high rent is in other parts of the Marina, I think we’ve got a really good deal.

So many people I know are having their rent increased every year, but ours is staying the same for the next year, which is a relief. I read that rents are increasing by 25 per cent, which is a scary amount.

I also save money on taxis and petrol, so when you add everything up I’d say we are getting a really good deal. Some apartments in the same building are considerably more, so I’m happy with what we pay for the location that we’re in.

What would you change about where you live?

If I were to change anything it would be the decor. The flat is fully furnished and, while it’s convenient, it’s not furniture that I would have picked myself.

If it was up to me, I’d have it a bit more modern, but everything works and is a pretty good standard, so I can’t really complain.

It’s also quite small for two people – especially when you have as many shoes as I do – but it’s cosy and as long as we’re both not working from home then it’s manageable.

What touches have you made to the apartment to make it feel like your own?

I’ve bought a lot of plants, I’ve put pictures of home on the wall and having a cat makes it feel more homely.

I’ve also bought little bits of furniture that we can take with us when we leave, including a new shoe rack and some soft furnishings.

I think small touches like candles and throws make a big difference to the ambience. You don’t need to spend a fortune to make a house feel like home.

Do you see yourself living there much longer?

We’ll probably stay here for another year just to save money, but after that we’ll hopefully buy somewhere a bit bigger that we can really make our own.

Updated: March 12, 2023, 9:44 PM