She moved out of bustling Dubai in January for a quieter life in Ras Al Khaimah and a better value villa.
Now human resources consultant Thanj Kugananthan and her husband, who is self-employed in the corporate finance advisory sector, rent a house within The Cove Rotana Resort.
They both work from home.
Born in Britain, Ms Kugananthan, 41, is the founder of boutique HR consultancy Visible HR.
The couple offset their Dh105,000 lease in RAK with rental proceeds from an upgraded apartment she owns in Motor City, which is being rented for Dh78,000.
Ms Kugananthan opened her door to The National...
Tell us about your home
Many people know The Cove Rotana as a staycation destination, but you can actually live here as a resident in one of their privately owned villas.
Our 2,894-square-foot villa has two bedrooms, two ensuite bathrooms, a private plunge pool and garden area.
It is huge, especially for Dubai standards, so even though it’s only two bedrooms, it is almost double the size of the previous place we lived in Dubai which, technically, had four bedrooms.
Bills are pretty much on par or slightly higher than we paid in Dubai, but that may be because the villa is significantly bigger.
Why did you choose RAK?
Since my husband and I are self-employed, we do not need to be in an office or think about nearby schools.
The Cove Rotana wasn't on the radar initially, but my husband and I were very clear we wanted out of the 'boxy suburbs'.
My husband also made it clear that he wanted to live somewhere with a nearby beach – he had previously lived on the Palm.
I had friends who moved to RAK during Covid, and they were living the dream with their new outdoorsy lifestyle.
How did you find this villa?
I saw on Property Finder that The Cove Rotana had private villas for rent and thought this would be perfect for us.
It was significantly cheaper than equivalent property in Dubai, and it had all the amenities and requirements we wanted, such as a pool, beach, restaurant, space and privacy.
I have been to Cove before, but my husband hadn't. So we went there for a staycation in mid-November 2022 and he was sold.
We started looking for places, viewed somewhere and put in an offer in December. We moved in January.
What are the advantages of living here?
We live in the resort and it has three swimming pools and a private beach, all of which we have access to.
We also get discounts at several restaurants as residents. This, combined with the fact that we don't like travelling far means we seldom leave the resort.
Driving isn't allowed in the resort, so we get around in electric buggies or tuk-tuks. There is a car park right before the main hotel entrance, which is about an eight minute walk.
Is it a sociable neighbourhood?
It’s like being on holiday every day - a paradise.
The rent is probably slightly more than other places in RAK but for us it’s worth the premium because we take advantage of all the amenities and facilities.
I believe most people who have invested in the private villas do not actually live here full-time. However, everyone we have met - staff and guests - are very friendly.
Have you personalised your home?
The villa was furnished, but we bought several large furniture items - cabinets, cupboards - that we feel make it our own as they are rather ornate and beautiful.
We have lots of photos and pictures around and I also enjoy cooking, trying new things in the kitchen, so the house typically smells of home-cooked food or candles, which probably adds to the ‘homeliness’.
Now that it's getting hotter, it's slightly inconvenient not having our car parked outside of our villa.
But the inconvenience is small compared to the huge advantages. We cook more at home since all deliveries have to be collected from the lobby, which can be straining.
Security rules here take some adjusting to. If you want maintenance done, it can take hours before suppliers are allowed through the front gate, compared to Dubai were things happen more efficiently.
There are also a lot more mosquitos, but that just requires preparation; repellent is key.
Does your home offer value for money?
Yes, the same place in Dubai would be at least double the rent.
The view from our windows often feel like we're in the Mediterranean and the beach view is interrupted. There really is no place like it in the UAE. It's so peaceful.
Where did you live previously?
We were in Dubai for over 10 years. I bought a place in Motor City where I lived for three years. I also rented in Mira briefly, a three-bedroom villa after getting married and prior to moving to The Cove.
Do you plan to stay in the property?
We have absolutely fallen in love with RAK and Cove Rotana, so much so that we don't want to leave either and would potentially look to buy in this resort for the right place and the right price.
We are not going anywhere.