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
The British couple, better known as Mr & Mrs Brunch, own and operate food and beverage money-saving app Let’s DXB. They wanted somewhere with space and quiet where they could relax in between working and checking out the emirate's social hotspots.
A teacher in Jumeirah by day, Ms Melts, 37, and Mr John, who works in sports management in Motor City, pay Dh100,000 annually for the townhouse they share with their cat Darthie.
Mr John, 39, took The National on a tour …
Tell us about your home
It’s a three-bedroom townhouse, plus maid’s room with toilet and another toilet downstairs. All three bedrooms are en suite.
We have our main bedroom, the guest room and a spare room that’s a bit of a laundry room that we’re going to turn into a study. We’ve also got a really nice garden.
Where did you live previously?
We moved in May of this year, bringing to an end our five-year love affair with Town Square.
We had a three-bedroom townhouse there, slightly smaller, an older unit. We were paying, at last year’s prices, Dh90,000.
Now you can’t get anything for less than Dh150,000. The landlord wanted to raise it to that sort of level. We didn't realise the prices would shoot up so much, so that tempted us to look further afield.
We were in JVC [Jumeirah Village Circle] and The Greens before that.
Why choose this area?
We’d had always seen it as a bit out of the way, but we were surprised at how close it was once you’ve lived in Town Square.
If someone was moving from the Marina, it would feel like the middle of nowhere, but we were already out here so it wasn’t much of a stretch.
Our old property was a little dark, things had started going wrong with air conditioning, water coolers and boilers.
Everything we’d heard about certain clusters in Damac Hills 2 – that it was brighter, fresher, newer – sparked our interest.
We came to view a few homes, looked at this one, fell in love as soon as we walked in. Obviously, the price was great.
What facilities are available?
It’s all separated into clusters and the community has so much that’s included for free. We’ve got a swimming pool across the road from our cluster and you can also use the other clusters any time.
The community centre, probably 300 metres behind our house, has a Carrefour, shops and restaurants.
They also have a gym there, free to all residents, and massive squash courts, an infinity pool, they do spin classes. There’s a dog park.
It’s very much a community feel.
Malibu Bay just opened – a water park with a lazy river and wave pool, cabanas, again free for residents. It’s the same with the paddle courts, tennis courts, basketball courts, outdoor gyms. There’s a lake, food lorries ...
The Rotana hotel (restaurant) food has nice and different themes like taco night, a brunch, Sunday roast. We’re also eight minutes from the bar at Dubai Sevens stadium.
What other advantages are there to the address?
My big one is traffic. Town Square traffic in the morning, and evening sometimes, was horrible, with one exit.
Here you’ve got two exits at the moment and they have built another road which will be a cut-through and make it much quicker. In the morning: no traffic at all, and then coming home: no traffic. That makes a huge difference to our lives.
Have you personalised the house?
We had the garden landscaped when we moved in. We’ve got furniture from the old place and we bought a few things like a big mirror to open up the room and a new dining table. Also, some things from our travels. Our theme is rustic boho.
Any key features?
A whole wall is floor-to-ceiling windows, which is what we really loved. I love natural light.
We’ve got a large upstairs terrace that leads out from our balcony, which we’re looking to convert into a Mediterranean-style chill-out terrace. We can’t wait for the cooler months to be able to enjoy it.
Do you think this home offers value?
Absolutely. Rental price was definitely key in the decision process.
This year is a big year for us, we’re getting married in four months, so that extra Dh50,000 our landlord was trying to gain can be used to pay for bits and bobs for our wedding.
We were looking at spending money a bit more wisely, and wanted to upgrade as well.
We looked at places in Villanova and Arabian Ranches 3, but the villas were small compared to what you can get here – it was a light bulb moment.
It was a smarter decision to get somewhere newer and bigger for the money, and with all of the extras you get – gym memberships, the water park – definitely good value.
Are there any downsides to the area?
The road that connects Al Qudra Road to Damac Hills 2; it’s really beautiful because you’ve got desert on both sides, but it’s not somewhere you can rush along because it’s single-lane, winding, speed bumps. That’s probably the only real negative.
That said, we both have the same journey time (to work as before) because there’s no traffic, even though it’s further out.
Once you’re here, you’ve come back from work, you don’t really want to be driving out again. There’s loads for the community to do, we’ve got everything.
We were worried about Deliveroo and Careem delivering out here, but they all come now.
Do you plan to stay in the property?
You never know, being in Dubai, but it’s our haven. We just love to be able to relax and chill. We can avoid all the craziness and be in our own bubble.
This cluster was brand new, so no one’s lived in this house before, which is a big positive.
We’ve got both sets of parents coming to stay in December for the wedding and we’ve got enough room.
We feel comfortable staying here for the foreseeable, unless things dramatically change and we are able to get somewhere closer to town for a lot less than we’re paying now