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
Last year, Ketan and Rakhi Jain moved from Bangalore, India's “Garden City” and high-tech industry capital, keen to find a suitably leafy Dubai neighbourhood for the family to set up home.
The couple, along with their children Kanisha, 17, and Viraj, 14, who are both at high school, settled on the appropriately named Dubai district – The Gardens.
The finance professionals rent a three-bedroom, second-floor apartment, and pay Dh113,000 ($30,700) a year.
Ms Jain took The National on a tour around their spacious family home.
What can you tell us about your apartment?
This is our first home in Dubai.
Our 1,500 square feet apartment has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, and it's in a quiet and green neighbourhood.
We have one car parking space in an open car park.
Where did you live before?
We stayed in a serviced apartment at the Fraser Suites in Al Sufouh for three weeks before finalising our house.
We were searching in Dubai Marina, JLT and Jebel Ali areas, and we really liked this place.
We moved from India with internal job transfers with our companies, and we wanted to explore international opportunities and multicultural living.
That's what brought us to Dubai.
Why did you choose this district?
The greenery and the open spaces.
It was also close to our offices and not very far from the kids’ school.
I work in Jebel Ali Free Zone and Ketan has two offices, one in Media City and one in Ibn Battuta.
We are from Bangalore, which is the Garden City of India, so we were searching for a green neighbourhood and lots of open areas for evening walks and for Kanisha and Viraj to enjoy their favourite sports, like badminton, basketball and swimming.
The Gardens was recommended to us by one of our friends who has been here for more than 10 years.
What kind of facilities do you have around you?
The building and surroundings are very green and expansive, with amenities such as community areas.
There's a football ground, cricket field, badminton, volleyball and basketball courts, and two swimming pools.
Ibn Battuta Mall is close by, which is a major convenience. There are also many clinics in Discovery Gardens, and restaurants.
We are Indian and vegetarian, so we need vegetarian food that is readily available.
Our apartment is also just a 10-minute drive to the beach at JBR and Dubai Marina.
Is it a sociable neighbourhood?
We made a lot of friends within a month. We also had a get-together at Christmas with our neighbours.
Our children have been able to make friends easily, as they play sports in the communal areas.
How have you made your house a home and personalised it?
We got an unfurnished house so we could fill it ourselves. We have a recliner sofa, which we use for watching TV as a family, and many more items.
We also built extra storage in the kitchen and storeroom, and put a few posters up and added a lot of indoor plants.
We will be putting up more paintings and family pictures up on the wall.
The house came with all brand-new fittings. Even though the building is more than 15 years old, we feel like we are living in a new house.
Any features you would you change?
We would have loved to have had another balcony since we only have one.
There is constant construction work nearby, but hopefully that will stop soon.
The AC is kind of faulty, but the repair team is always available when we call.
Also, lighting in the open areas of the building could be improved, and some of the amenities like the badminton and basketball courts could be upgraded.
Do you think living here delivers good value for what you are paying?
Yes, living here offers value for money when we compared to renting in other nearby areas in Dubai.
We are renewing our tenancy in a month, and there is no increase for one more year because it is within the Rera limit.
Obviously, Dubai rent is more expensive compared to a similar apartment in Bangalore; our apartment is three times more expensive than similar properties back at home.
Do you plan to stay in the property?
Yes, it feels like home, so we plan to stay here.