My Dubai Rent: Couple pay Dh60,000 for one-bed in Expo Village they never want to leave

Graham Halton and Emma Darcy love life in their spacious apartment close to the Dubai Metro

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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

Finance recruitment consultant Graham Halton relocated to Dubai from Ireland with his partner in September last year.

The couple, 26, were then among the first residents to occupy one of the apartments that initially housed multinational staff who worked in and around the pavilions of Expo 2020 Dubai.

The 2,273 apartments, ranging from studios to three bedrooms, are located within four clusters. Occupants began vacating after the six-month world fair closed on March 31 last year.

Units then became available to buy or lease with two-bedroom options costing from Dh80,000 per year, according to Property Finder.

Mr Halton and Emma Darcy, a content lead for an app, now rent a seventh-floor, one-bedroom home with parking in Expo Village Residences and they pay Dh60,000 a year.

Mr Halton took The National on a tour ...

My Dubai Rent: Couple pay Dh60,000 a year for one-bedroom home in Expo Village Residences

My Dubai Rent: Couple pay Dh60,000 a year for one-bedroom home in Expo Village Residences

Where did you live previously?

I stayed in Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Al Furjan on short-term lets. We were renting month-by-month because we were trying to find the right place.

In comparison, for price and quality, Expo Village surpassed these substantially.

The JLT building was an Airbnb. However, for a studio, it was almost twice the price to rent, compared to the one-bedroom apartments in Expo Village.

Why did you choose this area?

We heard about Expo when it was on and found the area online while doing research. We found that the price was extremely fair compared to other areas we were looking at.

I was looking to be close to the Dubai Metro, which is handy for work. Emma works remotely, so having a bright apartment that lets in a lot of daylight was a very important factor.

If she wants to work on the balcony to get some fresh air, she can do that.

We also have loads of facilities here, are able to go for evening walks through Expo, and we're just a 15-minute drive from Marina.

What kind of facilities do you have around you?

The gym and pool in our accommodation are amazing. The hours are reasonable, which means we can go to the gym or the pool before or after work.

Having a great barber downstairs for me, as well as a shop with everything you need, is also extremely handy.

We also have a pharmacy, all the basic necessities, and there's a restaurant down the road.

Now it's starting to cool down, we go for walks and runs inside Expo itself.

What advantages are there to living here?

The Dubai Metro.

I use it to get to work at Dubai World Trade Centre and back every day and it is extremely convenient being within walking distance.

It guarantees travel time to work, so I don't have to worry about traffic or road works.

If you have to commute between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Expo Village is the perfect place as it gives you direct access to the motorway, knocking 30 minutes off your journey compared to if you were living in Downtown.

I have to go to Abu Dhabi maybe once or twice a week.

The facilities are great, brand new and the area has a very clean environment.

Is it a sociable neighbourhood?

To be honest, I have not done much socialising outside of brief conversations down at the pool or in the gym.

It was quite quiet when we moved in but it's definitely busier now. They have an Expo page and group chat so if anyone has any questions we can help each other out.

Have you personalised the apartment?

It came partly furnished with a fridge, a washing machine, dining table, a bed and lamps. We just had to get a few bits and bobs, like cutlery and bedding.

We haven't done much personalisation either. We're quite straightforward people. As long as everything is neat and tidy we don't really make our place very homely.

We did add an outdoor table set. It is nice to sit out in the evening, to read a book and have a cup of coffee.

Anything you would like to alter?

There is not a single thing I would change in the apartment.

The layout is spacious, with lots of sunlight getting in during the day.

The living area is spacious, as well as plenty of wardrobe space for storage.

Do you think living here offers value?

One hundred per cent. Comparing prices in other areas, I think that Expo Village gives the best value for money.

We have just renewed our lease for next year and we are planning on staying here for the foreseeable future.

Updated: October 16, 2023, 9:39 AM