My Dubai Rent: Artist and pilot couple find tranquility in Dh130,000 villa

Racheal Nathaniel and her husband, Dennis, enjoy having a spacious garden for their dog, Shadow

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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

Flower preservation artist and former cabin crew member Racheal Nathaniel moved to Dubai last year when her husband took a job as a captain with Air Arabia, in Sharjah.

After leaving Gujarat, India, the 30-year-old was looking for somewhere with enough space to run her emerging business, Resinara, designing and creating jewellery from flowers preserved in epoxy resin.

Ms Nathaniel, her husband Dennis, 54, and their dog, Shadow, initially lived in the Mirdif area, but to moved to another part of the district at the end of this summer when a newly-built villa came up for rent.

They pay Dh130,000 annually.

Ms Nathaniel took The National on a tour.

What can you reveal about your home?

This is a three-bedroom, four-bathroom villa. One bathroom is a powder room, the other three are en suite.

There's also a laundry room attached to the kitchen and the house has an L-shaped, open-plan living room.

My Dubai Rent: Couple pays Dh130,000 a year for Mirdif villa

My Dubai Rent: Couple pays Dh130,000 a year for Mirdif villa

We have a wraparound yard with a small patio and a portable cabin in the garden that I have turned into my studio and workshop.

Our home is on a plot with two villas. We took the larger one for ourselves and there is a common wall connecting the two, with a very high boundary wall.

Where did you live before?

Still in Mirdif, less than 15 minutes away. But that was closer to a street which was too busy.

Plus, it was on the approach path for aircraft [into Dubai International Airport] so we had planes landing all the time. It was very noisy.

We were looking for a villa in the Shorooq community, but there wasn’t a single villa free.

We ended up with an old villa for Dh110,000. But the main problem with living in an old UAE villa is cockroaches. That house was really bad.

It was not connected to the main sewage line so the drain kept flooding, maybe that’s why there were a lot of roaches.

We don’t have any of those problems in this house. We are the first ones to live here and it’s amazing.

This place also receives a little bit of the plane noise, but not too much.

It is generally silent, so it was a good decision to move here.

What drew you to the property?

We were really looking for a place like this. It is a brand-new villa. The minute I saw it I said I wanted this.

The owner was happy to give it to us immediately because we had to vacate the other place.

When we moved in here, the yard was still under construction. Inside, the cabinets were still being made.

So we did not modify it but we did request what we wanted the yard to look like: the placement of the portable cabin and how to shape the lawn and keep the central space free of grass.

The owner wanted to have a pool instead of the lawn, but we said we didn’t need it. We had a pool in the previous house – we didn’t use that most of the year.

Instead, we wanted some nice greenery around the house. Because we have a dog, he can enjoy the lawn more than he would a pool.

Why choose this area?

We were looking to live in a villa right from when we came to Dubai because Shadow needs space to run around.

In India we had a huge apartment but we missed having a yard. It’s uncommon in India to rent out a villa, but coming here knew we could have that luxury and this house has huge garden space.

Dennis takes the E311, which is nearby, so it’s super easy for him to get to work. And I never hit the traffic when I head to markets such as Arte, where I have a pop-up shop.

Do you feel you get value for your rent?

Absolutely. We are paying more here, but it comes with a lot of benefits. I think it is a great deal for this house.

What facilities do you have nearby?

It is very close to Arabian Centre and to Mushrif Village. Mushrif Park is the best part about living here because there is a cycling and walking track. Every night around 10pm we take Shadow and go for our 7km walk, unhindered by traffic.

Mirdif City Centre and Uptown Food Court are pretty close. I’m not sure if there is a community swimming pool but we are not looking for that any more.

And this place is very pet-friendly. You see a lot of people out in the evening with their dogs. I like that. Plus lots of vets and pet stores around.

Is it a sociable neighbourhood?

Everybody’s doing their own thing, busy behind high walls.

The only downside about living in a stand-alone villa is that you are alone, so you barely go around socialising with people. It’s a very quiet part of Mirdif.

Have you personalised aspects of the home?

We covered an area of the garden with a gazebo-type thing to give a shaded area, just by the patio.

We designed a space in front of the patio for when we host guests and have a barbecue. On either side is a garden area.

I have just moved my Resinara workshop into the cabin, customised it a little with floral wallpaper and blinds. I usually work at night – no disturbance, no Shadow running around getting fur into my projects.

Do you plan to stay in the villa?

We still feel like the space is a little less than we need.

I still feel that we could have had one extra room which we could turn into a storeroom. Dennis has one as his gym. We had a lot of stuff and really downsized when we came from India.

Initially we wanted to buy a town house in Villanova, but had a sudden change of mind.

Updated: December 18, 2023, 10:21 AM