My Dubai Rent: Guinness World Record holder pays Dh75,000 for Al Karama home

Indian crochet artist Alka Bhatia was born and raised in Dubai, and moved into her two-bedroom apartment with her husband in 2017

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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

Artist Alka Bhatia was born and raised in Dubai where she still lives, currently in the vibrant Al Karama community.

The former compliance officer is a five-time Guinness World Record holder for her crochet creations and is now working towards her sixth.

Ms Bhatia has seen the city grow from desert sand to one filled with skyscrapers, and from two-bedroom apartments renting for Dh9,000 a year to “the current situation” of landlords requiring a major chunk of incomes.

The Indian national and her husband moved to their current unit in the Al Wasl Building, near Emirates Post Dubai Central Office, in 2017. They share it with his parents.

Ms Bhatia, 45, took The National on a tour of their home.

My Dubai Rent: Lots of sunshine for this Dh75,000 house in vibrant Al Karama

My Dubai Rent: Lots of sunshine for this Dh75,000 house in vibrant Al Karama

What can you tell us about this flat?

This is a two-bedroom apartment with two and a half bathrooms.

It has central AC and the building is chiller-free. It has a pool, a play area for children, a gym – separate for ladies and gents, which makes it more special.

I love the apartment as I get to see the sunrise from my balcony and start my day with positive energy straight from the sun.

The building is on the main road. However, my apartment is facing an interior road, which makes it quite peaceful.

Where did you live before?

I had lived in a two-bedroom apartment with my parents in Al Fahidi Street since 1978. I moved to Karama after I got married.

Rents in this area are reasonable for their size. We pay Dh75,000 per annum.

Why did you choose the area?

The apartment is in a central place with easy connectivity to Bur Dubai, Deira, Oud Metha and Sheikh Zayed Road.

Our building is on the main road which makes it special as we beat the traffic on the interior roads.

There is a bus stop by our building exit so it is easy to connect to public transport, whether it's an RTA bus or the Dubai Metro red or green line.

One of the major reasons we moved here was because there are lots of restaurants and grocery stores and big supermarkets, which means easy access for everything we need – not to mention emergency services; the building is opposite the fire station.

We have many clinics and pharmacies nearby, and we are also very close to hospitals in Healthcare City for any medical emergencies.

What are the other advantages of living here?

The security in the building makes its really safe for kids and elderly people and only families are allowed to rent apartments.

There is a maintenance team available around the clock that solves any issues pretty fast.

The famous BurJuman Mall is close, where you can hang out with friends.

Added to that, we have Al Seef at Dubai Creek also within 1km range, which is normally busy with various activities round the clock.

It is good for fireworks during New Year's Eve and Dubai Shopping Festival. It’s like a carnival throughout the year, so much happens in this area.

Are you in a sociable neighbourhood?

There are about 100 apartments in one block, there are two blocks in the building and we know quite a lot of people. We have also referred this building to family and friends as we like it a lot.

However, this is not a pet-friendly place – no pets are allowed.

For children, they have a beautiful play area built recently with a lovely walking track and benches for elderly people – all in all, something to keep every member of the family occupied.

How have you made your house a home?

We have our own furniture with a little Indian feel.

Since I am an artist I like to put a lot of artwork on display in my house.

Anything that you would change?

I am quite happy with the way it is and do not really want to change much.

I have plenty of space and light to be creative, such as doing Diamond Dotz – which is a form of art, and crochet, which I sell and take orders for.

I have five world records [as Anjana of Crochet Collectibles], one in 2017 for the longest crocheted scarf, in 2018 with the largest display of crochet sculptures, the largest display of Christmas decorations in 2019, the largest display of crochet caps [in 2022], and last year one for the largest display of crochet ponchos.

All that work goes to charity and in the past I have donated our handmade crafts to children with special needs.

Do you think living here offers value for money?

It does. We have done many calculations of the rent and other bills like water, electricity and transportation. We always came out with a result that is the best for us.

Do you plan to stay in the property?

Yes. We like it here and are happy to stay as long as it is feasible to our pockets.

Updated: January 07, 2024, 6:36 AM