My Dubai Rent: Economist is loving Downtown life in his Dh100,000 apartment

Huge balcony and central location are key attractions for Rami Kiwan

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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

Rami Kiwan cannot imagine living anywhere else in Dubai than the Downtown area where he rents a one-bedroom apartment.

Mr Kiwan, 36, says he has everything he could ever need nearby and would happily stay there for the rest of his time in the city.

The Lebanese-Canadian economist pays Dh100,000 for his home.

He invited The National inside to take a look around and see why it is so special to him.

Why did you choose to live here?

My Dubai Rent: Dh100,000 for this one-bedroom apartment in luxury Downtown

My Dubai Rent: Dh100,000 for this one-bedroom apartment in luxury Downtown

I've always wanted to live in Downtown because it seems to be the most organic part of Dubai. It's not really old like other areas and I don't need a big commute like people in other parts of the city do.

Everything I could possibly want is right here on my own doorstep. There are so many bars and restaurants, as well as shops and Dubai Mall, of course.

It's so accessible and it's also pretty close to my work in DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre) – a 20-minute walk in fact.

That said, I don't do the walk very often as it's impossible in the summer heat and then you have to factor in the summer traffic and how awkward it can be to get about on foot here.

I also rent directly from the company that owns the building. This means that everything is clear and official, but on the other hand there's no personal relationship that some have with their landlords.

That said, a company can be more flexible on rent as they own dozens of properties whereas a private landlord is less likely to. They can be less picky when it comes to a few thousand dirhams here and there.

The rent is reasonable too. When it was time to renew my contract I showed them the Rera calculator that said the rent should stay the same and they were fine with it.

Do you get value for money?

Yes. It's a great location and I am really happy to be living in such a vibrant part of the city. Sometimes you are woken up thinking there's a fire alarm going off or some kind of emergency when in fact it's a light show at the nearby Burj Khalifa.

There's also a strong sense of community, not so much in the building itself, even though all the neighbours always say hello in the elevator. More so because I've got a lot of friends who live nearby.

There is also a load of great facilities both here in the building and close to me – gyms, restaurants, sporting facilities. The building itself is really new as well, it's only two years old, which was an important factor in deciding to live here.

There's a great big balcony in my apartment, that's not something all that common in Downtown.

What touches have you made to the property to make it feel like home?

I actually designed two pieces of furniture myself. One was a cabinet in the kitchen and the other was a cabinet for the television.

I've also put up some photographs that I took myself on the walls.

Updated: January 14, 2024, 11:22 AM