My 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
Estate agent Rimsha Naz, 28, has invested in apartments in Ras Al Khaimah but last summer decided to rent a large villa for her family so they could be under one roof.
Originally from Pakistan, she has been living in the emirate since 2015 and opted for a spacious house in Al Dhait South after marrying her partner, Farhan Naseem, last summer.
Now Ms Naz can continue having her mother living with her while being well-placed to run her business, Pacific Homes, serving the booming RAK housing market.
She took The National on a tour of the house which she pays Dh65,000 a year for.
What are the details of your rented property?
We are currently staying in a five-bedroom villa, with a living room, dining room, kitchen, six washrooms, and a compound area. The total size is almost 10,000 square feet.
We have a parking space so we can park as many cars as we like. There is space to walk or to do some outdoor activities within the compound.
There are four people in the villa, including our housekeeper, Shahid.
Privacy was our main concern before renting a villa and the best part is that every room has a separate entrance that opens towards the compound.
Where were you living before?
I have been staying with my mother in Ras Al Khaimah for nine years.
It is the perfect example of a city that combines modern urban life with proximity to nature. It’s renowned for its tranquillity thanks to the relaxed atmosphere, small population, hassle-free commuting, affordability and better business opportunities.
My mother and I have rented different properties like full ocean view apartments on Al Marjan Island and Mina Al Arab, and villas in Al Hamra.
After my marriage in July 2023, we decided to move into a villa so everyone would have their own space and privacy.
It is located in an affordable area. Most people I come across are worried about bills and think twice before renting villas due to high consumption.
In our experience, we are paying the same bills as we used to in apartments.
Why did you choose this area?
We chose to stay in the Al Dhait South area because the houses over here are large, compared with other projects.
The area offers an affordable style of living and a well-developed road system. The Al Dhait area is also 15 minutes away from my office, which is located in Rakez Towers in Al Hamra.
Since I am running a real estate business, it’s always easier for me to find the right accommodation.
Is it a sociable place to reside?
Our neighbourhood is pretty friendly, safe and secure.
There are families around us carrying a positive ambience with them.
I'm not a social person, I rarely mingle with people apart from those I conduct business with.
I stay quite engaged in my work and this is also one of the reasons I moved to this area, so as not to be in crowded or busy areas.
I can say that the people are helpful in times of need.
That’s the best part of having people around us … during emergencies, they can support us.
What benefits are there to renting in that area?
One of the biggest advantages of living in Al Dhait South is that we have a mosque near us, supermarkets and restaurants. It’s a hub of well-known schools, colleges and universities.
It’s five minutes from Sheikh Mohammed bin Salem Road (E11) and Al Manama.
We also have one of the best restaurants that deliver food to our doorstep.
Al Dhait South is in the centre of RAK, which means we are 10 minutes away from Al Nakheel [waterfront location] and exactly 10 minutes from Al Hamra.
So far during my stay, I have not come across any downsides to this area.
Have you added anything to the home?
When we moved in I decided to change a few things, such as paint the ceilings and add ceiling lights.
We decided to repaint the entire house since the existing paint made the house look a bit dull and dark.
We also converted one of the majlis rooms into a bedroom for me and my husband, as it was by the main entrance of the front gate and easier for us to enter and access.
We also added some ceiling fans since these were not provided by the landlord.
All the changes have made the house look much better and brighter.
Since this was a bigger space compared to our previous apartments we had to buy and add more furniture.
Do you think living here offers value for money?
The house we are staying in currently, or any others previously, can never be evaluated in terms of money.
I go with the flow and like to live where I find peace of mind, a sense of stability and calmness.
Compared to Al Hamra or Mina Al Arab, areas like Al Dhait and Al Riffa are cheaper.
So you think you’ll be there for a while?
I plan to stay in this house as it feels like a perfect home … spacious and modern.
I have bought a few small studio apartments on Al Marjan Island, which are mainly for investment purposes. This investment also helps me to pay my bills and rent for the current house in which we are staying.
I came to the UAE from Pakistan with my mother in 2015 and we decided to move to RAK without giving it a second thought. We never stayed in any other emirates as we feel like this is our home.