Finding peace in Dubai homes using Vastu

Developers are hoping that the Indian version of Feng Shui will attract buyers to its luxury homes.

Padmaja Yadav, an expert in Vastu Shastra, has helped to redesign some of the floorplans for villas in the gated community in the Akoya golf resort, near Arabian Ranches in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
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DUBAI // You are the proud owner of a Dh7.2 million villa in the latest Dubai development that compares itself to Beverly Hills.

But because the location of your toilet is metaphysically incorrect, personal disaster ensues.

To guard against such an eventuality, the developer of Trump Estates, Damac, has hired a practitioner of an ancient Indian form of design similar to Feng Shui to help with interior design. Padmaja Yadav is a consultant in Dubai for Vastu Shastra, a theory of architecture based on the five elements.

Ms Yadav has helped to redesign some of the floorplans for villas in the gated community in the Akoya golf resort, near Arabian Ranches.

“These design plans were already made and I had to do the best I could to bring the villas to a stage where, at least in principle, none of the laws are actually broken,” she said.

“Obviously when they designed it, it was not in respect to Vastu, it was purely in terms of aesthetics. There were a couple of issues and they’ve been taken care of.”

Donald Trump was one of the first major western businessmen to take seriously the science of Feng Shui, and used it in most of his major developments in recent years.

The trend was picked up by others and became common in the 1990s as a means of appeasing investors from Hong Kong and Taiwan who were buying New York real estate.

Mr Trump famously said: ”I don’t believe in Feng Shui but I use it because it makes me money.”

The choice of Vastu Shastra over Feng Shui in Dubai may be an effort to appease South Asian property investors in the region.

Ms Yadav said, controversially, that Feng Shui originated from Vastu, and although there were many similarities they were not an identical science.

“Principally they’re both the same,” she said. “Sometimes, they complement each other, and there are times where they contradict each other.”

A spokesman for Damac said 65 of the 104 homes would be designed to Vastu Shastra principles.

“Described as the ‘art of life’, Vastu aligns the direction and elements of nature to help design structures that provide a balanced life with a harmonious flow of positive energy,” the spokesman said.

“From the locations of the high-end furniture through to the colours on the walls, every element of the Trump Estates will be designed with balance and peace in mind.”

According to Vastu, the function of each room corresponds to an element – for instance, kitchens with fire – and each element has to be at a certain point at the compass for the house to be harmonious.

Ms Yadav said one of the biggest issues she noticed immediately was the incorrect placement of the toilet in the north-east part of the house.

“That is considered to be a very big flaw in terms of Vastu,” she said. “We’ve taken care of that and made sure that the north-east zone is free of toilets.

“A toilet in the north-east blocks your mind, blocks your thought, your growth, your health.

“People can lose money drastically. It can cause arguments and stress. Your thought process basically stops – you are not able to think or make a decision.”

Ms Yadav said bad Vastu was something people could detect on an instinctual level, even if they did not know what was specifically wrong.

“When you’re not aware of something you don’t know what to blame or who to blame,” she said.

“A lot of times they might somehow realise that since they’ve moved to a house, they’ve been suffering all this bad luck. They’re aware of a certain negative energy in the house but they don’t necessarily know it as Vastu.”