Self-made millionaires 'are buying their own piece of tranquillity'

A villa, on the market for Dh27million, would be well within reach of anyone taking out Standard Chartered's new mortgage.

Dubai, UAE - May 19, 2010 - Bedroom in a villa in Al Barari development. (Nicole Hill)
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DUBAI // The lawns surrounding the winding, leafy driveway are a deep green, with streams of water criss-crossing though them. At the end of the drive is a two-storey villa with a waterfall next to its wooden front door. "There are water features running throughout the development," says Jessica Watson, senior marketing executive at the developer Al Barari.

This villa, on the market for Dh27million, would be well within reach of anyone taking out Standard Chartered's new mortgage. "In total, there are more than 14km of filtered lakes, streams and cascades [in the development]," says Ms Watson. "It is a piece of tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of the city." Inside the front door, a short hall runs past the kitchen to the left before it reaches an open area that has two sitting rooms. The dining room has a table big enough for a banquet. The ground floor master bedroom ensuite bathroom alone is bigger than most studio apartments. So, too, is that bedroom's private garden, complete with a plunge pool.

Both sitting rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on to the garden and swimming pool. "The windows were designed to be like this. It is a really nice view with all the trees and plants." At the top of the marble and granite stairs is the first of seven bedrooms, each with sofas, coffee tables, a television set and - naturally - an en-suite bathroom. "We designed each master bedroom with a theme in mind to show what you can do with the rooms," says Ms Watson. "Actually all the rooms are master bedrooms"

The maid's room is tucked away in a corner of the villa. "It actually has the largest private terrace in the villa and the maid's room itself is quite big. They have their own kitchen and general living quarters. Next door, if you want to unwind, there's a massage room." The guest room has its own entrance, allowing visitors to "come and go without disturbing anybody or going through the main part of the house".

A king-size bed faces the window, with a view over the Nad al Sheba Royal Wildlife reserve. Below the ground floor are two sky-lit basements. One is an additional bedroom and the second is a playroom, but they could equally be a gym, or even a cinema. "There are so many options for these," says Ms Watson. "We have just put a bedroom in here to show what you can do with it but some people have already gone ahead and built their own cinema."

Finishing it off is a triple garage designed to be long enough for a Rolls-Royce and high enough to fit a Range Rover. "A lot of our buyers own their own businesses and are self-made millionaires," says Ms Watson. "We have sold 70 per cent of the villas. They are buying their own piece of tranquillity."