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We plan to live in Dubai for a few years. We came here to experience family life and work life for my husband, so we're renting our current property. We don't plan to buy here, as we don't want to tie ourselves financially and we own property back in the UK, so that's where we'll return when our time in Dubai is up.
We live in a five-bedroom villa owned by Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group in Jumeirah 3. We chose it for many reasons, not least because when we signed the contract we had cousins living down the road in Jumeirah 1, so it was convenient.
Tennis and squash courts
Our compound has 21 villas with shared access to a tennis court, gym, squash court and swimming pool, and our villa garden gate opens onto a tennis court, which is a huge bonus as our children go and meet other children from the compound and it's a great place for them to play safely. They can scoot, cycle, play football and tennis and it's a safe environment right next to their home. With a lot of other families and children, we have a real community feel. A huge positive for us is also the on-site maintenance team. Not only do they give us a sense of safety and security, they're also on hand to deal with any maintenance issues that crop up. The estate management team are also great, so any problems are dealt with quickly.
Airy and spacious
Our villa is lovely and light, with huge windows, spacious bedrooms and a big open living space downstairs, as well as a separate playroom for the children, which is great for containing all their toys. For the interiors we've concentrated on furnishings and fittings to personalise it as we're only renting. We're inspired by Danish design and traditional English wood such as oak, and our home reflects this. We loved gardening in the UK so we've spent time nurturing our garden here, and as we wanted to enjoy the climate as much as possible we've invested in lovely outdoor dining furniture and a barbecue.
Canal at our doorstep
Normally our property is very accessible — and that's one of the reasons why we chose it. But recently, with the roadworks for the canal project, all the routes are changing. We're still very close to Shaikh Zayed Road, though, so despite the roadworks we still love where we live and the construction hasn't hindered our journeys to work or school too much. Like any city with traffic, it's just a matter of leaving enough time for your journey.
We think the construction workers are doing a sterling job; they're working so fast, it's amazing to see what they've done in such a short time. And once it's finished, our home will be in even more of a prime location as we'll have the canal on our doorstep.
Impossible to walk
We feel we're really central where we live, as most places are within proximity. We can go to the beach, Box Park, Nad Al Sheba cycle track, Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates, and in the hotter months we're close to many of the indoor offerings for children such as play centres and the Adventure HQ climbing wall at Galleria Mall. One downside to all the construction, though, is that we don't walk anywhere any more.
We're within walking distance of Safa Park, Jumeirah Beach, a Starbucks that has an outside play area for children and some lovely local shops and restaurants, but until the construction has finished we won't be walking anywhere because of safety concerns. We know it's only temporary, and when the work is done our location will be even better.
Get a glimpse on living in the far south at Al Furjan
Source: Catherine Rankin Harper, Special to Property Weekly