Dubai’s Al Barari steals the prestigious title of Palm Jumeirah | Tech Rasta

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Dubai has no shortage of luxury properties.

But the leafy community in the desert is quietly stealing the crown as the city’s most exclusive housing estate.

The most recent report by real estate firm CBRE found the average cost of renting a villa in Al Barari has risen to less than Dh1,000,000 ($270,000), compared to Dh231,397 on Palm Jumeirah.

With that in mind, Of the Nation traveled there to see what it’s like to live in one of Dubai’s most exclusive communities.

We have a great quality of life

Véronique Bottero

“We don’t just have a good life here, we have a better life,” said Véronique Bottero, who moved to the UAE six months ago with her family.

“We had not even planned to stay this time but now we have no plans to move at all now to tell the truth.

“We bought our house for Dh11 million ($3m) and spent another million to renovate it the way we wanted.”

Ms Bottero, who runs a home improvement company with her husband, lives in a seven-room house, with a studio and a maid’s room.

He also owns a second house of the same size in the same community, which he rents out to tenants.

“You will have a heart attack (when I tell you the cost of rent), it is Dh1.2m,” said Ms Bottero, from France.

“We’re very happy here though. There’s a real sense of community living here, when we first moved in one of the neighbors came over with a cake – they’re all friendly.

“We also feel very safe and secure here. My kids ride their bikes to the school bus stop and leave their bikes there until they get home.”

He said the number of restaurants and a Waitrose supermarket in the community meant everything they wanted was within walking distance.

A quick Google search of local properties for sale shows similar sized houses with an average price of between Dh16-17m.

It’s not hard to see why he loves his home so much. All bedrooms are larger than most shared apartments in Dubai.

We can do very well outside of selling it but at the same time it will be very difficult to say goodbye because it is so good.

Katya Burns

Just when you think you’ve seen every part of the property, he opens a door with stairs leading to the roof where he plans to entertain guests with barbecues and parties, once the weather cools down a bit.

With the Burj Khalifa in direct view, you won’t have to spend much time worrying about where to watch the fireworks from New Year’s Eve.

One of the most immediate aspects of life in Al Barari is how green and beautiful the local environment is.

When Ms. Bottero opens her back gate it leads to a lake surrounded by greenery, with ducks happily swimming around the water without a care in the world.

“We moved to Bluewaters for a while while our villa was being renovated over the summer. I wasn’t very happy when we came back,” said Katya Burns, a mother of two from Belarus who also owns a seven-bedroom house in the community.

“The air feels very different here. It’s less humid and it feels cooler than places that are closer to the sea than us. I feel like I can breathe again.”

Megan Flook, real estate agent Haus & Haus, said young professionals or families looking for a quiet lifestyle are more likely to move to Al Barari.  Photo: Haus & Haus

The 41-year-old, who did not say how her fortune was made, was quick to dispel the notion that she was living in an isolated area miles away from anywhere else.

Ms Burns bought her house six years ago for Dh18m, however she is not worried about getting her money back.

“We already have someone who wants to buy our house and is willing to pay more than we did to get it,” he said.

“We can do very well by selling it but at the same time it will be hard to say goodbye because it is so good.”

Not everyone who lives in Al Barari is confined to a large mansion, like any community there is a wide and varied structure of the local community.

A typical studio apartment there will set you back between Dh80,000 and Dh90,000 in rent, according to one of Dubai’s leading real estate experts.

However, those looking for a bigger property can expect to dig deeper into their pockets.

“Rental prices go up to Dh700,000 for a three-bedroom house. It is important to mention that these are not just old apartments! said Barry Ryan, lets consultant for real estate company Allsopp and Allsopp.

“For a villa your base price will be Dh1m and then work up from there. To buy, prices start from around Dh2.6m for a one-bedroom apartment to Dh8.5m for a three-bedroom apartment. Luxury homes start around Dh10m.

Property prices in Al Barari are likely to remain high in the coming years, he said, due to several upcoming developments including a beach pool and more shops and restaurants in the neighborhood.

“There are four new projects in the community, all of which were sold within a few days,” he said.

Young professionals or families looking for a quiet lifestyle are more likely to move to Al Barari, according to Megan Flook who sells properties in the area for real estate firm Haus & Haus.

“My buyers have been pilots, technology entrepreneurs, media and publishing professionals, interior designers, architects, philanthropists and lawyers,” he said.

If I had any doubts about the slow pace of life in Al Barari, I ended up stuck behind a slow-moving tractor on a narrow road for several minutes, on my way out.

It’s not an experience you can have on Sheikh Zayed Road…

Updated: 28 October 2022, 5:43 AM

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