So we’ve all watched Property Ladder, House Doctor, Sarah Beany and a plethora of home improvement programmes in the UK, but what’s involved in doing up a house in Dubai? Permission, permission, permission for a start! Having helped a friend go through the process recently we have learnt that many changes you may like to make to a villa need to pass planning permission. For Emaar properties this means you having to draw out plans of the potential changes, submitting the technical drawings (you can ask Emaar for a CD of your villa plans) and writing out a simple scope of works document. You’ll also have to submit your title deed to prove ownership, passport and visa details, as well as a license copy of the contractor you are using to carry out your work. Don’t forget the Dhs 5000 (refundable) cash deposit as well, this will be returned on completion of your work when they come and inspect your changes. Emaar offices are located in Emaar Square in Downtown and are VERY BUSY at the moment.
Examples of things that need permission are extending a patio (terrace), adding a canvas sail for shade, removing pillars from inside and even straightening an arch or removing a door. The work involved is also much more arduous than you think. Pictures speak a thousand words so see for yourself.
Some unforeseen problems my friend had were obviously underestimating costs involved as situations unraveled, but not by too much thankfully, a more difficult aspect was how ensure the different workmen got on with each other, her property had over 40 dreaded damas trees that had to be removed, so a separate gardening company was needed as well. A further gardening company was signed up to do the general maintenance of the garden. In these temperatures, she supplied ice cold drinks or ice creams every day (usually 12 each provided in a cool box with ice), these really helped in keeping tempers from flaring. And is all the hard work worth it? Absolutely, the results speak for themselves. Speaking Hindi was also a big plus as so many of the workers themselves are from the Asian subcontinent.
It is extraordinary how much less it costs here in Dubai to have major rennovations completed, compared to the UK or Europe and how quickly work gets done, six days a week, so we’re lucky in that respect, but don’t get me started on how estate agents earn their fees ! Enough said. If you manage the planning application and contractors yourself, you save even more money.
If you have any questions about improving your property in Dubai, then leave me a comment and I’ll try and answer, thanks for sharing the post on Facebook.
Next week, DoinDubai posts from London and Southern Tuscany in Italy.
Have you thought about insuring your house here? This may help, I still have some Zurich vouchers left