My wife wanted a balcony, but I said no.
We were thinking about moving from a third-storey apartment in Abu Dhabi to a super-high-rise flat in Dubai, and I was worried that my precocious four-year-old twins, Breanna and Brooke, would find a way to open any door or window that we could.
I told my wife it would be much safer not to tempt them with the lure of a high perch from which they could fall to their deaths. She agreed.
When we moved into our 37th-floor flat in Dubai Marina and looked out the window, all the way down to what seemed like the toy cars I used to play with as a boy, I knew we had made the right decision.
I noticed that the windows, which pushed out from the bottom, were designed so they could not open more than a few centimetres - enough to let in a windy breeze but not enough for a small child to slip through.
Still, in an abundance of caution, we decided to have the windows child-proofed. My mind reflected on the sliding-glass door at the back of our lakefront home in Florida. We bolted that door down with long screws, removable only from adult heights, to prevent the girls from slipping out unnoticed and drowning.
After we moved to Dubai, my wife called building maintenance, and they sent up a slender Pakistani gentleman who promptly drilled holes in the bottom of the window panes. He then inserted two metal screws into each, preventing even an adult without a screwdriver from pushing open the windows.
After reading story after story about children's fatal falls from the windows of their flats in the UAE, I can shake my head at their parents, and rest easy at home with my two darling little girls.