x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

'Garden and pool are a huge bonus'

How do I love my new villa? Let me count the ways, says one mother who finally feels like she's really living in a home.

Anne Parvin at her family's villa in Al Safa in Dubai.
Anne Parvin at her family's villa in Al Safa in Dubai.

After moving from Indonesia to Dubai six years ago Anne Parvin and her family settled in a luxurious apartment in Bur Dubai. "There was a real holiday feel to living there; our daughters were young and I felt that apartment living equated to a very easy lifestyle." After moving away, the family returned to Dubai three years ago - to a spacious three-bedroom apartment in The Greens, very close to their children's school. "It was a lovely apartment and we were very contented with the space and facilities. The drawbacks became more evident as the children got older - constantly dragging bikes and bags of shopping up and down in the elevator. And parking for visitors was a nightmare."

Last term her daughters moved to schools in Jumeirah: "On the first day it took me an hour and half to get out of The Greens because of the traffic. That alone convinced me to move - although by then I had been yearning for my own front door." Anne found a four-bedroom villa in a gated compound in Al Safa with a gym and tennis courts - and a private pool in the back garden. "It just feels comfortable in a way the apartment never could. I feel much more relaxed and less transitory than I ever have as an expatriate. The garden and pool are a huge bonus - we're getting a big gas barbecue so we can entertain outdoors properly for the first time." A week after moving the family went to the UK for Christmas: "I'm always upset when we leave there as I regard our house in Stockton-on-Tees as our permanent home, but on my first day back in Dubai I realised that I wasn't homesick at all. Moving to a villa has made me feel we've created a proper family home."