x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

On the Market: A view of greenery through every window

This five-bedroom villa in Dubai is part of a development designed to foster community and and create sustainable parkland.

Large rooms are located throughout. Satish Kumar / The National
Large rooms are located throughout. Satish Kumar / The National

Built on the principle that residents should see greenery through every window, this five-bedroom villa set amid lush gardens and adjacent to a wildlife reserve offers easy movement between indoors and out.

Property

Five-bedroom villa in Al Barari.

Price

For sale at Dh16 million.

Key features

A substantial detached villa in one of Dubai's best-kept secrets, the Al Barari development located on the seaward (north-western) side of the E311 (Emirates Road), between the Arabian Ranches exit and the interchange with the Dubai-Al Ain Road.

With enviable views over the city, Al Barari (the name means "wilderness") is a magnificent achievement, the vision of the Zaal family and led by Zaal Mohammed Zaal, an Emirati entrepreneur. The goal was to create a restful oasis of green serenity where once was only barren desert. They have certainly succeeded. So much vegetation was planted that the area is beginning to establish its own microclimate, cool in the shade and requiring less irrigation as the plants become more established. How many other developments are fronted by their own dedicated nursery and landscaping team?

The development consists of a series of leaf-shaped clusters of 97 independent villas. These will be followed later by a small number of apartments, a boutique hotel and other amenities. The nursery that supplies all of the plants for the development is already established.

The layout of the development is designed to foster community relations and to provide secluded space where children can play and families can relax. Once inside the estate, there is no through traffic.

The property extends to a massive 1,077 square metres on a plot of 1,371 square metres, and sits in a corner at the head of a quiet cul-de-sac. At the rear, the property overlooks community gardens and walkways, and a freshwater river runs through the parkland.

The house is a modern design based on the principle that residents should be able to see greenery through every window. And indeed you can - even the first floor and upper terraces have provision for natural plantings. The architectural philosophy is to blur the lines between inside and out, and great attention has been paid to the ease of movement between the two environments.

Entrance is through a tall double door into a triple-storey atrium that floods the interior with natural light. This leads into the main living area, a vast, open-plan space that occupies the entire rear of the villa. To the right is a formal dining area, to the left is a family or media room, and straight ahead is a grand lounge with bi-fold doors that lead directly on to the garden terrace, with the pool, jacuzzi and cabana beyond. This ease of movement between spaces characterises the Al Barari lifestyle.

The rest of the property has been built in a series of intermediate layers of different elevations. This breaks the large house into a series of smaller, more intimate and self-contained spaces that lend themselves to a variety of uses.

There are five main bedrooms, all ensuite, with additional guest bathrooms near the entertaining spaces. One of the bedrooms is in a stand-alone wing, accessed from the first-floor terrace via a private entrance. Here, too, is the maid's suite, again with its own entrance, a large and separate studio apartment finished to the same high standard as the main house and large enough for a couple. On this first-floor terrace there is also a barbecue and various seating areas with splendid views, while further up again is a roof terrace and its separate, private retreat, a perfect space to escape, relax and meditate on your success.

They say

"The ultimate in luxury, space, quality and privacy, Al Barari is, in short, your sanctuary of life. This wonderful project, only 10 minutes from the heart of Dubai, is located next to the sheikh's family wildlife reserve and the grand palace. This ensures that every villa has an amazing view over the unblockable skyline of Dubai and enjoys the highest standards in privacy and security.

"Every villa is nestled in lush and beautifully landscaped botanical gardens with lakes and rivers, and is fitted with the latest technical equipment and highest finishes. The owners can choose from an array of finishes, starting from the decking of the terrace and the pool area to the appliances in the bathrooms. Al Barari is the place to tranquillise and relax, with the bustling Dubai on your doorstep. This is a beautiful Bromelia Villa on a big corner plot and lovely community garden views."

We say

This is an intriguing and impressive development, with an effortless interchange between indoor and outdoor living. There is nowhere else in Dubai that even comes close. The property has an almost infinite variety of living opportunities, with a number of rooms and living spaces in addition to its five bedroom suites.

Unusually, it also has two spacious basement areas that could become gym or home cinema spaces, and a triple garage with closing doors. It also offers a modern lifestyle, and is equipped with fully integrated with audio, video, internet and security systems and central control panels.

Pluses

The construction and finish of the villa are to a very high standard. Residents have direct access to the development's extensive community parkland and gardens. The development has been designed with long-term sustainability at its core; energy efficiency, water recycling, native ecologically adaptive planting and minimised irrigation demand all help contribute to the success of the project.

Minuses

Access is only from Emirates Road at the moment, which means every journey starts towards Abu Dhabi and the first opportunity to go in the other direction relies on looping through Global Village, a task at times made impossible by the volumes of traffic there. The developers promise that another access in the opposite direction is in the pipeline.

Although planting in the approach and public areas is extensive, some parts of the site are still under construction and will not be fully green for a while yet. The planned boutique hotel is also just that at the moment - planned.

Verdict

A large and thoroughly modern villa in a visionary development, offering a measure of green and tranquil living that is rare indeed in Dubai. For those with sufficiently deep pockets, it offers a very attractive and thought-provoking alternative to more predictable choices.

For further information, contact Christoph Engels of exclusive agents Engel & Volkers, 04 32 59 411, christoph.engels@engelvoelkers.com; www.engelvoelkers.com/dubaialmarsa