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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Inside a Dh28m 'tropical' Emirates Hills mansion

It's a mighty big house with an infusion of nature

There's housing estates all over the world filled with identical houses, as developers try to cram in as many as they can with the same design to keep costs as low as possible.

It makes economic sense, absolutely. But if you have many millions to spend, you don't want to be living in a home that looks just the like one next door, or the one next door to that. Unless of course they have been stunningly designed, such as the beautiful townhouses in upmarket London or Paris.

In Dubai, you have your identikit builds in the mid-market suburbs - pleasant villas providing comfortable family homes. But if you want a property with added character on a street where there's no shortage of variety then head to Emirates Hills.

The community is composed of bespoke villas which started rising when the land was purchased in the early 2000s. The villas can vary from imposing mansions to country retreats - and one has come on the market which has a mix of both.

Located in Sector H along the northern boundary of the estate, the villa, priced at Dh28 million, spans 8,000 sq ft but sits on a plot almost twice the size. And it is the outdoor area which really catches the eye.

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The edges of the property are covered in lush vegetation creating what feels like an exotic retreat in a tropical destination rather than the desert, similar to the Al Barari community on the outskirts of Dubai.

The patio is adjoined by a barbecue station and bar with a countertop made from the trunk of an acacia tree. The pool comes with an elevated Jacuzzi, but there is one warning that needs to be made - you would need to invest in an extendable leaf rake to remove the falling leaves in the winter. It's a small price to pay.

“It never ceases to amaze me how much work the owners of these villas put into making their properties truly one-of-a-kind,” said Andrew Cummings, managing director of LuxuryProperty.com which is marketing the property. He describes the villa as "a very rural, nature-infused lifestyle experience right in the middle of the city".

Studious types can work in peace. Courtesy LuxuryProperty.com
The study provides somewhere peaceful to work. Courtesy LuxuryProperty.com

Inside there's rich wood finishes and marble throughout, while yellow lighting provides warmth. The highlight of the ground floor is a living room which acts as a solarium as its curving outer wall is framed entirely by glass.

There's four marble-floored bedrooms on the first floor, plus a master-suite containing a wooden floor and its own sitting room and walk-in dressing room.

Average Dubai villa sales prices were down 13 per cent year on year in the third quarter, according to a report from Asteco. It said prices were down 4 per cent quarter on quarter, but were up 18 per cent since the market low in 2011.