My Dubai Rent: Filipino was first tenant to move into Dh38,000 Silicon Oasis pad

Rey Delante did not know much about the neighbourhood until he visited a friend's home a decade ago

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My Dubai Rent takes you inside a reader's home to have a look at what they pay each month, see who they live with and ask what they like and don't like.

Rey Delante, 51, moved to the UAE from his home country of the Philippines 18 years ago and has lived most of that time in his one-bedroom apartment in Dubai’s popular Silicon Oasis.

While working as a graphic designer, photographer and videographer he has seen area evolve dramatically. He has a company Eye Candy Media & Events, which he mostly operates remotely from home.

Mr Delante is an outdoor activity enthusiast in his spare time and regularly goes hiking, kayaking and camping during the cooler months, which is why he appreciates the great road connections that his ASB Tower home provides.

He is single and pays Dh38,000 a year spread across four cheques to lease his apartment, along with an annual fee of Dh2,500 that covers air-conditioning.

Here, he invites The National into his home for a look around.

Why did you choose this area?

I really had no idea about Dubai Silicon Oasis until a friend of mine invited me more than 11 years ago. He is a collector of valuable action figures and I wanted to visit his place in order to see his collection. I used to live in Sheikh Hamdan Colony in Karama, in a shared two-bedroom flat. Then I saw this place.

This building has a pool, a gym and sauna whereas the flat I was staying at that time didn’t have those amenities, so I decided to move in as one of this block’s earliest tenants.

Rent was only Dh32,000 with free AC back then — I was looking to live on my own, so the decision to move address was easy. I like that the area is far from the busiest city districts and, at that time, it was a really quiet, peaceful environment.

What is the community like now?

The building is near the new Silicon Central mall, which is very handy. I’m not sure if this is the heart of the community now, but it seems the area is busier than other locations in DSO.

Rey Delante's 'Star Wars' action figures collection at his home in Dubai Silicon Oasis. Photo: Antonie Robertson / The National

That said, I don’t really consider myself sociable. I’m definitely more of a home body, so the area is still perfect for me — generally far from everyone else.

How have you personalised your apartment?

It took several iterations for me to finally say I’d got what I needed in the flat.

Over the years I have accumulated a lot of things, including my Star Wars 31-inch action figures collection.

This must be a bug I got from my friend, who used to live in the same building. I added three custom-made white wooden boxes to store my stuff; two are long boxes for my photography and videography gear and the other one is for my hiking and camping gear.

I particularly chose white for the boxes to keep the place looking clean and still appear minimalist. There are two washrooms in this flat; one is also used as a store room.

Are there unique features in your home?

This flat has a big enough balcony for my purposes. I have seen units in the same building with bigger balconies, but they have smaller living rooms.

The one thing that really made me decide to take this flat was the large living room. It also has a high ceiling and I can easily convert the space into a photo studio for sessions anytime I need to.

Are there any downsides to living in this district?

When driving to some places I sometimes feel DSO is a long way out, but actually, it’s usually 20 minutes by car to almost anywhere else in Dubai.

And my location also means that I am a little nearer than most of my hiking buddies when it comes to us heading up to Ras Al Khaimah for our outdoor activities on weekends during the winter.

In terms of public transport, there are regular RTA buses to BurJuman and Centrepoint stations on the Dubai Metro.

So when I am not in the mood to drive I can commute from DSO to Dubai Media City for work assignments which can involve magazine design on-site with a client.

What is the major plus of living in your apartment?

The building is very well maintained compared to other residential buildings I have visited in Dubai. The real estate company is also very quick to respond when it comes to any repairs required in the flat.

Do you plan to stay in the property?

I have stayed here all these years and haven’t moved around maybe because I dread the idea of moving. While the rent rate is not as competitive as it perhaps should be for a ‘far from the city centre’ location, it is still a great place to live.

Updated: September 13, 2022, 5:10 AM