Exhausted teacher quits class to start luxury room rental service in Dubai

A former teacher who quit her job to start her own business says she wants to change the landscape of room rentals in Dubai.

After teaching at a primary school for five years, Danielle Hall from the UK started iiabud_dubaii, a small-scale flatshare rental service.

As an experienced owner in the UK, she wanted to provide something where people, especially single women new to Dubai, would feel safe and able to forge new friendships.

“I have just completed my last week as a teacher and am on my knees health wise. The workload is huge,” she said.

They are all three-bedroom apartments and every bedroom in a property is en-suite, which is a big plus for tenants knowing they don’t have to share bathrooms.

Danielle Hall, iiabud_dubaii

“I have noticed that many young professionals struggle to find legal, clean and quality rooms to rent or flatshares in Dubai, so that’s where the business idea came from.

“I started with three bedrooms in one apartment and now I have 21 bedrooms spread across seven apartments, so it’s really taken off.

“I have decided to hang up my teaching boots to focus my full-time efforts on iiabud_dubaii.”

After obtaining a business license to rent vacation homes, Ms Hall, along with her business partner Lisa Thomas, rents apartments under their company name on annual contracts.

The business couple sources apartments directly from a well-known developer in Dubai and offers accommodation for people who want to co-share with like-minded people and pay their rent and bills in one monthly payment. .

The license allows three people, unrelated, to live together under one roof and, in accordance with the agreement with the developer, the apartments are only rented to occupants of the same sex.

All seven properties are fully furnished and located in downtown Dubai, close to public transport.

“The buildings are secure, have modern amenities including a swimming pool and gym, and are located within walking distance of a metro station,” she said.

“These are all three-bedroom apartments and every bedroom in a property is en-suite, which is a big plus for tenants knowing they don’t have to share bathrooms.

“There will never be more than three people living in an apartment, so our tenants know there is no risk of overcrowding.”

At current rates, standard rooms cost Dh4,000 per month and master suites are priced at Dh4,400. Room rates are revised every three months.

Tenants are encouraged to sign a lease for at least three months and they pay their monthly rent in advance.

“I’ve heard so many people have terrible landlord-tenant experiences, so I want to take that headache away from people,” she said.

“I’m a normal person starting my business, so I have a great interaction with my tenants because they’re the ones who can advise me on what works and what doesn’t.

“They don’t have to worry about fixing things like setting up an Ejari or paying big deposits for things like Dewa and air conditioning.”

Ms Hall said that currently around 50% of her residents are new to Dubai.

“It’s a great support for people who are new to moving here because most landlords ask for an Emirates ID, but a lot of people don’t have it at first,” she said.

“I ask for a copy of their passport and a copy of a job offer letter if applicable, although it is not essential.

“And just to cover any risk of deterioration, tenants are asked to pay a deposit of one month’s rent.

“I really want to change the landscape of room rentals in Dubai and provide a personalized service that works for young professionals looking to make friends and enjoy a comfortable family life here.”

Updated: July 10, 2022, 09:14

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