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The Brilliant Beach Towel You Need In Your Life Right Now

Get set to sizzle on the sand with Anaskela – the smart and sustainable answer to drying off in style

Beach season is back. And while you may have put substantial effort into cultivating the perfect beach babe outfit, can the same be said for your beach towel? Undoubtedly the last thing to be considered, an old, bulky bath sheet invariably gets taken for a day out on the sand – but thanks to a lightbulb moment from an ex-Dubai dweller and her childhood best friend, the boring beach towel is a concept that has quite literally been hung out to dry. 

“Necessity truly is the mother of invention – which we learn quickly when we become mothers,” says beach lifestyle brand Anaskela’s co-founder, and one time Dubai resident, Jana Khoury. “Your appreciation for efficiency, for products that make life easier and don’t compromise on style multiply when you have a hectic lifestyle – and raising a family makes you so much more aware of the need for items that make daily activities just that little bit simpler.”

Growing up in Greece, and currently living in the UK, Jana spent every summer on the beaches of her homeland, returning now with her own young family in tow. And it was on one of those beautiful Greek beaches that the idea for Anaskela was born. 

“My business partner and childhood friend Melissa Ward-Papageorgiou came up with the concept when travelling around the Greek Islands with her kids in 2018,” explains Jana, whose 20-year career in luxury fashion PR saw her working with some of the world’s most prestigious brands. “She felt that their bulky beach towels were weighing the family down and taking up too much space in their luggage, and wanted to create something better. So she brought the idea to me, and we decided that there must be a better way to live – at least while on vacation. The rest of the story, like those soggy, terry cloth towels covered in sand, is Anaskela history.”

The goal was to create a stylish and functional towel that was more conducive to travel, and less than a year after they started work on their business plan, Jana and Melissa launched their debut collection. Weighing just 200 – 300 grams, each super-thin, eco-friendly Anaskela towel is made using fibres made from recycled PET bottles,  is super absorbent, quick-drying, and sand-repellant.

“The concept of the travel towel already existed of course, but we couldn’t find one that was aesthetically exciting or sustainable,” explains Jana. “So we decided those three values – functionality, sustainability and design – would be the pillars of our business, and behind every decision we would make. Designed to be stunning, compact, lightweight, absorbent, and quick-drying, our towels blend functionality with aesthetics in order to perform as well as looking great.”

With sustainability central to their ethos, ensuring that Anaskela products were created with as much thought and consideration for the planet as possible is fundamental to their business. “At launch, each towel was produced using six recycled plastic bottles,” says Jana. “As Anaskela’s business grows, so is our pledge to increasing the amount of recycled material in our fabric.” 

Jana and Melissa work together on each collection’s design, colour and concepts, usually brainstorming on or somewhere near a beach in Greece. Once rough designs are finalised and translated into a printable format, the initial edit is put together, which is gradually whittled down to a final offering. “We’re not really driven by fashion or trends, but more by what we would want to have for the summer, or what we can see our friends liking,” Jana explains. “Our collection usually starts with a vibe or something we’ve seen or experienced, and evolves from there. And we’ve been so lucky and happy with how the towels have been received. Customers have been leaving great reviews and even emailing directly to give us their feedback, which we appreciate so much. I think a lot of people were really surprised that a product made using recycled plastic bottles could actually feel so soft to the touch.”

With such positive feedback for items made wholly from recycled materials, Jana hopes consumers are learning just how technologically advanced sustainable fashion products are. “Supply comes from demand, so I hope consumers become more and more demanding for products that are well made, long-lasting and are not detrimental to our planet. We need to become more innovative and create ways to fulfil the desire for beauty and consumption with products that are smart and enduring.”

Aside from product and packaging, the brand also contribute financially to specific charitable organisations, donating a percentage of profits to WWF Greece, as well as organising beach cleanups – something they hope can resume once it’s safe to gather in groups again

“As true lovers of the beach, we’re doing what we can to protect our precious environment, and will always look for ways to improve our products and reduce our carbon footprint,” explains Jana. “We’re very conscious of practicing what we preach, but in no way do we claim to be the perfect example. We’re really mindful about what we put into the world, because sustainability is massively important to us, and we’re learning more and more what that means every day.”

For more information, visit anaskela.com 

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Your Guide on How to Rent in Dubai

Stretch Your AED

Dubai is a bustling city with a thriving real estate market, making it a popular destination for expats and locals alike. With a wide range of apartments and villas available for rent, finding the perfect place to call home can be overwhelming. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of renting in Dubai and provide tips to help you find your dream home.

Understanding the Dubai Rental Market

Before diving into the rental process, it’s important to understand the current state of the Dubai rental market. In recent years, there has been an increase in the supply of rental properties, leading to a decrease in rental prices. This means that now is a great time to rent in Dubai, as you may be able to find a better deal than in previous years. However, the opposite is true during certain months of the year. Rental prices in Dubai tend to increase during the peak season, which typically falls between September and April. This period coincides with the cooler months in Dubai. Residents and tourists coming in during these months increase the demand for rental properties rises, leading to an upward pressure on prices.

Types of Properties Available for Rent

Dubai offers a variety of rental properties, including apartments, villas, and townhouses. Apartments are the most common type of rental property, with a range of options from studio apartments to large penthouses. Villas and townhouses are typically larger and more expensive but offer more space and privacy.

Popular Areas for Renting

When it comes to choosing a location to rent in Dubai, it’s important to consider your budget, lifestyle, and proximity to work or school. Some popular areas for renting include Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, and Jumeirah Lakes Towers. These areas offer a mix of residential and commercial properties, with easy access to amenities and transportation.

The Rental Process

Now that you have an understanding of the rental market in Dubai, let’s walk through the steps of renting a property.

Determine Your Budget

Before you start your search, it’s important to determine your budget. This will help narrow down your options and prevent you from overspending. In Dubai, it’s common for landlords to require a security deposit and multiple rent cheques upfront, so be sure to factor these costs into your budget.

Start Your Search

With your budget in mind, you can start your search for the perfect rental property. You can browse listings online, work with a real estate agent, or visit properties in person. It’s important to view multiple properties and compare prices and amenities to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Submit Your Documents

Once you’ve found a property you’re interested in, you’ll need to submit your documents to the landlord or real estate agent. These documents typically include a copy of your passport, visa, and Emirates ID. You may also be required to provide proof of income or employment.

Sign the Tenancy Contract

If your application is approved, you’ll need to sign a tenancy contract. This contract outlines the terms of your rental agreement, including the duration of the lease, rent amount, and any additional fees or clauses. It’s important to read and understand the contract before signing.

Pay the Rent and Security Deposit

Before moving into your new rental property, you’ll need to pay the first rent cheque and security deposit. The security deposit is typically equivalent to one month’s rent and will be returned to you at the end of your lease, provided there is no damage to the property.

Register Your Tenancy Contract

In Dubai, it’s mandatory to register your tenancy contract with the Ejari system. This can be done online or through a typing centre. The cost of registration is typically split between the landlord and the tenant.

Tips for Renting in Dubai

Now that you know the rental process, here are some tips to help you find the perfect rental property in Dubai.

Work with a Real Estate Agent

While it’s possible to find a rental property on your own, working with a real estate agent can make the process much easier. They have access to a wide range of properties and can help negotiate the terms of your lease.

Consider Your Commute

Dubai is a large city, and traffic can be a major issue during rush hour. When choosing a location to rent, consider your commute to work or school. Living closer to your daily destinations can save you time and money on transportation.

Negotiate the Rent

Don’t be afraid to negotiate the rent with the landlord. In the current rental market, landlords may be willing to lower the rent or offer additional amenities to secure a tenant. It’s always worth asking for a better deal.

Read the Contract Carefully

Before signing the tenancy contract, be sure to read it carefully and ask for clarification on any terms you don’t understand. This will help prevent any surprises or issues during your tenancy.

Be Prepared for Additional Fees

In addition to the rent and security deposit, you may be required to pay additional fees such as a commission to the real estate agent, a maintenance fee, or a fee for using the building’s amenities. Be sure to factor these costs into your budget.

Renting in Dubai can be a daunting process, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can find the perfect rental property for your needs. Remember to determine your budget, work with a real estate agent, and carefully read and negotiate the terms of your tenancy contract. With these tips in mind, you’ll be on your way to finding your dream home in Dubai.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key factors to consider when choosing a neighbourhood for renting in Dubai?

Choosing the right neighbourhood involves considering factors such as proximity to work, amenities, lifestyle preferences, and budget. Our guide provides insights into popular neighbourhoods, helping you make an informed decision based on your unique needs and preferences.

How can I budget wisely when renting in Dubai, and what additional costs should I be aware of?

Budgeting wisely is crucial for a successful renting experience. Our guide outlines average rental prices in different neighbourhoods and explores additional costs such as security deposits and agency fees. Understanding these financial aspects ensures that you find a rental property that aligns with your budget and financial goals.

What legal aspects should I be aware of when renting in Dubai, and how do I navigate the tenancy laws?

Navigating tenancy laws is essential for a transparent and fair renting experience. Our guide provides an overview of Dubai’s tenancy laws, including standard lease durations, the renewal process, and the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. Understanding the legal aspects ensures that you enter into a rental agreement with confidence and clarity.

What is Ejari?

Ejari is an online registration system in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that aims to regulate and document rental contracts. It is a government initiative designed to ensure transparency and fairness in the rental market. Ejari requires landlords and property management companies to register their tenancy contracts and obtain a unique Ejari number. This registration provides legal protection for both tenants and landlords and helps maintain a reliable database of rental agreements in Dubai.

Are there any fees associated with Ejari registration?

The cost of Ejari registration typically includes a government fee, a typing center fee for document preparation, and any additional service charges from the registration service provider. The specific fees may vary depending on the type of property and the registration period.

Who are the top rental agents in dubai for renting a property?

Here are some of the most reputable real estate agencies that are known for their expertise in property rentals:

  1. Betterhomes: A leading real estate agency in Dubai with a strong presence in the rental market.
  2. Asteco: A well-established real estate firm offering property leasing services in Dubai.
  3. Hamptons International: Known for their premium property offerings, Hamptons International specialises in high-end residential properties.
  4. Allsopp & Allsopp: A popular real estate agency with a dedicated rentals team that focuses on finding suitable rental options for clients.
  5. Chestertons: Another reputable agency of rental properties in Dubai with expertise across different areas and cater to both residential and commercial rental needs.

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