Green indoor plant in thumb

Welcome to Indoor Plants 101

Your green thumb starts here.

Baby, it’s hot outside. And somewhere between the weather and work-from-home routines, we’re spending a lot more time indoors – and desperate to develop a green thumb. With that in mind, we observed a moment of silence for all the plants we’ve killed over the years and headed to Dubai Garden Centre for a chat with horticulturist Abdul Aziz, whose knowledge of all things botanical is nothing short of astounding. Here’s what we learned.

How to Select Them:

You can choose from evergreen, flowering (seasonal and perennial), and fruit-bearing (lemon and kumquat, for example) plants in addition to cacti and succulents.

Acclimatised plants will not only survive, but also thrive indoors at temperatures ranging from 16ºC to 30ºC, which means the climate in this region shouldn’t be an issue.

If you’re a first-time plant parent, opt for the statement-making areca palm as all it requires is regular watering and a nitrogen-based fertiliser once a month. And if you start to see signs of damage, simply cut off the problematic stem to protect the rest of the plant.

Apartment dwellers can overcome space constraints by buying hanging plants such as English ivy or the money plant. Not only are these trailing varieties easy to maintain, but they’re also versatile – they can be grown in hanging baskets or trained to climb up a trellis.

Succulents are also great space-savers and only need to be watered once a month. They’re not dependent on extremely bright light, either.

Some varieties (the peace lily, snake plant, rubber plant, and prayer plant included) are especially known for their air-purifying properties, and therefore very popular.

The dieffenbachia plant is toxic owing to its sap and should therefore be avoided by families with pets and young children.

How to Display Them:

The best spot to place any indoor plant is at least one metre away from the window, where it gets bright yet indirect light for optimal photosynthesis.

While the jury’s still out on the suitability of plants in the bedroom, air-purifying varieties remain popular. The peace lily, in particular, will help you sleep better.

Planters with drainage holes aren’t necessary for indoor plants. In fact, clay balls added to the soil will absorb excess water without creating a mess and reduce the risk of root rot, making them perfect for indoor use.

The key to styling plants is creativity – anything from wooden ladders and tyres to dresser drawers, milk jugs, and even wellington boots can be repurposed as unexpected planters.

Create a visually appealing display by grouping together plants of varying heights, and aim for an odd number for a more effortless-looking finish. 

How to Tend Them:

Artificial lighting, while sometimes used, isn’t ideal as it simply can’t compare with the wavelengths of sunlight.

Yellow leaves are a sign of deteriorating health. If your plant is underwatered, its leaves will droop. And if your plant is overwatered, its leaves will soften. A moisture metre measures the humidity of the soil, and therefore helps keep a plant’s health in check.

Liquid fertiliser and powder fertiliser that is water-soluble come highly recommended for all types of indoor plants. Avoid the slow-release granular type entirely as it’s intended for outdoor plants.

Evergreen plants and succulents require a nitrogen-based fertiliser because it will help prevent discoloured foliage and sub-par growth. In contrast, flowering and fruit-bearing plants benefit more from a potassium-based fertiliser, especially when they stop producing flowers and fruits respectively.

If your plant is healthy and well-maintained, opt for a blended fertiliser that contains particles of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus alongside small amounts of micronutrients.

The soil of this region isn’t natural – it’s a potting mix made with coco peat, leading to iron deficiency, which can be identified by slightly yellow leaves and prominent veins. In this case, an iron-based fertiliser is a must.

Mealybugs – tiny, cottony insects that feed on plant sap – are a very common problem, but an infestation can be avoided by not over-watering your plants. A few spritzes of lemon juice once or twice a week, however, will remedy the problem.


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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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