Old Town apartments in Dubai with a new face for Dh3.7m

Rick Guy is a big fan of The Old Town apartments – the series of low-rise apartment blocks arranged around the outside of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard in Emaar’s Downtown Dubai master-planned community. Well, sort of.

Mr Guy, a British property professional, has developed a sideline in buying properties in the community, ripping out the fittings, upgrading them and selling them on.

He says the Old Town has a lot to offer. “You’re a five-minute walk from Dubai Mall, you’re on the Boulevard, you have the Opera House, numerous restaurants.”

The Old Town buildings, meanwhile, are a rare thing in that most are three-storey buildings, and even the taller mid-rise apartments are no higher than about eight storeys.

“It’s the only development in Downtown that is low-rise, and you’re certainly not going to get any more because the [land] values are so high that you have to go up so many storeys to make it stack up,” says Mr Guy.


In pictures: See how Mr Guy has refurbished the apartment


For the property developer, there are only two downsides to the area: the traffic and the original decor in The Old Town apartments, which use heavy, dark woods and enclosed kitchens.

This is where Mr Guy has found his niche. He has now converted four apartments in the Old Town, plus a property at Emirates Hills.

The Old Town conversions have all been similar in style, although each one is tailored to the individual property with bespoke curtains, furniture and furnishings.

His latest is a 1,354 square feet, two-bedroom property on the sixth floor of a Reehan community building, on the market for Dh3.7 million with Dubai-based agency Ascot & Company.

“Apart from the tiles underneath the floor, there isn’t a square inch that hasn’t been ripped out and changed. All of the ceilings are new, the bathrooms are new, and they’re all marble. The cupboards and wardrobes are completely new,” he says.

Mr Guy’s designs are based on making the properties much brighter, using a palette of light greys and whites for furnishing. Discrete spotlights are placed into ceiling bulkheads and feature chandeliers are added. Kitchen spaces are also opened out to create a brighter kitchen / dining area with a breakfast bar, and in the bathrooms baths have been removed and replaced with wet rooms.


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