Setting Up Home

New home: What to do on a budget and where to splurge

So, you’ve just moved into your new villa or apartment and are keen to put your mark on the place. Knowing where to spend on your property and where to save will help to stretch your budget and cut unnecessary costs

Lana Bed, Zen Interiors
Lana Bed, Zen Interiors

Where to SAVE


Swapping plain tiles for custom flooring is a simple way to change the feel of your home and the good news is that it doesn’t have to break the bank. There’s no need to remove the existing floor, as many companies offer durable options that simply fit over the top. This also means you can take them with you should you decide to leave. Local go-tos include Floorworld for it’s Luxury Vinyl Tiles that simply click into place. Dragon Mart is another popular choice for those with the stamina to search out the best deals. 

Kitchen cabinets 

Kitchen cabinets can be expensive, so before you start ripping them out, consider giving your current ones a new lease of life with a lick of paint. Alternatively, you could opt for a vinyl covering from Creative Wrap, which has a great range of designs that can completely transform the look of a kitchen. If you’re dead set on replacing the cabinets, you can make a big impact for less by choosing affordable options at IKEA.


Replacing door knobs, handles and light switch plates can instantly refresh a room. You can pick up fixtures in various styles at hardware shops such as ACE Hardware and Homesmiths for low prices. If you’re not au fait with DIY, there are serval handyman companies you can call upon to install them for you. We rate Fixperts.

Pick up some pre-loved pieces

As Dubai is a transient place for many there is a constant supply of furniture for sale online. Repurposing  secondhand goods ups your eco-points and saves you money. You can often find high-quality pieces that have hardly been used for low prices, so it’s worth scouting around online before you buy new. Check the Facebook groups in your local area and Dubai’s answer to eBay – Dubizzle. During the winter months there’s also the Dubai Flea Market where residents sell their secondhand items for low prices. 


When it comes to adding the finishing touches to your home it can be tempting to spend on the trend. However, as styles are always changing this can be a good place to save your dirhams. Invest in the staple pieces, such as the bed, and allow that to set the tone for the room, while the accessories add a more trendy feel. Swapping out your decorative pieces can give a room a new lease of life – so if you’ve shopped frugally here you won’t feel bad at overhauling whenever the mood takes you. 

Where to SPEND 


A killer faucet is the place to spend in the kitchen as it delivers on value and ups the practicality of your sink. There are a range of taps on the market that successfully team form and function. Some faucets come with filtering systems so you can wave goodbye to unsightly water coolers. We rate Quooker for its boiling water straight from the tap. For those who want to reflect their personal style and add a quirky finish to their kitchen, opt for an Essence by GROHE, which come in a range of bright colours.


When you’re putting down roots for the foreseeable future, it’s wise to invest in a top quality sofa that’s the perfect fit for your space. The average life of a good quality fabric sofa is 15 years and a leather one can last three times as long, so you’ll want to choose a timeless style. There are several places in Dubai where you can find your perfect solution. Both Chattels & More and West Elm are sound choices as they offer high-quality options in a broad range of colours, sizes and styles. 

Garden furniture 

As the weather is beautifully temperate for nine months of the year, you’ll want to create an outdoor area that you can spend time in. Do this by investing in high-quality garden furniture that not only encourages you to spend time outside but adds another entertaining space to your home. It’s a good idea to fork out a little more here as the sun can quickly damage anything of a low quality. A higher quality will last for longer so is better value in the long run.


A high-quality bathroom will help distinguish your home when it comes to rent or sell. Plus, it adds a touch of luxury to your everyday life. If you’re moving into an older build, it’s a particularly good idea to modernise the sanitary ware, perhaps by adding a dream bathtub or waterfall shower. If you’ve got a head full of ideas but don’t know where to start the Jaquar showroom is a one-stop shop of products. Plus, their experts will advise you on the best plumbing and appliances for your room. 

Gliss Master Window Hinged, Island Drawer Units, Gliss Walk In wardrobe
Gliss Master Window Hinged, Island Drawer Units, Gliss Walk In wardrobe


A high-quality, fitted wardrobe adds value to your home by maximising the space available. If you’re prepared to invest here, Molteni&C offer top-end designer wardrobe fit-outs that guarantee the wow-factor and longevity. Visit their showroom to meet the experts who will handle the process from design to fit. 

Before you make the move have a read over our moving in checklist and brush up your home maintenance task list for all those jobs to be completed throughout the year in a UAE home.

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