Last month, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge said that spending a childhood in the countryside can make children grow up to become “happy, healthy adults.”
Here, in the warmer climes of the UAE, is anyone on the same page as the British royal?
One Dubai-based property developer certainly seems to be.
Robert D. Booth, the Co-founder and Managing Director of Ellington Properties refers to biophilia– a theory about humans’ innate affinity for the natural world.
The successful property developer and his team’s latest project is Wilton Park Residences, located in Mohammed bin Rashid City. It’s a two-building, 320 apartment development, peaking at just 12 floors – relatively modest for Dubai. Yet, it’s also surrounded by two large parks and each individual property has views and access to greenery.
“If you look at our product, there’s this whole concept of biophilia, where you integrate nature and green space within the overall living environment. Because we like that approach we have applied it at Wilton Park Residences,” says Booth.
“And, since it overlooks a park we almost wanted to bring the park into the podium and the lobby area of the building to emphasise the whole nature aspect of the approach.”
When you get home, you just want to be able to relax. Whether that’s in a yoga area or a Zen garden, an amazing gym or a beautiful Infinity pool, or a walk in the park – it’s all designed for a lifestyle
Booth is a veteran in the Dubai property scene, having held a number of senior roles at Emaar as well as being a close advisor to the charismatic chairman, Mohamed Alabbar. In 2014, he saw a gap in the market for design-led properties, therefore, the boutique developer, Ellington Properties was launched.
“According to a McKinsey global research on design thinking, companies are generally winning in the global arena when the design is put at it’s core philosophy. When Everybody has to focus on details a great product is created,” he says.
This design-focused approach means that apartments flow seamlessly from indoors to out, and the interiors are designed with a Scandinavian sensitivity, with muted hues and organic tones.
This human-centric approach to living is apparent when Booth starts imaging exactly how home-owners will interact and exist in their homes. “When you get home, you just want to be able to relax. Whether that’s in a yoga area or a Zen garden, an amazing gym or a beautiful Infinity pool, or a walk in the park – it’s all designed for a lifestyle,” he says.
Ellington has sold to more than 90 different nationalities around the world, so its awareness of the market here is substantial. So, while residents at Wilton will enjoy the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, along with its flamingos on their doorstep, they will not be isolated to a life of rural seclusion. Downtown Dubai and the Dubai Mall are less than 10 minutes away and the airport is reachable in under 15 minutes.
Parents should also be satisfied as, not only is their child likely to appreciate the Infinity pool, an abundance of safe, outdoor areas and playrooms but they will be just moments’ drive from and to international standard school – increasing their own likelihood of developing into “happy, healthy adults.”