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Gardening in Dubai

garden-in-dubaiWhen renting a villa with a garden in Dubai usually the maintenance of the garden is the tenants responsibility. Often when new tenants move into the villa the garden has died off due to the villa being left vacant for a few weeks or months and so the garden has not been watered.

The up keep of a garden is something to be put in your budget when searching for a villa as it can be expensive because of the amount of water they ‘eat up’.  Don’t be fooled by that corner villa with a huge lawn – remember this will need to be watered and sometimes of the year twice a day!  In reality there is also a limited amount of time you and your children will spend in the garden.  From May to October the balcony doors will be kept hermetically sealed  due to the intense heat and the garden will only be for looking at.

It is worth thinking about putting an irrigation system into the garden (many will come with one) as it is more efficient.  The plants around the borders can be watered through a ‘drip irrigation system‘. Drip irrigation delivers water slowly immediately above, on or below the surface of the soil. This minimizes water loss due to runoff, wind and evaporation.  Gardeners watering the garden manually tend to use much more water than irrigation system and they can only come at certain times of the day which may not be the most efficient time to water the garden. Whereas the irrigation system can be set to come on at cooler times of the day so the water does not evaporate.  Watering by hand or using movable sprinklers connected to a hose can often lead to spotty, uneven lawns.  Lawns will need to be mowed every 1-2 weeks.

Minimize the amount of lawn to save money and in areas where the lawn is for show rather than use eg down the side of the villa or under trampolines it is worth thinking about Synthetic Grass.  The initial cost of the Synthetic Grass will obviously be more than real grass but the savings on water will soon outweigh the difference.  The quality of a Synthetic Grass available in Dubai is excellent and most times you cannot see the difference between real grass and the Synthetic Grass.  If you move on you can take it with you.

For plants go for Succulent plants that store water and are adapted to arid climates or soil conditions. Your gardener (if you choose to employ one) can advise you on which plants to plant or take a drive out to the Garden Souk area of Dubai in Al Warsan (behind International City) and talk to the gardeners there who are experts on advising you on which plants grow best.

Recommended Plants Include

Natal Plum
Purple Heart or Purple Queen
Goat’s Foot Creeper
Lantana Camara


Date Palm
Jerusalem Thorn
Neem Tree

Do not let your gardener persuade you to plant the Damas Tree. Yes, they are green all year round, fast growing, inexpensive and can act as a barrier but they also are causing damage to the underground piping systems, drains, walls and swimming pools in residential areas.  See recent article in Emirates 24/7.  Areas such as Arabian Ranches are instructing residents to remove Damas Trees due to all the damage they are causing.

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