From an Inhabitat article. For many years, foreign transplants to Abu Dhabi have experienced shock, surprise and even a minor coronary event after realising how high rental accommodations are in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Boat developer and enthusiast Berend Lens van Rijn devised a solution after spending 10 years running the marine management & founded, Belavi Marinas. He is now bringing luxury houseboats built by the Netherlands-based Waterlovt to one of the world most expensive cities.
The businessman realised he could pair a high love of boats with a unique niche in the housing market by developing upscale houseboats for anyone seeking to escape sky-high rental prices. Houseboats are not an uncommon housing choice in the Netherlands, which also translates well to Abu Dhabi’s plentiful waters. Waterlovt builds self-sustaining, next-generation houseboats for a luxurious and future-proof way of living. Each boat can produce about 3.5kWh of solar energy that powers on-board air conditioning, a TV, a washing machine and charges the houseboat’s battery to supply power at night. The high-end houseboats are capable of functioning independently off the grid.
The houseboats come in four sizes which are variations on a basic design. Each model has an entry level with a living room, dining area and kitchen as well as a lower level. The two smaller houseboats are designed with bedrooms on the main level. The larger versions on the other hand can have as four separate bedrooms situated on the lower level.
Although living in a houseboat is a challenge, requires careful maintenance and a minimalist lifestyle, van Rjin say that it’s a plus in the long term. He said that if anyone is getting a housing allowance and after 5-10 years of living in a rented apartment or villa, people will realise that for the money you could have lived in a boat will save them plenty of money. It’s no wonder why many expats are choosing houseboats over rented villas or apartments.