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by Sejal Nagjee



Planning your landscape design is an exciting time. Whether you want a new outdoor dining area, an infinity pool with a nearby Pergola or an area to relax long into the evening under the stars, planning your dream landscape design is attainable. Best of all, you can plan your dream landscape within your budget!


We’ve compiled a few tips to help you plan your dream backyard while sticking to your budget.


Know Your Budget


The first step to sticking with a budget is knowing how much you can spend. Knowing your budget will help you choose between the various hardscape and landscape options available to create your dream landscape design.


In design, we typically categorize landscape into the following four pricing categories, ranging from 550 dirhams per square meter to 1,500 dirhams per square meter. Your exact price point will depend on the structures and features you build.


To start a project you will need to:


  1. Take your total plot area and subtract the existing ground floor built up area of your villa, garage, and service blocks (if applicable). For example, if your total plot is 10,000 square feet and a total built-up area is 5500 square feet.  3,500 square feet would be the total built-up area of your ground floor and garage. Do not count the first floor.
  2. Now you will be left with 6,500 square feet of land to be developed.
  3. Once you have determined your square footage to be developed, multiply the number by .09 and you will arrive at the square meter to be developed.
  4. In this example 6500 sq.ft x.09= 585 m2. You would have 585 square meters of land to be developed.


Depending on your budget  there are different categories of projects:


  • Low-end budget – 585 square meters at 550 dirhams/sq. m = 321,750 Dhs.
  • Mid-range budget – 585 square meters at 700 dirhams/sq. m = 409,500 Dhs.
  • Mid-range with some features – 585 square meters at 850  dirhams/sq.m = 497,250 Dhs.
  • High-end budget – 585 square meters at 1100 dirhams/sq. m = 643, 500 Dhs.
  • Luxurious budget – 585 square meters at 1550 dirhams/sq. m = 906,750 Dhs.



Anything below 550 square meters can prove challenging. Typically, below 585 sq. m indicates to the landscape designer that you are not looking to invest for the long term. Perhaps this is a rental property or you plan on moving in near future. In this case, we would suggest a minimal landscape design with minimal features.


If you fall within the 1550 dhs / m2 rage, you might want to consider including a pool, Waterproof shade structures, water features, tough 3 cms thick granite or 2 cms thick porcelain for larger areas of the driveway.



Additionally, you could include fireline, firepots, high-end water features, sculptures, and other accessories, such as a koi pond, immaculate lighting, and high-end planting.



You live in Emirates Hills, Dubai hills and are building a villa for many years to come using high-end materials. You love to entertain and want to utilize your villa to entertain friends, family, and business associates. It’s your own personal resort!


Plan Your Features


As you start to plan your landscape design, take a moment to consider all of the features you want in your backyard. If you don’t plan your features these items can add up quickly. Not to mention, you need to make sure you have space in your landscape design for all of the items you wish to incorporate.


Water features, swimming pools, lighting features, planting, living walls, and automated irrigation systems work together to create a stunning and functional landscape design. As you think about the features you desire, be sure to consider your existing landscape features and plant life.



Plan enough numbers of seating and how you wish to spend your time in the garden.


Phasing Your Project


Due to the arid nature of the UAE, villa owners should at minimum cover their soil with artificial grass, pebbles, or even a minimal landscape. This will allow you to develop your landscape in the future as your budget permits.


If you are working with a limited budget, we suggest breaking your project into various phases.


  • Phase 1 – Generally, this first phase includes completing all groundwork required for your landscape design project. During this phase, all civil works including excavation, ground clearing, removing of debris, concrete works, tiling and paving of pathways should be completed.

Additionally, all wiring, irrigation, plumbing, electrical, and digging (i.e. a pool), will also be developed during phase one. During this phase, your design team will remove all salty soil and replace it with sweet soil, which is optimal for planting and grassing lush lawns.


  • Phase 2 – During the second phase, you will start to build your landscape spaces. During this phase, you will build your outdoor kitchen, backyard barbecue, concrete seating areas, wooden embellishments, customized furniture, and customized dining areas.


  • Phase 3 – During this last phase, your design team will focus on the finishing touches of your landscape design. Depending on your needs, this may include sculptures, wall arts, feature walls, works of art, pottery, firepots, swing, special outdoor furniture, and other decorative accents.


It’s important to note that there is always a loss when you complete your project in phases. Typically, phased work requires one thing or another being redone or uprooted. Additionally, as the landscape ages between phases, more and more work will arise.


For those starting with a minimal budget, we would recommend starting with artificial grass, pebbles and plants and irrigation as it can be easily used at a later date. Grass can be removed and used and pebbles reused. Taking plants into consideration, you can plant tall trees and tall bushes and plant short bushes and ground covers later.


Create a Master Plan


Plan your entire space. A Master Plan will make your phasing easier in the future, as your designer will have a general understanding of what you envision once all of the work has been completed. Phasing your landscape design in a planned way will help to curtail your losses in the end.


Milestone Landscaping


Entertaining your family, friends, and colleagues from the comforts of your backyard provides homeowners with an exciting opportunity to create the ultimate backyard party. However, when you plan ahead you can create your dream space well within your determined budget.


If you are considering transforming your landscape, contact the design experts at Milestone. Whether you know what you want or need a little inspiration, our team is here to help.







by Sejal Nagjee


Your backyard is the perfect place to throw a party. Whether you plan on throwing an intimate dinner party for a few close friends, or a large party for your colleagues and business associates, building your landscape for the ultimate backyard party is fun and exciting.


As the Founder and CEO of Milestone, I have compiled a few of my favorite landscape design tips for building the ultimate backyard party.


Plan Your Garden for Entertaining


Properly planned seating is essential to the success of any party. I always start my backyard design process by taking into account how many guests mt client will be entertaining on a recurring basis.


For example, are you planning on hosting more intimate events with 10-15 people, or will you be throwing larger events with 30-100 people? To accommodate your guests, you must consider where they will sit and relax during your event.



As you look around your landscape space, consider where you can incorporate seating areas. Depending on your needs, you can add seating near the dining area, bar area, outdoor kitchen or barbeque, or near the pool. Adding seating across all of these areas will really help your party to come alive.


Water, Fire, and Feature Walls to Create the Ultimate Backyard Party Space


There are few things in life I enjoy more than the soothing sounds of water. Water is the perfect way to create a relaxing and tranquil tone for your ultimate backyard party. Water features, such as fountains and water walls, create a peaceful ambiance for your backyard party while helping guests to unwind and rejuvenate.



In adding a custom water feature to your backyard landscape design, you don’t need to have any other decorative decor’ (unless you want to). A water feature combined with a fire feature will also work wonders for setting the tone for your backyard landscape design.



Firewalls, living walls, and other feature walls create an awe-inspiring backdrop for your backyard party. Not only do they look amazing, but they also serve as a great conversation starter for your party guests!


Light it Up


Lighting is a very important aspect for any backyard party. This is particularly true if you are hosting evening events. When you plan an efficient lighting scheme into your landscape design, you will not require additional lighting for future backyard parties. Not to mention, if you have to rely on your floodlights for evening events it will really spoil the mood of the party.



Mood lighting is not only effective for creating an ambiance, but it also serves to light up pathways during evening parties. If you plan on hosting backyard parties you will need to add mood lighting, feature lighting, functional lighting, and spotlighting. Cohesively, these lighting elements will work together to create a successful backyard party.


Plan Your Entertainment Area


When I throw a backyard party, I don’t simply want to host – I want to entertain! Consider where you plan on hosting and entertaining in your backyard space. Will you be entertaining in a seating area under your Pergola, next to your bar area, or around the outdoor dining area?



Once you determine where you will entertain, you want to ensure you add comfortable seating with pillows to entice your guests to relax and unwind. On the other hand, you don’t want to add too much seating for your space. The last thing you want is for your guests to be hampered by excess furniture or cluttered pathways.


Decorative Accents


Another important aspect for successful backyard parties is accessories. Think of these accessories as the icing on the cake of your landscape design. From ornate sculptures and decorative accents to living walls or a swing with plants, these accessories will place the finishing touch on your landscape design.


Milestone Dubai


Entertaining your family, friends, and colleagues from the comforts of your backyard provides homeowners with an exciting opportunity to create the ultimate backyard party. From smaller intimate gatherings to large corporate events, if you stick to my design tips you’ll be well on your way to creating the ultimate landscape design for successful entertaining.


If you are considering designing your backyard for the ultimate party, contact the design experts at Milestone. Whether you know what you want or need a little inspiration, my design team and I are here to help.