Where to live in Dubai?

Al Barsha

Al Barsha begins behind the Mall of the Emirates and heads out towards Emirates Hills with newly developed areas of Barsha 3 & 4. It houses many apart-hotels and residential apartments, compounds, large independent villas and a large park. Very centrally located, just across from Um Suqeim beaches and Al Safa 1/2, Barsha is home to 2 of the best American schools in Dubai (a 3rd one will open in September 2016) and gives families the choice of living in a very large villa with sometimes a huge garden around.

Arabian Ranches

An Emaar development, Arabian Ranches is a gated community situated on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, one of the ring roads around Dubai. This makes it equally accessible from the airport or Jebel Ali and only 20 minutes from the Mall of the Emirates. It is a quiet, family orientated “oasis” consisting of 3 – 7 bedroom townhouses and villas, with nice interiors and varying exteriors.

Ideal for golf and equestrian activities lovers, with a Polo/Riding club nearby and some villas overlooking golf courses. There’s a community shopping centre, medical centre, communal pools, parks, tennis and baseball courts within the development and a very nice Belgian restaurant at the Golf course Club House.

Families with young children will find some nurseries and there’s also a very famous British curriculum school (which is notoriously difficult to get into). Additional schools and nurseries can be found in the neighbouring Sports City.

Arabian Ranches 2/Casa – Mudon – Sustainable City

Still considered the “old Dubai”, Bur Dubai starts just after Trade Center roundabout up to the Creek and its entrance. It’s the place of “Al Fahidi district” the historic old part of Dubai and some of the souks by the Creek. Still a very busy and lively area with mainly apartments block, it’s a perfect place for those looking for the more authentic side of Dubai and it’s still the place for many social clubs, a British curriculum school (one of the oldest), French school (AFLEC) and Alliance Française as well as a Catholic church (St Marys).

Satwa and Al Badaa can be considered as either part of Jumeirah 1 or Bur Dubai.

Located at the end of Al Wasl road and Jumeirah Beach road, it’s a mix of new and old Dubai, where residential villas sit next to old houses, small mosques, groceries and local bakery shops. Once the place where Iranians moved when relocated from Bastakia it’s becoming more a kind of “little Manilla”. Satwa is a shopping paradise for plants, hardwares, fabrics, tailor shops, Filipino and Indian restaurants, a must place to visit!

Bur Dubai

Still considered the “old Dubai”, Bur Dubai starts just after Trade Center roundabout up to the Creek and its entrance. It’s the place of “Al Fahidi district” the historic old part of Dubai and some of the souks by the Creek. Still a very busy and lively area with mainly apartments block, it’s a perfect place for those looking for the more authentic side of Dubai and it’s still the place for many social clubs, a British curriculum school (one of the oldest), French school (AFLEC) and Alliance Française as well as a Catholic church (St Marys).

Satwa and Al Badaa can be considered as either part of Jumeirah 1 or Bur Dubai.

Located at the end of Al Wasl road and Jumeirah Beach road, it’s a mix of new and old Dubai, where residential villas sit next to old houses, small mosques, groceries and local bakery shops. Once the place where Iranians moved when relocated from Bastakia it’s becoming more a kind of “little Manilla”. Satwa is a shopping paradise for plants, hardwares, fabrics, tailor shops, Filipino and Indian restaurants, a must place to visit!

Deira:Garhoud / Festival City

Deira is the opposite side of Bur Dubai, by the Creek and has historically been the commercial centre and the financial/government hub until early 2000 where part of Dubai commercial and financial activities moved to newly created Freezones: DIFC, Internet City, Media City, TeCom in the southern part of the town. Deira is still a very busy place with some of the most popular souks (Gold and Spices) and apartments mainly for sub-continent nationals.

Garhoud/Festival City: once considered as the wrong side of the Creek because of traffic congestion, it’s now a totally new part of Dubai and very convenient for those working in nearby Sharjah or Dubai Airport Free Zone. Festival City is the latest part, and it’s still undergoing huge development nearby, a mixed used development with residential communities, both villas and apartments, shopping mall, a golf course and several international hotels.

Dubai Investment Park: Green Community East/West

The Green Community is located off of the E311 highway, a self contained development by Union Properties. It’s probably the closest residential area to Jebel Ali Freezone and Abu Dhabi. Within the community, a large Marriott Hotel, residential towers (studio up to 2BR only), family bungalows and large 2 storey villas. A green oasis where properties are nicely finished, with well developed landscaping and communal pools/parks.

This area is one of the few villa communities, that offers a gym included in the rent. Downside of living there is probably its access as the whole area has ongoing construction development with the newly opened Al Maktoum Airport and the site of Expo 2020 in full swing. 2 very large game parks are also due to open by mid 2017.

Dubailand: The Villa/Falcon City/Remraam

Dubailand is a totally new part of Dubai firstly launched in 2006/2007 which almost stopped with the 2008 economical situation. Some developments remained on track and are now new residential areas while some others are still in the project phase. The area starts from Al Ain Road up to Al Qudra road between Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road and Emirates Road.

Falcon City and The Villa are up and coming areas where you can find good value for money especially now that shops, schools, and parks are appearing. The Villa comprises of are Spanish type villas 3 to 5 bedrooms, while Falcon City offers a wider choice of villa styles. No communal pools in those areas.

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is the heart of “new Dubai”. It lies on the coast and is made up of numerous towers of residential apartments, hotels and apart hotels. The man made marina stretches parallel to the coast offering for some of the towers either a (partial at least) sea or marina view, towers are getting higher and higher and it’s definitely for those who like “high rise living” and definitely the area of choice for the young single or couple expats working either in Jebel Ali or Media and Internet City. Accommodation ranges from studio apartments to 4 bedroom apartments and penthouses.

Along the coast lies Jumeirah Beach Residence and the Walk with its numerous shops and restaurants and more recently opened The Beach, a long promenade by the beach, with shops, restaurants, an open air cinema (in the winter months), and beach amenities. A large number of Dubai residents topped with lots of visitors during winter months make Dubai Marina a nightmare with traffic especially during week-ends. But it’s also one of the few places in Dubai where you can live without a car by either walking or using Dubai tram connected to Dubai Metro stations along Sheikh Zayed.

Coming very soon and attracting more visitors in the area, is the already famous ferris wheel Dubai Eye, the world’s largest of this type, on a man made island off the coast of Dubai Marina, Bluewaters Island.

Downtown Dubai/Business Bay

Also developed by Emaar, along with Dubai Marina, the area is probably the most touristic area of Dubai with the iconic Burj Khalifa tower, the Dubai fountain shows and Dubai Mall and from September the newly opened Dubai Opera! But Downtown Dubai is still a very sought after residential area, a prestigious address, with many hotels and offers for apartment living (studio to 3 bedrooms). The Old Town offers traditional Arabic styled low-rise apartment buildings with pools and malls designed like old souks nearby. Alongside the Old Town there are many high-rise developments clustered around the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. These are bright and airy often with good views of the Burj or surrounding areas.

Business Bay is directly linked to Downtown. It will be the place of the latest pharaonic addition to the city, the Dubai Canal, due to be completed at the end of 2017. Business Bay is a mix of offices, international hotels, and residential towers designed by world famous architects still in varying stage of development. Studio to 4 bedroom apartment and penthouses are available, some overlooking Dubai Canal. Traffic within Business Bay is easy with lots of new roads and direct access at Al Khail road and DIFC (tunnel). Very centrally located with apartment prices cheaper than nearby Downtown and close to Sheikh Zayed road and metro station.

Emirates Living: Meadows, Lakes, Springs, Emirates Hills

Emirates Living by Emaar, which includes the Springs (townhouses), the Meadows (detached villas), the Lakes (a combination of both) and Emirates Hills (which is home to some palatial properties situated round the Montgomerie Golf Course) is close to Dubai Marina just off Sheikh Zayed Road.

It is a large, family orientated development with shopping centres, 2 health clubs, communal pools, medical centre, many nurseries and schools which offer international, IB and British curriculums.

The properties are all of a similar design, varying from 2 bed plus study townhouses (Springs) to 7 bedroom villas (Meadows). Top of the range are Hattan at the Lakes and Emirates Hills. The properties are now 10 to 15 years old, but can sometimes look older depending on how well they have been looked after which make them less attractive when compared to other new developments nearby (Jumeirah Park) especially as rents remain on the high end. It is very popular for its family atmosphere and has good access to Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Media and Internet City and Jebel Ali.

Jebel Ali/Discovery Gardens/The Gardens/Al Furjan

There are reasonably priced apartments in the Gardens (but very difficult to get into with a long waiting list) and a limited number of villas in Al Furjan, a nice development by Nakheel with good finishings but no communal pool (3 to 5 bedrooms). There is a small community of villas in Jebel Ali village itsel, which are managed by a private company and once again on waiting list. Discovery Gardens offers studio, one and two bedroom apartments - suitable for singles or couples on a limited budget.

The infrastructure is in need of improvement and access can be difficult at peak times. The area has a large mall, Ibn Battuta and is particularly suitable for those working in Jebel Ali Free Zone, or travelling to Abu Dhabi.

Jumeriah Golf Estates (JGE)

An exclusive development of luxurious brand new 4 -7 bedroom villas, situated around 2 golf courses, many with private pools and a membership Country Club. Within the development are small neighbourhoods, all with security controlled access. There is ongoing construction, but generally not within the occupied communities. Access is becoming increasingly easier, now with 2 options, one of which is on Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Road. A large supermarket is a 5 minute drive away.

Jumeriah Lake Towers (JLT)

This is an area of 80 towers, constructed around the edges of 3 artificial lakes. It is located opposite to Dubai Marina, on the opposite side of Sheikh Zayed Road. The towers are built in clusters of 3 and consist of a mix of office, residential and shops. The apartments are reasonably prices and offer larger internal living space when compared to Dubai Marina but for a similar price. Access to the Metro is via 2 stations within JLT. The infrastructure is improving in the area although there is still some construction. Recent additions to the area are medical and dental facilities and several hotels.

Jumeirah Park/Jumeirah Circle/Jumeirah Village

These areas are new coming onto the rental market. Jumeirah Park offers 3, 4 and 5 bedroom detached villas. Many have private pools but there are no communal pools available. There is a British school, shopping mall, children’s playgrounds and green park areas within the community. Further shops, a garage, health centre etc can be found in the neighbouring Emirates Living Area.

Jumeirah Circle and Triangle offer small villas and apartments. Construction is prevalent, but these areas offer good value for money. Access can be challenging, particularly at peak times, but is continually improving.

Jumeriah/Umm Suqeim/Al Wasl/Al Safa

Jumeirah and Um Suqeim once the place where Emirati fishermen used to live are now facing tremendous changes to become a very upmarket prime location by the Gulf shores. Luxury boutique hotels are opening and pharaonic project of Dubai Canal is in full swing in Jumeirah 2/3. Dubai Canal will link Dubai Creek to the Gulf. New trendy shopping and residential places are opening at regular pace: Citywalk 1 & 2, Galleria Mall, Box Park, Wasl Square, etc. The newly built Corniche which stretches 5kms along Um Suqeim beaches, up to Burj Al Arab is a favorite place for joggers, swimmers and kiters alike (with the now famous “Kite Surf Beach).

Very centrally located, the 2 main roads of Jumeirah Beach and Al Wasl mainly host medical clinics and spas so most residential areas are hidden in the labyrinth of small streets behind. It’s at the moment a mix of “old” villas with greens around and some character (if you’re not too fussy with 80’s bathrooms and kitchen!) or brand new/totally refurbished developments for those who can afford the cost. Apart a few low rise apartment buildings, you’ll find in Jumeirah and Um Suqeim mainly independent villas and compounds, from 3BR to 5BR. Mix of nationalities live there, Emiratis, Indians and of course Western expats due to proximity to International schools, lots of nurseries, clinics and of course beaches and clinics along Al Wasl and Jumeirah Road. The location of these areas offers easy access to most areas of Dubai.

Mirdiff

Mirdif is located south of the Dubai International Airport and suffers, in some parts, from air traffic noise. That apart, it offers a good location for those travelling a lot or working in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates. There is a good mixture of established and newer areas with prices being more reasonable than other parts of Dubai (from 2 bedroom townhouses up to 6 bedroom villas). There are several schools in the area, a local shopping centre and a large Mall on the outskirts. The area has parks and recreational facilities and it is relatively close to the airport hotels and the social opportunities they offer.

Motor City/Green Community Motor City

Motor City is situated beside Arabian Ranches and offers value for money apartment living (Al Futtaim). The development is home to parks and communal pools. There are numerous shops and cafes in Motor City, as well as a large supermarket - an added bonus for the residents of Arabian Ranches.

A green oasis in the middle of Motor City, Green Community by Union Properties, is a mix of bungalow type villas and townhouses as well as apartments. A small community it can be difficult to find something available, patience is required.

Palm Jumeriah

Probably the hippest place to stay in Dubai (and the most expensive) but still much construction. The Palm project launched in 2001 and completed mid 2007 is built on reclaimed land. There’s a sky train that but serves only the Atlantis resort for the moment. The apartments on the Palm are mainly located on the trunk with Shorelines on the right hand side upon arriving and Golden Mile on the left when leaving Palm Jumeirah plus Marina Residence (no beach access) and Tiara/Oceana which hosts a beach club.

Villas are on the fronds, the higher the number on the Frond, the better the view and the beach! The external fronds or croissants are home to numerous hotels, including the famous Atlantis. Apart from hotels and restaurants, shopping amenities are still rare. Only few proximity supermarkets in Shorelines or Golden Mile. 2 very large shopping malls are under construction at the moment as well as many new hotels.

Sports City: Victory Heights

Victory Heights is part of Sports City, a gated community around Els Golf Club with different type of villas and townhouses (3 to 5 bedroom) with a Spanish flair. Easy access from both Motor City or Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Road with lots of international schools nearby and the sports facilities of Sports City. Victory Heights, surrounds a golf course and is a sought after community. Prices are similar to Arabian Ranches.

Sports City is still under development and offer a good value for money apartments especially when working in Jebel Ali.

Silicon Oasis

DSO (Dubai Silicon Oasis) is situated on the Dubai - Al Ain Road, with easy access to Emirates Road. It’s a free zone technology park with residential and office towers. The neighbourhood offers a Western lifestyle in a fully integrated live-and-work environment. Affordable and quality finishings rentals with Cedres villas, a gated community of around 1000 villas (3 to 5 bedrooms) with communal pools and parks as well as a GEMS British school and and other international schools in nearby Academic City (among them Lycée Français International Georges Pompidou). With new developments coming up in the area and the extension of the Dubai - Al Ain road, traffic is now more intense and access in and out can be problematic at peak hours.

The Greens/Barsha Heights

hese areas offer apartment living with community shops, cafes and good access to Sheikh Zayed Road.

The Greens is a quiet and green community appreciated by families and couples alike. Very centrally located with easy access to Dubai Metro and Media City through a bridge. Emaar has put in place a bus service at peak hours from Dubai metro station to the different apartment residences within the Greens. Some apartments have a beautiful panoramic view over the golf course.

Barsha Heights (previously known as TeCom) offers no greeneries around but ongoing construction and a much cheaper living option. Lots of low/middle serviced apartments and offices, few supermarkets. Access to a metro station is walking distance.

Facebook - English
Facebook - Francais
Twitter