Dubai is the fastest growing city in the region and one of the fastest growing in the world in terms of the rate of construction and immigration – therefore its rapidly expanding girth has resulted in an expansion in terms of choice of location in which expatriates can live!  With choice comes confusion, but fear not because Degtev is here once again to help you out.

If you’re moving to the emirate and have yet to decide where you’ll be looking for real estate, you need to know that the main residential areas can be broken down into a list of about 20 areas.  For your quick reference this is a four-part article covering where to live in Dubai.

We will touch on each of the main residential areas in turn travelling across the city map pretty much from left to right – i.e., from Green Community to Sharjah, and we will give you a brief overview of the accommodation options and the best and worst bits about each community in question.  Hopefully you can then use this four-part guide to quickly narrow down your choice and you can then contact estate and letting agents in your shortlist of preferred destinations for any available homes.

Green Community

An oasis in the desert, Green Community is indeed very green making it an attractive and appealing place to live for families!  The properties are mainly villa based, although there are some apartments and townhouses, and on the whole all are quite hard to come by on the resale market and also in demand as rental properties.  If you find one to buy it’s on a leasehold basis.  There is shopping in a nearby mall, plenty of golf, education and healthcare within reach, and if you’re working in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, it’s a well located residential community in Dubai.

Pros

It’s a peaceful, quiet, attractive and appealing community setting for families.  The complex is very safe and you can live your life within a stone’s throw of the community if you want to as there are many amenities and facilities within easy reach.
Cons

If you want to reach other areas of Dubai, if you work anywhere other than the Jebel Ali Free Zone or you want to get to the airport perhaps, you’ll find the Green Community is almost inaccessible!  It really is a community stuck out on its own and this makes travelling a nightmare if you have to do it daily.  Also, beware of all the water features if you have small children.

Jebel Ali Village

Jebel Ali is made up of older villas and new plush properties in compounds.  Originally the location was too far out of ‘town’ for most people, but with the population crush and the growth of the Jebel Ali Free Zone along with Internet and Media cities, the Village has become a popular residential area.  There are plenty of green areas in the immediate vicinity of all properties, the Village is within reach of all major amenities and on the whole it’s very popular with families.

Pros

If you work in the free zone, Internet or Media cities it’s probably the perfect residential area, and even if you work further towards ‘town’ you will find that at the worst commute times you’ll be driving against the flow of the heaviest traffic.  There are schools, health facilities, clubs, restaurants, a cinema and shopping malls all on your doorstep.

Cons

If you regularly need to cross the city then congestion can wear you down and so can the relatively long commute, rents can be pretty high in Jebel Ali Village as well.  If you can get your hands on one of the older properties you’ll have the location benefits and an affordable property – but these villas are hard to come by!

The Gardens

The Gardens is a development of apartments within a gated community, when they were built they were rent price fixed by the developer and increases have been very modest.  This means that the waiting list for these properties is ridiculously long.  The Gardens and Jebel Ali Village are right next door so naturally the former benefits from all the advantages that the latter shares – there is an IMAX cinema, a massive mall, decent healthcare and educational facilities within easy reach.

Pros

Easily the biggest pro is the relative affordability of these properties.  Added to which is the security and appeal of the area which is guarded by constant security and enhanced by attractive gardens and green areas.

Cons

The main con is the fact that it is nigh on impossible to even get on the waiting list for a rental at The Gardens, let alone secure a rental contract.  Also, the security are a little too high profile and tend to be in your face if they think you might be moving anyone in to your rented property for example!  They don’t want you subletting and they are always keeping a close watch on you.

Dubai Marina and Al Sufouh

For the wow factor, consider the marina district – this was the first area in Dubai where freehold properties came available and as a result, intensification of interest quickly drove prices as high as all the amazing sky scrapers.  Within the marina area you can find apartments, and if you want spectacular and spacious villa homes then Al Sufouh is for you.  The entire area is wall to wall chic entertainment and glamour, but the environment is less suited to a relaxed family life!

Pros

Aside from the glamour of the area the main pros are the accessibility to absolutely everything from the best bars and restaurants to a golf course, from the best beach clubs to excellent shopping.  This really is one of the most sought after areas of the entire city and you’re within relatively easy reach of Media and Internet City and the Knowledge Village as well.

Cons

Price tags are high for rent and resale, the noise is annoying as is the level of constant, non-stop, round the clock, never ending construction that shows absolutely no signs of abating in the next few years.  Traffic can be intense, parking can be a problem if you don’t have parking with your property, and this situation will increase as more developments come to completion and more people move in.

Emirates Hills

Made up of the likes of The Springs, The Lakes, The Meadows and The Greens, Emirates Hills is a well liked residential area that seems a million miles from the hustle and bustle of down town Dubai or the Marina district for example.  The emphasis at Emirates Hills is very much on relaxed residential living, and as such, the area is very popular with families and couples who like the green surroundings and shared public spaces.  The two latest malls in Dubai are just 10 minutes away each, and thanks to these and the rest of the amenities within the vicinity, you cannot want for anything at Emirates Hills.

Pros

The properties are available for sale or for rent, the entire greater development feels very safe with security keeping an eye on everything, and the shared pools and public areas make it nice for children and families to meet and interact.

Cons

Healthcare facilities are not as easily accessible as they are on some other residential developments in Dubai, and whilst education facilities near Emirates Hills are good, waiting lists are long!  Properties tend to be a little on the compact and bijou side, and the location of the large development and the extensive landscaping that has gone on has unfortunately led to Emirates Hills being a bit of an attractive place for bugs and insects…some of these are just big and ugly, some are dangerous.  So bear this in mind if you hate the thought of spiders for example!  Say no more…

In part two of our guide of where to live in Dubai we will be covering Al Barsha, the Arabian Ranches, Umm Suqeim, Al Safa, Al Wasl and Jumeirah.