Continuing our successful series of articles about the features and the pros and cons of the main residential areas in Dubai for would-be expats and those already living in Dubai who’re seeking a new property, we’ll be focusing on areas to the north east of Jumeirah.

Because Dubai is such a diverse and fascinating city, and one growing at an incredibly rapid rate, the range of real estate available varies greatly from district to district.  This can make it hard to imagine where you want to live in Dubai when you just see the city on paper in the form of a map.

It’s far more important to get a feel for the best and worst bits about an area, as well as to glean facts such as whether it’s family friendly or not, if it’s close to schools and what the property types are that are available, so that you can then target your search on the right districts for your property based search in Dubai


This is one of the best areas of the city to live in if you are young, free and single!  It’s lively, exciting, vibrant and you’re within walking distance of so much!  Property types vary from single rooms or small apartments to relatively spacious older style villas.  The glitz and glamour one associates with Dubai are not really what Satwa’s all about, but if you want to really enjoy living life in Dubai, getting out and meeting friends, socialising and watching almost the whole world go by, Satwa could be right for you.


The varied range of properties available is also reflected in the price, you can find some very reasonably priced small apartments for rent and even some relatively well priced villas as well.  You’re right in the heart of it, you can shop for anything and everything from car parts to garden furniture when you live in Satwa!  What’s more, there are a whole host of entertainment options right on your doorstep.  This is a great district to live in for singles and young couples.


The traffic and the amount of people in the vicinity can be a little intense and overpowering!  This results in noise and congestion and because the area is not screened or gated, it’s home to all types including some less desirable characters.  There have been instances of petty personal and property related theft in the area as a result.  This is not a child friendly district and few expat families choose it.

The Trade Centre

This is quite a hip and happening part of Dubai with some stunningly fabulous real estate in the form of luxury apartments in the many magnificent towers.  The area is definitely new Dubai and what one expects from the chic and affluent side of the city – i.e., it is expensive, shiny, glamorous and there is plenty going on all around you.


If you want to live in a part of Dubai that really encapsulates the dramatic change that the city has undergone in the past few years, the Trade Centre district is probably right up your street!  The architecture has seen the area likened to Hong Kong, and there are really some fabulous properties available in the many residential towers.  Most towers have a range of onsite leisure facilities and often have shops at ground floor level too, and this part of Dubai is surrounded with perhaps the best range of entertainment options.  You have fabulous cafes, bars and restaurants, and you also have a few traditional eateries in the vicinity too.  You’re very centrally placed for access to the whole of Dubai, and Sheikh Zayed Road is literally on your doorstep!


It’s expensive and because you’re likely to be right on Sheikh Zayed Road it can be busy, noisy, polluted and very, very hectic.  Also, the driving in between and around the different buildings is awful and really quite dangerous…so this is really not a relaxing place to live!  Plus, the high rents and property prices do put a lot of people off.

Bur Dubai and Al Mankhool

This area of Dubai benefits from being so centrally located; if you can’t walk to where you need to get to you can certainly take a very short cab or car ride and be there within minutes!  This means that again, the area is very popular with younger expats as well as singles and couples who enjoy the best that the city has to offer in the form of entertainment and nightlife.  Accommodation options are very varied as are prices, meaning that there are alternatives for most budgets.


Because of the excellent location of this broad district and the fact that there are many different property types available matching many budgets, it’s popular with expatriates from all different backgrounds.  This creates a naturally diverse and interesting mix, which you really appreciate when you step out on the street and meet the community!  Because you’re within walking distance of all the amenities you could possibly need for day to day living, you can get by without a car for most things.  What’s more, there’s some of the best nightlife available on your doorstep.


The mix of property types has also seen the construction of some pretty hideous apartment blocks; what’s more, building has been quite intense which limits the amount of attractive public space available across the entire district.  The fact that you are right in the mix for the nightlife also means that the streets aren’t perhaps as safe feeling at night especially for lone females.


This is one of the most affordable districts of the entire greater city region and therefore it is very popular with expats on a budget.  The properties available range from older apartments in low-rise blocks, to more modern apartments in blocks with a certain amount of onsite leisure facility available.  The cheaper apartments are the older stock available, but the trouble is, because of their relative affordability they are in high demand!  Again, this area is well located for every type of amenity and facility – from supermarkets to corner shops, and from takeaways to the Rock Bottom Café.


Karama is nothing if not convenient – convenient for work, for the shops, for eating out and for affordable property options.  You can walk pretty much everywhere you need to get to and there is such a choice on your doorstep when it comes to shopping and entertainment, that once you get home and the end of the day, you don’t need to venture far for a great night out.


It’s very busy, traffic, congestion and parking are a bit of a nightmare and mean that it is not a relaxing, family orientated place to consider living in Dubai.  It can also mean that although the district is very centrally located it’s hard to get to and from by car!

Oud Metha and Umm Hurair

With shops, schools, restaurants, bars and healthcare facilities within reach, Oud Metha and Umm Hurair are popular – but accommodation is hard to find.  Accommodation is in the form of attractive apartments in low to medium-rise blocks and can be affordable, but there’s not enough of it!  There is more construction occurring in the area to address this issue, and so it is a good area to keep an eye on, and it is family friendly as well.


You’re never more than a short walk from a supermarket or ‘corner shop,’ some of the biggest and best schools are in this area of Dubai as are Dubai’s two main state hospitals and a number of other private medical centres as well.  There are malls within reach, children’s entertainment options, restaurants, bars and quite a few health spas, cinemas and parks also just a short walk or drive away.  The area is centrally located too, so all in all it ticks most boxes for most people.


The popularity of the area as well as the relative lack of construction (for Dubai), means that finding a place to live in Oud Metha and Umm Hurair is hard.  What’s more, the efforts being put in place to address this problem – i.e., more construction – means that the area can be quite noisy at times.

If you still haven’t read about the perfect part of Dubai for you, don’t panic, we have one final instalment in this series about where to live in Dubai to come.  In the final part we will discover the best and worst of the following districts: – Deira, Garhoud, Mirdif and Rashidiya, Al Qusais and Sharjah.