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List of the best areas of Dubai to live in

 Список лучших районов Дубая для жизни

The United Arab Emirates and its main city Dubai have become one of the most attractive locations for relocation. The quality of life, high level of security, proximity to the sea and eternal summer attract millions of people of all ages. Many seek to move to the Persian Gulf coast with their families, others would like to meet old age here. But there are a lot of young people who want to.

To make the country more attractive for immigrants, the UAE government decided to reduce the investment threshold for the right to residency by a quarter (up to 750 thousand AED). The cost of both buying and renting depends on many factors. This article is about which area of Dubai is better to live in if you arrive for a long time.

The most prestigious areas

Let’s start the review with the most prestigious, and therefore expensive locations. Budget real estate is not to be found here. These communities are designed for rich, demanding customers who are accustomed to luxury and are constantly looking for something unusual. The residential complexes here are located right on the shore, while in the very heart of the city. There are very few high–rise buildings here: the most common type of development is two or three-storey villas and townhouses, many of which have access to the sea.

Such areas are well landscaped, have many equipped artificial water bodies: lakes, ponds, canals, fountains. Entertainment is designed for an adult audience. In nightclubs, discos, restaurants, life is in full swing around the clock. It is worth adding a well-developed transport infrastructure, proximity to all major attractions and shopping malls.

Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah

This is the business card of Dubai and the country as a whole – an artificial bulk island with an area of about 6 square kilometers in the form of a palm tree. The trunk of the tree is the central highway connecting the mainland with the top of the palm tree, which houses one of the most expensive Atlantis hotels in the world. There are 16 branches extending from the trunk, each of which houses a residential neighborhood. All buildings have access to the sea. There are more than 80 restaurants and lounges on the island.

This engineering structure attracts millions of tourists every year, but there are many who want to buy their own housing here. The cost of the studio starts from 1 million dirhams, but the cost of most of the buildings is estimated in many millions.

Jumeirah Beach Residence

Jumeirah Beach Residence

This is another neighborhood where all kinds of unsportsmanlike entertainment are concentrated. This is a beach community that houses more than 40 premium hotels with 24-hour bars, discos and restaurants. This is a densely populated location in which silence and solitude are not to be found. On the contrary, it is aimed at those who want to constantly be in the epicenter of the cycle of music, light, and fun. Jumeirah Beach Residence is located on the shores of the Persian Gulf, so in addition to hotel parties, there are often night parties right on the shore. They usually last until morning. During the day, you can sunbathe on the beach or have fun riding the waves on jet skis or yachts. Vacationers spend the afternoon waiting for the next evening show in shops, expensive boutiques or shopping malls.

You will not be able to rent a house for less than 6500 dirhams per day, and to buy a one-room apartment you will have to pay at least one and a half million dirhams.

Business Bay

Business Bay

It is a hub of business offices and five-star hotels. Employees of dozens of international companies live in Business Bay. The population density is very high here.

Business Bay will be appreciated by those who want to live and work in one place. Business Bay has many high-rise residential towers with luxury apartments, the famous Dubai Canal flows through it, along which there is a multi-kilometer promenade with night cafes, bars and restaurants. It houses the multifunctional complex Al Habtur City, the La Perle aquatre, where the theatrical shows of the world-famous director Franco Dragone take place. There are lounges on the roofs of skyscrapers with spectacular panoramic views.

You can rent a living space for a year for at least $ 16,000, and prices for one-room apartments start from 250 thousand.

Residential areas

These locations are the exact opposite of the above. All of them are located far from the center, which means from the hustle and bustle. There are few offices and hotels here and everything is conducive to full rest and relaxation. Organizations are service companies designed to meet the daily needs of residents: grocery stores, hairdressers, pharmacies, kindergartens. We can say that these are the best areas of Dubai for people who want to combine the benefits of noisy megacities and peaceful suburbs for an affordable price.

Despite the distance from the center, it is not so difficult to get to them: all areas are connected by a dense network of bus lines, many are reached by metro lines. But given the cheap gasoline and the ease of renting cars, many people use motor transport.

Living in residential neighborhoods is much cheaper. They are well suited for those who come to the UAE on vacation for several months. In hotels, you can rent a room for one and a half thousand dollars per month, a monthly studio rental will cost about 2 000, but the closer the building is located to the sea, the more expensive the cost of living in it.

Low-cost communities to live in

This category includes locations that are most remote from the center or under construction. The ethnic component also plays an important role. Immigrants from eastern countries prefer to settle compactly in order to maintain cultural ties. This creates special living conditions that may not be suitable for representatives of other cultural groups. But this factor greatly reduces housing prices.

Despite the low cost of real estate, residents will find the same comfortable conditions in inexpensive areas: the proximity of shops, good transport and social infrastructure, places for walking, recreation, and sports.

International City

International City

This community belongs to the category of the middle class. Its peculiarity is the division into cluster blocks with buildings in different styles with corresponding names: Russia, England, Greece, Spain. The architecture of the houses is designed in the style of the country whose name the quarter bears. All houses are low–rise – no higher than 4 floors. There are 14 kindergartens in International City, there are branches of several medical clinics, cafes and restaurants where all the main cuisines of the world are represented, cult centers of all faiths, as well as a large shopping mall with 14,000 boutiques. Bus lines reach metro stations. Parking is free in International City.

Usually small-sized apartments are bought here, but if desired, you can find a villa or townhouse more comfortable and more expensive. You can buy a studio apartment for half a million dirhams, and rent the same apartment for only 20,000 per year.

Deira

Deira

This is a historic place located on the shores of Dubai Creek Bay. Most of the ancient oriental bazaars are located here, where they sell gold, textiles, fish, spices. This is a favorite place for tourists, because it is here that you can get in touch with the history and culture of the Emirates, the lifestyle and customs of local residents, ride along the canal on traditional dhow boats, have lunch at one of the many ethnic restaurants. But it is also a business center: there are many office centers, skyscrapers made of glass and concrete, there is a yacht club, tennis courts and a golf course. There are many hotels and rented apartments of different classes in Deira. For 4500 AED per month, you can rent a small apartment, and the minimum purchase price is one and a half million.

Jumeirah Village Circle

Jumeirah Village Circle

The word Circle in the name emphasizes that Jumeirah Village is a perfect circle. This is a vivid example of an engineering solution when using a small area for residential development. The main square is located in the center, where all the main elements of the local infrastructure are concentrated. The radial rays of the streets radiate from it. The location is built up with low-rise villas and townhouses and is an oasis of peace and tranquility with an atmosphere of complete inviolability of private property. The absence of hotels, tourists, the proximity of main roads, developed social infrastructure and several dozen green areas allows the community to be classified as a luxury class. At the same time, it is much cheaper to rent a living space here than, for example, in Dubai Marina. The annual rent of the studio will cost 55 thousand AED, and the purchase will cost about 290 thousand.

Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT)

Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT)

This residential community is built on the shores of three artificial lakes, and on its territory there is a park with an area of more than 50 square kilometers. There is a picturesque view from the windows of any apartment. There are embankments, bike trails, and sports grounds around the lakes. JLT is very popular among families with children. All social infrastructure facilities necessary for a comfortable life of residents are located in the basement floors of high-rise buildings: kindergartens, shops, cafes, restaurants, gyms, spas. There are 4 playgrounds and a swimming pool for children on the shores of the lakes. You can get to other parts of the city by metro, bus or car.

Couples with children are considering options for apartments with several bedrooms (at least 3). The price of such a property starts from 400 thousand dirhams, and the annual rent starts from 90 thousand.

The greenest communities

Parks in the UAE have a special attitude. The cities are surrounded by deserts, forming hot, dusty air. Therefore, the proximity of parks and squares is an important component of a comfortable stay. But there are several areas in which green spaces occupy large areas, while not all of them are characterized by too high housing prices, and you can find a budget option.

Discovery Gardens

Discovery Gardens

It is located in the southern part of the city, close to the sea coast and the main business and tourist locations. One third of the territory is occupied by landscaped gardens, parks and green lawns. There are many sports grounds, 13 swimming pools, several bike paths. Many natural materials were used in the decoration of the apartments: ceramics, wood, marble, famous designers worked on the decoration of many of them. There are all kinds of medical and educational services here, so Discovery Gardens is well suited for families with children. You can rent a studio for a year for $ 1,700, and buy it for 75,000. The price of a studio apartment starts from $ 125,000.

DAMAC Hills

DAMAC Hills

Another community where a lot of attention is paid to landscaping. There are huge golf courses and a large park. In DAMAC Hills, you can choose apartments or townhouses for every taste: with a different number of bedrooms, with or without furniture. An important advantage of DAMAC Hills is its remoteness from the hustle and bustle of the city center. It is a closed family community with a high level of comfort and good transport accessibility. For $9,500, you can rent a comfortable studio here for a year, and you can purchase an equivalent living space for 85 thousand.

Dubai Hills

Dubai Hills

This location is considered the greenest. It is divided into several zones built up with different types of buildings: from multi-storey residential complexes to low-rise luxury villas. The most luxurious buildings are located in the central part of the community. Residents of Dubai Hills spend their free time strolling in the park, which occupies more than 180 “squares”, or in the Dubai Hills Mall. For active recreation, there is a 54-kilometer bike track, a skate park, a playground for outdoor sports, and a mini-water park. The business card of the location is an 18–hole golf course. The cost of both renting and buying real estate is high here: you can rent a studio apartment for a year for 70 thousand dollars, and bathe for at least half a million.

The best areas for family living

These communities have absorbed the maximum of amenities. Residential buildings are low-rise, the rooms in them are spacious, the private plots are large and landscaped. Each has kindergartens and schools, lots of entertainment for children. But real estate prices are also high here. In some neighborhoods, only residents of the Persian Gulf countries have the right to buy it. You can rent a house anywhere.

The most expensive real estate communities are Emirates Hills and Al Barari. Buying a property with 3-5 bedrooms will cost the same amount of millions of dollars, renting – from 165 to 450 thousand dollars.

Minimum real estate prices in Arabian Ranches and Tilal Al Ghaf are kept at the level of 400-450 thousand dollars, in Villanova – 330 thousand. You can rent a villa with several bedrooms in these neighborhoods for 20-25 thousand dollars.

Emirates Hills

Emirates Hills

This is a fashionable gated residential complex with three large park areas, where you can not only buy a luxury home, but also a plot with a construction permit. The cost of land starts from $ 7 million. Emirates Hills is one of the most prestigious addresses in the city. Diplomats, high-ranking officials, politicians, and representatives of large international businesses live here. The main mode of transport is private cars. Emirates Hills has kindergartens, schools and an international academy.

Umm Suqeim

Umm Suqeim

This is another premium community designed for very rich people. Only citizens of the Persian Gulf countries can buy housing here, foreigners have the right to rent it only. You can rent a townhouse for a year for no less than 25 thousand dollars.

The peculiarity of the community is its untouchability: there are no modern houses and no construction is underway. All buildings are made according to individual orders of citizens, which indicates their high status. The houses have large courtyards, and there are pools almost everywhere.

As elsewhere, there is a well-developed social infrastructure, nearby is the Kite Beach with a variety of water activities. And at the Wild Wadi Water Park, you can surf safely in the area where the surf machine works, or swim in the wave pool. 

Umm Suqeim is not suitable for living alone. Mostly families with several children settle here.

Al Barari

Al Barari

The peculiarity of the residential complex lies in its environmental orientation. It is surrounded by green areas and artificial lakes. Residential buildings are equipped with energy-saving installations. Al-Barari unites 6 blocks, each of which is made in a special architectural style: Mediterranean, Balinese, Aquatic, Forest, Modern, as well as Renaissance style.

Body Language and Heart&Soul health clubs have been built here for adult residents, and the Al Vagagia Playground, which promotes a healthy lifestyle, is for the little ones. The availability of personal transport is a prerequisite for living in Al Barari, since there are no metro stations and bus lines here.

Dubai Silicon Oasis

Dubai Silicon Oasis

DSO is a free economic zone where you can live and work at the same time. DSO is home to more than 2,000 international companies. It is also a business incubator with an established system of services and a developed infrastructure. The main advantages of staying at the DSO are:

  • availability of modern IT equipment;
  • 100% ownership of the purchase of housing;
  • formed business support system;
  • 3 parks;
  • many options for outdoor activities: squash courts, tennis courts, yoga and fitness rooms;
  • several kindergartens and schools.

The starting price for the sale of a 4–bedroom apartment is $800,000, and the rent starts from $36,000.

Arabian Ranches

Arabian Ranches

This is another secluded community in which the colors of different cultures are recreated: Arabic, Portuguese and Spanish. Low-rise buildings are made in the appropriate architectural styles. Each has a private plot with greenery, fountains, swimming pools, private parking.

There are many sports fields in Arabian Ranches, and international competitions are regularly held on the golf course.

Tilal Al Ghaf

Tilal Al Ghaf

This is a multifunctional residential complex, which is under construction. Tilal Al Ghaf is located on the shore of a lagoon surrounded by sandy beaches with palm trees. There are several neighborhoods inside the community, made in different styles, with theme parks, mosques, cafes, and recreation areas. There are not enough social facilities here yet, and construction continues. After its completion, electric vehicle movement and lighting using smart lanterns will be set up inside Tilal Al Ghaf, as well as access control by a facial recognition system.

Villanova

Villanova

Prestigious residential complex in Dubai. Its architecture is designed in the Mediterranean style. These are low-rise villas and townhouses surrounded by private parks, gardens, connected by bicycle and pedestrian paths.

There are many places for sports and walking, but the riding school stands out especially, where you can just ride a horse or do equestrian sports or polo. The club contains 520 stables. There are also places for walking pets in Villanova.

The transport infrastructure is under development, so the main means of transportation for residents are cars.

It’s up to you to decide which area of Dubai to live in. It all depends on the goals of your stay in the country, the timing of your planned stay and requests, as well as financial opportunities.

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Vladimir Sviridov
Vladimir Sviridov
General Manager RLC Consulting
With a Postgraduate Masters in Finance from The, Moscow State University, Russia. Vladimir started his professional career as an auditor of the financial sector of EY. After that, he worked for several years in senior positions in corporate banking. In 2018-2021, he managed the finances of a large agricultural holding, and is currently responsible for strategic planning, corporate partnership and financial management in the role of General Manager of RLC Consulting GROUP in the UAE.

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