Dubai Marina is a self-contained bustling high-rise district home to residential and serviced apartments and hotel towers offering an array of entertainment venues and restaurants. Construction started over a decade ago, the area has now grown into a fully-fledged waterfront lifestyle destination with marinas, beaches within walking distance and a walkway promenade, snaking through its midst. Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) is a master development in its own right, fronting Dubai Marina along the shoreline.
Downtown Dubai, also known simply as Downtown, is probably the most prestigious address in Dubai, thanks to its centrepiece – the Burj Khalifa – the tallest tower in the world. The district’s design allows for a pedestrian lifestyle, a rarity in Dubai. Elegantly landscaped, palm trees – which are lit up at night – line the wider avenues. Thanks to a mix of residential accommodation, offices, hotels and retail facilities, including the gigantic Dubai Mall and the traditional Souk al Bahar, residents feel like they are living in a mini-city, dubbed the ‘centre of now’, which has everything on their doorstep.
Downtown’s skyline keeps things interesting and easy on the eye thanks to high-rises taking turns with mid and low-rise buildings. The Old Town (a sub-community) area’s traditional architecture stands in stark opposition to more modern tall buildings, including the Burj Khalifa towering over them all.
Once the only, and traditionally the most desirable and prestigious residential area in Dubai, Jumeirah remains popular with families on the hunt for villas in quiet residential streets and an established garden.
The Palm Jumeirah is a unique place to live in terms of its prominence and proximity to the sea whether you opt for an apartment on the trunk or a villa on the ‘fronds’. It offers stunning views over the sea as well as the Dubai skyline. The luxury hotels dotting its crescent add to the Palm’s flair and also provide entertainment options, which can otherwise be found in the beach clubs. The Palm is not a walking destination and there is no busy ‘buzz’ about the place; instead a calm, peaceful lifestyle is on offer away from the stresses of the city.
Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), has gained itself a reputation as being an affordable alternative to Dubai Marina. The community houses around 60,000 residents. The area’s three-tower cluster design is set around four lakes, some with views over Dubai Marina or the Emirates Hills’ golf courses. Landscaping and roads are now complete and the district offers waterfront living for its residents.
The Greens low-rise character exudes charm which it has managed to retain despite some high-rises adjoining it just across a couple of lakes, namely The Views and the Golf Towers complex. Tecom, The Greens and other neighbours have changed The Greens oasis feel in the desert to that of an oasis amid a myriad of residential buildings. The Greens nucleus however has retained its idyllic character, exuding the feeling of living in a ‘small town’. Thanks to its parks, the lakes and wide pavements, the place feels alive with people walking, jogging or cycling about.
Al Barsha is a safe and quiet area filled with large, standalone villas and some new apartment blocks which are popular with Media City and Internet City workers.
Emirates Hills is the most exclusive part of what is originally termed as Emirates Living, although there are three areas bordering Emirates Hills – The Lakes, Meadows and The Springs each with different things to offer. Emirates Hills is the only freehold area where some plots were sold for buyers to build their own choice of house in Dubai, most of them mansion style, overlooking the Montgomerie Championship Golf Course and several lakes. The Emirates Golf Club sits on the periphery close to Sheikh Zayed Road (SZR). The Lakes (between the two golf courses), Meadows and The Springs all benefit from being right next door to Emirates Hills. All of the individual areas offer a tranquil family life in a secure self-contained gated community. Each area in Emirates Living has a dedicated community centre with convenience shopping facilities. Thanks to this being the largest freehold villa development in Dubai and one of the first, its mature lush green landscape dotted with lakes creates a pretty uniform picture.
Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) is a cluster of sand coloured residential skyscrapers spread along a golden beachfront. This unique community offers a great choice of apartments to buy or rent all enjoying amazing views of Dubai and surrounded by landscaped plazas, fountains and swimming pools. Jumeirah Beach Residence is also home to The Walk and the newly built Beach Walk, a bustling open air complex offering exclusive shopping, hotels, restaurants, a cinema and cool market stalls lining the beaches walkway.
Motor City is a slightly quirky but pleasant community with plenty of greenery (not on the main road of course) and offers apartments with spacious terraces and balconies. With little through traffic, a number of play areas and community pools, it’s a good option for families.
Tecom is a fairly new community and consists of a large group of buildings in a circular formation. Not necessarily the prettiest neighbourhood in Dubai due to its older high rise buildings, it is nonetheless popular with single people and young married couples who benefit from its prime location, good facilities and reasonable prices.
The Springs is an attractive Emaar development that offers a slightly more affordable option for gated villa living (compared to say The Lakes) and boasts scenic waterways and green spaces for dog walkers, runners and children alike. Some properties come with their own pools and there are lots of great community facilities.