Dubai living: finding the right community for you – Part 1

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly community, a trendy urban area, or a beachfront property, Dubai has something to offer everyone. 

Dubai Marina. Image credit: v.ivash/Freepik

Dubai is a city that is constantly evolving and growing, and this is especially true when it comes to its residential areas. The bustling metropolis offers a variety of neighborhoods to choose from, each with its own unique character and amenities. 

When deciding where to live in Dubai, as like anywhere else, it’s important to consider your lifestyle and priorities. Factors to consider include proximity to work or school, access to public transportation, and amenities such as parks and shopping centers. If you have children, you may want to look for neighborhoods with good schools and a sense of community like Dubai Marina. If you’re looking for a more urban experience, areas like Downtown Dubai may be more suitable. If you want to be closer to the beach, neighborhoods like Jumeirah Beach Residence or The Palm Jumeirah are good options. 

Additionally, it’s important to research the cost of living and housing in different neighborhoods before making a decision. Finding the right balance of these factors will help you choose the perfect place to call home in Dubai.

In our previous article, we reviewed some of the most popular areas for tourists and frequent travelers. Here we’ll take a closer look at some of the popular as well as recently developed residential areas in Dubai, specifically catering to people looking to move to the city long-term.

Dubai Creek Harbour

With Expo City Dubai recently launched, Dubai continues to conceptualize projects that reflect its forward-thinking and futuristic vision. One project that is currently making headlines is Dubai Creek Harbour.

Dubai Creek Harbor promenade. Image credit: Ziad Al Halabi/Unsplash

Located along Dubai Creek in the northeast of Dubai, this massive project brings together innovation and harmony to create a vibrant area. Emaar, the mega-developer behind the project, describes this sustainable, walkable and self-contained development as a city-within-a-city. Located next to the flamingo-filled Ras Al Khor wildlife sanctuary, this project aims to “discover life at the source.”

Living in Dubai Creek Harbor offers a unique and modern urban lifestyle. The area is situated on historic Dubai Creek and boasts stunning views of the creek and the Dubai skyline. There are several different towers available, including The Cove, Creek Gate, and Creek Horizon, each with an accommodation option from a studio to a penthouse. Aside from dedicated play areas, pools, and playgrounds for kids, the community also offers a wide range of amenities and services, such as shopping centers, parks, and a marina.

The area is served by several major roads, including Al Khail Road and Ras Al Khor Road, which provide easy access to other parts of the city. This makes it ideal for working professionals. Additionally, Dubai Creek Harbor is just a short drive from Dubai International Airport, which is a major transportation hub for the region. 

Note that the area does not have a dedicated metro station. The nearest station is Creek Station which is around 10 minutes drive away. The most convenient and reliable by far is to book a Blacklane limousine service in Dubai to anywhere you would like to go.

Overall, while it may not be as centrally located as some other areas, Dubai Creek Harbor still offers good connectivity for its residents. It is a great place to live for those who want to experience a relaxing waterfront lifestyle in a green and sustainable community.

Al Barsha

Al Barsha is a sought-after residential and commercial hub that is located in west Dubai, south of Al Sufouh and along the Sheikh Zayed Road. It’s best known for being the home of the Mall of the Emirates, the second-largest mall in the UAE.

Featuring affordable and modern housing options, this self-contained community is one of Dubai’s largest expat neighborhoods and the melting pot of diverse cultures. The area is home to a variety of hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls. Additionally, residents enjoy access to public transportation, supermarkets, business centers, schools, and hospitals.

The community is divided into five sub-communities: Al Barsha 1, Al Barsha 2, Al Barsha 3, Barsha South, and Barsha Heights. The majority of apartment buildings, shops, and restaurants are in Al Barsha 1, which is along Sheikh Zayed Road. Al Barsha 2, 3, and Barsha South have a more suburban feel. Villas are the main form of accommodation here, and they are ideal for raising a family. As the name suggests, Barsha Heights is home to high-rise buildings. It is a relatively new neighborhood within Al Barsha that offers a range of affordable studio apartments. Sheikh Zayed Road and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road surround this sub-community, making it ideal for young professionals and frequent travelers.

In general, Al Barsha’s convenient location, as well as its direct access to major highways and metro stations, makes commuting a breeze. The area is served by three metro stations including Mall of the Emirates, Mashreq, and Dubai Internet City.

Al Barsha has many malls to suit every taste and style. As mentioned, the Mall of the Emirates is the crown jewel of the community. In addition to its 600 stores, the mall is home to several exciting activities, including an indoor ski resort, a drive-in theater, and more.

The community is next door to Dubai Internet City, Al Sufouh, Jumeirah Village Circle, and The Greens. The trendy Jumeirah Public Beach and the peaceful Al Sufouh Beach (Black Beach) are only a 10 minutes’ drive away. Also thanks to its location Dubai International Airport is only 20 minutes away.

Jebel Ali Village

Jebel Ali Village is a massive residential development that is located in southern Dubai. It is part of the greater Jebel Ali district, which is a prominent industrial area.

Jebel Ali Village is a luxurious gated community featuring Mediterranean and Moroccan-style villas and townhouses set amidst lush greenery and rolling hills. Developed by Nakheel, the community offers a wide range of communal amenities, including a social club, children’s play areas, cycle paths, electric vehicle charging stations, jogging trails, sports facilities, and swimming pools. Despite their modern amenities, the accommodations are relatively affordable when compared to similar developments in other areas of Dubai. The maximum expected cost for a 4-bed villa in Jebel Ali Village Dubai is AED 2.8M to AED 2.9M, which is less than the cost of similar villas in Springs, which is also a new development, and ranges from AED 3.3M to AED 4.4M.

The area is known for having several educational institutes. Its proximity to major business and commercial centers, making it a convenient location for both families and working professionals. Additionally, Jebel Ali Village is known for its well-maintained landscaping and green spaces, which contribute to the area’s serene and peaceful atmosphere.

Ibn Battuta Mall, a must-visit destination for shoppers and tourists alike, is within close vicinity. The mall features over 400 stores, offering a wide range of products and services including fashion, electronics, home furnishings, and more. In addition to shopping, the mall also offers a variety of dining options, a cinema, and an indoor adventure park. Ibn Battuta Mall is known for its unique design and architecture, making it a popular tourist destination. It features an architectural style named after the famous 14th century Moroccan explorer, Ibn Battuta, who traveled extensively through the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. This style is characterized by the use of traditional Islamic geometric patterns, bright colors, and ornate decoration. The architecture is inspired by the different regions and cultures that Ibn Battuta visited during his travels, such as Persia, India, and China. 

The neighborhood is also close to popular beaches such as Jebel Ali Open Beach and JBR Beach, which offer a variety of water sports activities. The Jebel Ali Social Club offers a wide range of leisure activities including live sports, movies, and community events.

Despite being away from the city center, Jebel Ali Village is easily accessible via Sheikh Zayed Road and is a great option for non-drivers, with bus and metro stops nearby. Dubai International Airport is also 30 minutes away.

Jumeirah Lake Towers

Jumeirah Lake Towers, or JLT, is a modern mixed-use development located in the southern part of Dubai. This community is made up of several high-rise buildings that surround a man-made lake, providing residents and visitors with stunning views of the surrounding area.

The development was completed in 2010 and consists of 79 towers, each with a unique design. The towers are divided into clusters, with each cluster having its own dedicated retail and commercial center. The community also features several parks and playgrounds, making it a great place for families.

One of the main attractions of JLT is the lake itself, which is surrounded by lush greenery and walking paths. The lake is also home to a variety of water activities, such as boating and paddle boarding. It hosts a number of events throughout the year, such as music concerts and food festivals.

Speaking of food, it’s worth mentioning that JLT is a foodies’ paradise as it is home to a variety of international restaurants and cafes, serving cuisines from around the world. It offers a wide range of options, from casual dining to fine dining experiences. There are also a number of al fresco dining options available, allowing visitors to enjoy their meals while taking in the stunning views of the lake. Pizza Express, Mythos, Social House, Wokyo Noodle Bar, and Bait Maryam are just a few of the popular restaurants in the area.

JLT is well-connected to other areas of Dubai, with several bus routes and the Dubai metro running through the community. It is also located just a short drive away from major attractions such as the Jumeirah Beach Residence and Dubai Marina.

Overall, Jumeirah Lake Towers is a vibrant and bustling community that offers residents and visitors a great mix of urban living and natural beauty. With its stunning lake views, variety of amenities, and convenient location, JLT is a great place to call home or visit.

Business Bay

Business Bay is a bustling commercial district located in the heart of Dubai, next to the iconic Downtown Dubai and along the picturesque Dubai Canal. The development of Business Bay began in 2006 with the intention of creating a new central business district for the city. Since then, the area has grown rapidly to become the city’s central business hub, akin to Manhattan in New York City. It has become a popular destination for international companies looking to establish a presence in the Middle East.

The area boasts a wide range of residential towers, commercial buildings, and hotels, making it a popular destination for visitors, renters, buyers, and investors.

The majority of the properties in Business Bay are apartments. It also includes several off-plan (under development) properties that are perfect for investment. The area provides a balance of seclusion from the bustling tourist hotspots while still offering all the amenities and views to enjoy a city lifestyle.

The community has a fast-paced and lively atmosphere, with trendy bars, busy cafes, and luxurious spas. The area also has an array of dining options to choose from. Residents can enjoy the beautiful man-made Dubai Canal, which has a stunning boardwalk for taking in the waterfront views. There are also several parks and green spaces, including Bay Avenue Park and the Dubai Water Canal Park, offering residents and visitors a chance to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Business Bay is well-connected to Downtown Dubai and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), making it a convenient location for professionals working in those areas. The area is also connected to the rest of the city via major road networks, including Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road. It is easily accessible by taxi and bus, and the Business Bay Metro Station is also serving the area for those using public transportation.

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is a highly sought-after area to live in, and for good reason. This man-made marina is located on a 3-kilometer stretch of the Persian Gulf, south of Jumeirah Beach Residence. Whether you enjoy swimming, sailing, or simply taking in the views, the waterfront location of the area makes it a great place to call home.

Dubai Marina at night. Image credit: Bruce Kamm/Unsplash

The neighborhood is predominantly apartment-oriented, but there are a few state-of-the-art villas as well. There are almost 200 high-end residential towers in this area, including the Cayan Tower, the world’s largest twisting tower.

Dubai Marina is ideal for young professionals or small families who prefer a more pedestrian lifestyle. The Dubai Marina area is known for its Marina Walk, a picturesque promenade that runs along the canal. The walk offers stunning views of the waterfront and the skyscrapers that line the canal. It is perfect for jogging, cycling, or taking a leisurely stroll. The area is also home to the Marina Yacht Club, which offers a wide range of water sports activities.

Another popular attraction in the area is the Dubai Marina Mall, a shopping center that offers a wide range of shops, cafes, and restaurants. The mall also features an indoor ice rink, a cinema, and a children’s play area.

The area has a strong sense of community, with a variety of events and activities taking place throughout the year. From music festivals to art fairs, there is always something happening in Dubai Marina, making it a great place to meet new people and make friends.

Non-drivers will find the neighborhood ideal as it is well-connected to other parts of the city, with easy access to major roadways and public transportation.

There are a number of transportation options to get around Dubai, but the most convenient and reliable by far is to book a Blacklane limousine service in Dubai to anywhere you would like to go. When you download the Blacklane app, you can have local, professional chauffeurs ready for you within minutes.