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. Pros 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! Cons 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. Pros 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. Cons 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.
Karama 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.
Pros 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. Cons 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. Pros 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. Cons 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. Concluding our look at the accommodation options, pros and cons of the 20 main districts of Dubai that expatriates call home. In the final instalment of our guide to Dubai and where expats and soon to be expatriates can find the best properties for rent and resale, we’re covering the onshore districts below Palm Deira. Again, each district has distinct advantages and some disadvantages and we’ll feature them all for you. We hope you’ve found the other three instalments of this guide to be informative and of help in your search for the district of Dubai that ticks all the boxes for you and your family. It can be hard working out where you want to live on paper, it is of course much easier when you’re already living in Dubai and you can travel around and get a feel for the greater city area. Our advice for any soon to be expats about to head out to the emirate is see if you can agree temporary accommodation for a month to six weeks.