Umm Suqeim is an older, more established area nestled along Sheikh Zayed road between Dubai Marina and Downtown. Once away from Jumeirah Beach Road, with its busy thoroughfare, this neighborhood has some beautiful places and an overall peaceful feeling, and houses some of Dubai’s oldest and most established schools. The houses and villas on the sea side of Beach Road reside almost on the beach itself. On the other side, it is quiet and green with attractive gardens as well as plenty of shops, salons and restaurants of all types and price points.
This is an affluent area mainly populated by well-off expatriates and Emirati families who own their homes. Villas tend toward the larger side, with sizable plots, including grassy lawns and well-appointed gardens. Owing it to its long history, the community is not comprised of cookie cutter developments like most other parts of Dubai. Rather, there is a great variety of home sizes, shapes, and styles hosting a healthy mix of Emiratis and expatriates.
Don’t be shocked to find more than just a few shiny new cars behinds the large open gates of this neighbourhood’s villas. Notwithstanding, you’re also likely to find the shabbier cars of the neighbours’ hired help, as well as older villas serving various commercial purposes, from medical clinics to retail outlets.
Many of Umm Suqeim’s residents have been living in the UAE for years, and continue renting their homes despite an inability to invest as owners. These residents have seen Dubai expand southward from Trade Center, through Jumeirah, down to the Marina, and have found a happy medium in between the two poles of Dubai. They may work anywhere in Dubai, but are likely to spend their days at an office somewhere between Downtown and Media City.
Big families, pet owners, and beach lovers
Umm Suqeim, like Jumeirah, is an attractive neighbourhood offering luxury beach and villa living. It is also a great area to raise kids, since many of Dubai’s best and most established schools are in the area. In the same vein, safety is an oft-cited benefit of living in Umm Suqeim; most villas are far from highways and major roads so parents feel comfortable enough to let their children play in the streets. Take an easy bike ride to the beach to enjoy the mild Dubai winters and year-round sunshine, or enjoy one of the many parks that feature prominently in the neihgbourhood. Residents claim that they love the quite simplicity of the neighborhoods, even though they are almost directly opposite Mall of the Emirates, and very close to the restaurants and shops of Souk Madinat Jumeirah. Further, grocery stores, including Waitrose, Asqaq, and the Co-op are all blocks away. The proximity to these retail and food outlets makes everyday shopping convenient and easy.
Residents of Umm Suqeim are also incredibly friendly to animals; the area has a number of veterinary clinics and grooming shops, taking some of the hassle away from routine care of pets. And if you’re the type that might not have the time to take your pet for a weekly grooming session, fear not, many of the villas come equipped with extra space intended to house domestic help, meaning your life just got a little more comfortable.
Despite the quiet neighbourhoods, residents enjoy relatively easy and quick access to Sheikh Zayed Road, which can whisk them to other parts of Dubai in a matter of minutes. The metro also has a number of stops that conveniently stop along Sheikh Zayed Road in front Umm Suqeim; though getting to the stations requires a bike or taxi.
Umm Suqeim gives residents an incentive to lead a healthy lifestyle; it is incredibly green and is well-equipped with walking paths and outdoors gym equipment. The fresh air and proximity to the beach and parks make Umm Suqeim the perfect area for health buffs. There are plenty of cafes offering healthy food, but the selection of restaurants runs the gamut from high end.
Residents of Umm Suqueim lament that traffic on Al Wasl and Beach Roads can be a nightmare during school pickup and evening rush hours. And although there are plenty of nice cafes, restaurants and parks, Umm Suqeim can feel a bit isolated, since it’s further from the hustle and bustle of a night out in Downtown, Marina or JLT. For those residents that crave an adult beverage outside of home, it can be difficult, since the area is not famous for partying.
Ordering in, on the other hand, has its own problems, as residents are complaining that providing directions to couriers or delivery of food and groceries, can be extremely frustrating. Luckily the solutions to these “first world problems” are multiplying, as Dubai’s startups move to address these logistical concerns.
This pricey area and may be outside many people’s budgets. Residents sometimes lament the cost of electricity required to cool their villas in summer, which can reach 5,000 AED per month in larger homes. In a final bid, to “first world problems” some residents lament that they can only use their gardens for half a year. While their gardens are green and lush, the summer heat may prevent them from enjoying them-beyond the aesthetic elements, of course-in the summer months.
Villas owned by private landlords are the main type of accommodation here, with only a few apartment buildings. Villas can be grouped in compounds with shared facilities such as gyms, swimming pools and playgrounds but more often than not are independent, with garden gates and garages opening onto the street.
There are nice green parks and plenty of beach areas for jogging and walking. There are loads of nurseries and schools in the area so being able to walk to school during the cooler months is a definite bonus for families. Residents also love the combination of peace and quiet with a perfectly central location. Residents are well served by large supermarkets (Aswaaq and Choithrams) and most streets also have small corner shops that can deliver them with the essentials.