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9 things to know before buying a property in Dubai

Closing a deal on a property in Dubai is definitely one of the most significant investment decisions you are going to make during your whole life. As a matter of fact, many people would like to have this chance so they can enrich their portfolio with such a quality asset.

However, before going on such a deal, there are a number of things you have to know. As a real estate portal working in Dubai, we feel it’s part of our responsibility to let you know the main do’s and don’ts in this market. Maybe because we have been asked a lot also from many potential buyers and investors about the main things to be known before buying in Dubai, that’s why we will try here to list the most important things to be considered.

1. Dubai Location

Dubai is a part of the GCC state United Arab Emirates. The UAE was established in the second of December, 1972 by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Dubai is governed by his highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president, minister of defence, and the prime minister of UAE. Following his brother, Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, continues through his wise leadership on the way of turning Dubai into one of the world’s most prominent business centers and a top investment destination.

2. Authority in the emirate

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum became the ruler of Dubai in 2006. He presides the government of Dubai which is the main executive authority in the emirate that runs the city.  Dubai government contains 30 different departments that control the main integral matters in the city including safety and security, roads, health, education, court, finance, and the one mainly related to property market, the land department.

3. What is Dubai Land Department?

Dubai Land Department (DLD) is the executive entity entailed to regulate and monitor the real estate market activity within the emirate’s bounds.  As per the law no. 7 issued in 2013 by his highness Dubai ruler, the department’s main role is the registration, organization, and promotion of real estate investment in Dubai.  It does so by implementing the international standards in this vital sector in order to create a positive and attractive investment ground for real estate sectors from all around the world.

4. Demographic structure

Dubai is known to be a mixing pot mingling between various nationalities from different areas around the world. Being a world top business hub, the emirate grabs professional executives to work in its sophisticated facilities and business centers, in addition to join the world’s famous companies which launched their venues in the city.  Population is 2.7 million, about 88% are expats. About 71% of the emirate’s total population is from Asian ethnicities including Indians, South Asians, Pakistanis, and many others from different origins.

5. Freehold areas

In 2000, Dubai authority made it accessible for foreigners to buy properties within its bounds but only in certain areas known as freehold areas.  Dubai freehold property areas are found in Um Hurair, Al Barsha, Emirates Hills, Jebel Ali, Al Gouz, Ras Al Khour, Nad Al Shiba, and many other.

6. Leasehold areas

Full ownership isn’t permitted in all Dubai localities. There are some other areas where properties are given only on lease for periods of time varying between 10 and 99 years.  There are many leasehold areas in Dubai like Deera, Discovery Garden, Jumeirah, and many other.  So, as a buyer, you need to check first the area of your future property if its a freehold or leasehold area.

7. Reason of investment

You really need to set your mind before setting off your property search in Dubai to define the purpose or the reason of buying. If you are looking for investment, then you should consult your agent as there are certain areas considered to be perfect for property investment. They are characterized with high rental value, high capital growth rate per year, and they are surrounded with many amenities and commercial centers. On the other hand, if you are looking for a house to live and settle in Dubai. Then you ought to look for convenient areas suitable for you and your family requirements. You should check first the locations of the best schools, hospitals, recreational centers, and many other.


8. Real estate finance in Dubai

Another important thing you need to know before buying a property in Dubai is the real estate finance system in the emirate.  Financing services for property buyers is available, however it’s restricted only on banks and companies authorized by the United Arab Emirates Central Bank. Most home loans in Dubai are offered at a rate ranging between 3 t 4 percent. To get a mortgage, the creditor must check the investor eligibility in order to check his financial capability of paying back the debt. This is determined through a number of factors like; the minimum salary, minimum length of service, the company which the buyer works for, and many other.

9. Research the area and the developer

Investors should also be very careful about the location of the property. There are some things you need to check like the crime rate and security. Generally, Dubai is a safe haven in the Middle East, it enjoys a swift police and security system that utilizes extremely advanced techniques in ensuring order.  Check also the developer’s track record. Today many investors tend to deal with top real estate brands in Dubai like Damac, Emaar, and other since they offer the highest credibility and professionalism in conducting work.



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Know all about Dubai Creek Harbour

By now the vast majority of the world knows that Dubai is the city of modern architecture. Just like the Eifel Tower represents a beautiful love letter to 19th century Europe, so will Burj Khalifa be remembered a 21st-century icon. But the UAE is not a country that will settle with having produced the tallest building in the world. Something even more phantasmagorical needs to happen. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be the UAE! So, only 10 years after Burj Khalifa first opened it’s doors to visitors – The Tower – is expected to overshadow it. Like a sibling that is at once both taller and younger.

But as much as we love Burj Khalifa, we do not frown upon its competition. Especially since the contest, if there even is one, is essentially one developer’s battle against itself. (The masterminds at Emaar are behind both projects, although they’ve teamed up with Dubai Holding for The Tower). On the contrary, we salute the rise of The Tower and we cannot wait for it to make history!

Until that day comes, let’s have a look at some fun facts about the skyscraper and the surrounding Dubai Creek Harbour.


The future beacon of Dubai architecture made history even at foundation level. A record-breaking number of 140 barrette piles were used to make the foundation of The Tower. Furthermore, the test load that was performed on the base weighed 36,000 tonnes – the maximum weight carried out on a single pile to date! And it’s just the beginning.
The architect of The Tower Santiago Calatrava designed City of Arts and Sciences and Opera House in Valencia as well


The mastermind behind the stunning piece of architecture is the renowned neo-futuristic architect Santiago Calatrava. This Spanish-Swiss architect is also a structural engineer, sculptor and painter. His works are most famous for resembling live organisms. Among his most famous buildings is The Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro and the Milwaukee Art Museum.


The Tower’s look will evoke the minaret – the tower-like structure you can see on mosques. A minaret is traditionally used for the Muslim call to prayer and, as such, it is an important symbol of Islamic culture. However, The Tower’s design was also inspired by the lily flower. So, the skyscraper will be linked to the ground with steel cables, resembling the delicate ribbing of the lily leaves.

HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum handpicked the design of The Tower himself


According to Emaar’s official website, it all started with a competitive international design pitch involving the world’s top architects. Once all the designs were gathered in one place, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, hand-picked the winning design himself.

The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour will be taller than Burj Khalifa


At the groundbreaking ceremony last October, Santiago Calatrava’s son, Micael Calatrava stated for the Khaleej Times that the team is unsure how much taller The Tower will be in comparison to the Burj Khalifa. However, later sources have confirmed that the total height will be 928 metres – 100 metres higher than the Burj! Despite the groundbreaking height, the skyscraper is expected to be completed before Expo 2020 at an estimated cost of 1  billion USD.

10 Interesting Facts About The Tower


At the very top, The Tower will feature an oval-shaped bud that will house ten observation decks, including The Pinnacle Room. This room will offer 360-degree views of the city after being developed by the engineering firm Aurecon. We imagine that the view will be even more spectacular than the 360-degree view at the top of the Burj. At the moment, Aurecon is collaborating with Calatrava himself on bringing all the decks to life.



In addition to the Pinnacle room, the top will feature VIP Observation Garden Decks available only to certain visitors. These will recreate the splendour of the ‘Hanging Gardens of Babylon,’ which is thought to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.



The 6 sq km Dubai Creek Harbour (think of the size of Downtown Dubai then double that!) will sit by the Dubai Creek. Conveniently, it will be only 10-minutes away from the Dubai International Airport, which makes it the ideal location for globe trotters. Dubai Creek Harbour will also be set by the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary – home to pink flamingos and over 60 other rare bird species. Of course,  the Tower itself will be linked to Dubai’s brand new “mega retail district”.

Screenshot from Emaar's 'Take A Fly-through Tour of the Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour video shows the Downtown Dubai skyline


A statement from Emaar said that The Tower will feature “dynamic illumination and movement lighting” to make it a breathtaking landmark during both day and night.The engineering company Aurecon is also working on having the tower’s summit emit a ‘beacon of light’ from its peak. The idea behind this is to “evoke the features of a flower bud that appears to hover above the structure”.


The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour will feature "dynamic illumination and movement lighting"


We all know that Dubai is a centre of innovation and a future smart city. But, According to Emaar’s press team, the Dubai Creek Harbour on the whole will integrate “the latest design, engineering and sustainability features. A next-generation smart hub, it will also incorporate an advanced digital lifestyle defined by the latest developments in artificial intelligence.”  We cannot wait to see what this will entail!

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Know about all the Tenant rights in Dubai

With such a wide variety of residential options in Dubai, finding the right home can be a long process.  This is why, after finalising the desirable property, people get too excited about their stunning new home that they fail to pay enough attention to what they are signing up for with the landlords. This can lead to uncomfortable situations between them later on. Inquiries on tenancy relationships are usually raised at the time of tenancy contract renewal, so here is a comprehensive guide on tenants’ rights and obligations in Dubai to save you from unnecessary hassles in the future.

First things first. The laws you need to keep in mind are:

  1. Law no. 26 of 2007 as amended by Law no. 33 of 2008. This law regulates the relationship between landlords and tenants in Dubai.
  2. Decree no. 26 of 2013. This established the Rent Disputes Settlement Centre, which caters to and solves all sorts of rental disputes in Dubai.
  3. Decree no. 43 of 2013. This law specifically governs rent increase in Dubai. Per this law, a tenancy contract needs to include details of landlord and tenant, details of the relevant property, the purpose of tenancy, the term of tenancy, amount of rent decided and payment terms.

Tenants and landlords can also include an addendum to the standard “one-page” tenancy contract, which may include further terms and conditions of the contract. It needs to be attached to the tenancy contract as it comes in handy when dealing with the payment of utility charges (i.e. service, chillers, electricity, etc.), getting a no objection certificate (NOC) from landlords to carry on fit out works along with renewal and increase of rent.

It is obligatory for either tenant or landlord to register the tenancy contract with Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). The registration of the contract is important as it ensures that the same unit is not leased twice at the same time. If the rental contract is not registered, any dispute arising in future will not be entertained by the Dubai Rent Dispute Settlement Centre (RDSC).

Tenancy contracts or rental contracts may not be individually terminated by either tenant or landlord unless otherwise agreed between the two parties. In a case where a tenancy contract expires and tenant continues to live in the property without any objection from the landlord, the term of tenancy is extended automatically, for a similar period or for one year (whichever is less), on same terms and conditions.

In cases where landlord desires to amend a tenancy contract, a written notice should be served to the tenant at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the tenancy contract. Normally, the rent is to be paid per the agreed terms in the tenancy contract. In a case where there is no such agreement, the rent can be paid in annual or four equal instalments.

The payment of rent is usually made through the deposit of post-dated cheques with the landlord. IN cases where landlord refuses to receive the rent, it can be deposited with the RDSC. In cases where rent has been increased, the increase can be calculated by RERA’s rental increase calculator available on Dubai Land Department’s official website. RERA reserved the exclusive authority to specify the percentage of rent increase to property units in all Dubai localities.

The landlord is required to hand over the property to the tenant in good condition. He should undertake the responsibility of major maintenance and repair works on the property and refrain from making any changes that may affect tenant’s intended benefit.

A tenant can be evicted prior to the expiry of rental contract if tenant:

  • Fails to pay the rent within 30 days of being served with landlord’s written notification
  • Subleases the property without landlord’s written approval
  • Uses or allows others to utilise the property for immoral or illegal activities
  • Causes or allows others to cause damage or changes to the property that endanger safety of the property
  • Uses property for purposes other than the purposes for which it was leased for
  • Fails to comply with any of the terms of the tenancy contract or the law
  • If the property is in danger of collapse.
  • In cases of commercial properties, a landlord may demand eviction, if the tenant has closed business operations for 30 consecutive or 90 consecutive days without giving any valid reasons.

In the case of the expiry of the tenancy contract, a landlord may demand eviction if:

  • Landlord wishes to reconstruct or demolish the property
  • Development requirements necessitate reconstruction or demolition of the property
  • The property requires comprehensive maintenance or renovation
  • A landlord wants to sell the property or use it for his personal use or even for his relatives of the first degree. In such instances, the landlord must provide the tenant with a 12 month’s written notice through registered mail or public notary

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All what you need to know about RTA’s Smart Services

Dubai is known as the most modern region in the Middle East and that is for a reason. You will see technological advancement in every part of the emirate. Look in real estate, healthcare, environment, logistics, public transportation and even government procedures, the creative utilization of technology everywhere is amazing! This article is about how Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has modernised the transportation system of the emirate and how you can benefit from RTA’s smart services.

To locals, foreigners and tourists, Dubai’s RTA offers 173 different smart services that they can utilise to make their daily commute easier. Interestingly, these services are not limited to travelling on roads, but also offer accessibility to the desert and water-based travelling.

Nearly two years ago, RTA Chairman of the Board and Executive Director His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, announced that the RTA accomplished the transformation of all customer services into smart services that were tailor-made to be innovative and easy-to-use. For two years these services have been effectively serving the people and helping Dubai in becoming world’s smartest city in terms of roads and transport systems.

All the 173 smart services are offered via nine apps available on multiple platforms such as Android, Apple, Blackberry, and Windows. So in this article we will be discussing what these apps are and how they can help you in Dubai.

RTA Dubai

RTA Dubai is an interactive mobile-based application that can assist you as your guide in Dubai. It contains a variety of services designed to help passengers and drivers by specifying points of interest such as service centres, parking areas, metro and bus stations and taxi booking services. The following are the features RTA Dubai offers.

  • Personalized dashboard providing users a complete view of their profile along with important emergency numbers, government services and weather conditions for safe driving
  • Parking services allowing users to pay parking fees and remembering their parked locations
  • Fine inquiry and payment
  • nol balance inquiry, top up and view past transactions
  • Salik balance inquiry and top up
  • Taxi booking service
  • RTA theory test practice for drivers
  • Highlighting of hundreds points of interest across Dubai
  • Information regarding RTA services for disabled
  • Madinati service offering users to report any violations or defects in roads or hurdles in transportation services offered by the RTA
  • “Innovation Corner” offering articles and videos on innovation to read and share
  • RTA’s directory of services, locations and FAQs

Public Transport

Public and Transport app allows people using Dubai’s public transportation to save time. The App offers the following features.

  • Inquiry about or top-up of NOL Card balance
  • Application for personalised NOL Cards
  • Application for NOL Special Design Cards
  • Reviewing transaction history of NOL Cards
  • Tracking the status of submitted applications
  • Top-up eWallets and NOL cards with credit cards
  • Creating and managing eWallet account
  • Travel pass expiry and renewal notifications
  • Accessing online statement with credit cards
  • Giving feedback or reporting technical problems
  • mPay and ePay services for secure online payments through the app
  • Locating the closest RTA centre through app’s GPS functionality
  • Receiving reminders and notifications in real-time

Drivers and Vehicles

This app allows drivers to view registration cards, licenses and plate certificates via their Traffic File which is made accessible through the mentioned app. The following are the features it offers:

  • mStore – offering access to a digital version of users valid driving license, vehicle registration cards and distinguished plate number certificates
  • Parking services to pay parking fees and remembering parked location
  • mChat – for contacting the RTA customer service agents via instant messaging
  • Requesting for a Dubai plate number
  • Applying for a damaged or lost driver’s license replacement
  • Applying for vehicle registration and vehicle registration card renewal or a change of plate number
  • Applying for Vehicle Ownership Certificates
  • Paying or inquiring about traffic fines
  • Driver’s/vehicle license renewal via barcode scan
  • Viewing vehicle registration cards, licenses and plate certificates
  • Viewing recent activity
  • mPay and ePay services for secure payments online and through the app
  • Locating the nearest RTA centre with the app’s GPS functionality
  • Applying for a distinguished number plate or for the replacement of a lost or damaged distinguished plate number certificate

Corporate Services

The Corporate Services app allows users to stay in RTA’s corporate loop by accessing features such as claiming for commercial ads, load permits and reviewing current and future tenders. The app has 59 transactional, interactive and informational services in total and they fall into 10 categories. Through this app you can,

  • Review your current and future tenders.
  • Apply for NOC for construction/demolition.
  • Apply for commercial ads.
  • Track all your applications.
  • Get eWallet for corporate payment.
  • Utilise the Right of Way service.
  • Access contracts and purchasing.

RTA Smart Drive

RTA Smart Drive app allows you to navigate through Dubai. The app operates without mobile Internet connection and provides turn-by-turn voice and visual instruction, automatic re-routing and speed limit alerts. It also displays points of interest along the drive. Its features include:

  • ‘Live Traffic’ gives updates about traffic, roadwork and accidents. It also re-routes your trip when required.
  • Updated UAE map locations of Metro, Tram, Bus and Marine stations in Dubai
  • Real time traffic information and adjusted travel times on multiple saved routes.

Salik App

Salik app makes traveling convenient by managing user’s accounts on-the-go. Through it, users can recharge any account, view their balance, download statements and access other information content. It has the following features:

  • Tag activation
  • Balance inquiry
  • Recharge any account
  • View recent trips
  • Violation management
  • View Salik account registered vehicles

Smart Taxi

As its name suggests, the Smart Taxi app allows users to save time with the Smart Taxi App. It can book and track your Dubai taxi and provider details of the dispatched taxi. It has the following features:

  • This application has a total of 2 services: Automates taxi booking process.
  • Requires less personal data through the use of your ID card.
  • Benefits from smart mobile features such as GPS.
  • Allows users to rate drivers and view the last 10 bookings.


Wojhati is a journey planner app. It allows users to view routes, stops and major landmarks while helping them plan journeys using metro, buses and marine transport routes. At allows you to:

  • Plan journeys using public transport anywhere within Dubai
  • View routes, stops, major landmark locations
  • Bookmark favourite locations
  • Augmented reality features
  • Access recently viewed locations and journeys
  • Walking directions to and from stops
  • Text, email or WhatsApp journeys to friends
  • Access real time public transport delay information
  • Track journey progress in real-time and receive related alerts


Sharekni is RTA’s carpool management app that allows Dubai residents to share rides within the city and to connect with each other. Its features help in:

  • Reducing traffic congestion in Dubai at peak times by reducing the number of cars used by people.
  • Promoting multiple means of mobility and providing transport options to all.
  • Organising parking lots near offices
  • Saving money for people via carpool.
  • Reduce pollution due to less vehicles on road.
  • Reduce the physical and psychological stress of driving in traffic.
  • Encourage social relationships in the community

RTA’s Smart Services details on

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Bur Dubai

Further towards the creek, away from the glittery flashing lights, lie two of the biggest parts of Old Dubai: Deira and Bur Dubai. Newcomers to Dubai might not realise it, but before the emergence of mega-blocks like DIFC, Dubai Marina and JBR, Deira used to be the heart of Dubai, and Bur Dubai its quieter, more relaxed sister. Bur Dubai is home to many historic sites, museums and old buildings. Tour the living museums of the Heritage and Diving Village in Al Shindagha and explore the souks. Or wander through the lanes of the historic Al Fahidi District, home to some of the only original Arabic wind-tower houses left on the Arab side of the Gulf, built by wealthy traders and pearl merchants.

South Asian expats

Bur Dubai mainly attracts South Asian expats as well as international expats looking for affordable housing close to the centre of town. Like Deira, Bur Dubai is densely populated. Both areas are worth exploring, and offer countless benefits. Much of the charm of Bur Dubai lies in simply wandering along the waterfront and through the busy backstreets, although there are a number of specific attractions worth exploring. At the heart of the district, the Dubai Museum offers an excellent introduction to the city’s history, culture and customs, while the old Iranian quarter of Al Bastakiya (recently renamed Al Fahidi district) nearby is home to the city’s collection of traditional buildings, topped with dozens of wind towers.

Young professionals, small to mid-sized families

Bur Dubai is perfect for people looking for reasonable residential rent in close proximity to the hotspots of central Dubai. It’s one practical place to live when considering rent, amenities, and local transport links. Working expats with low-to-mid income can find great accommodation options in Bur Dubai for a reasonable price.

Busy, loud and full of adventures

Bur Dubai gets quite busy in the evenings as more and more people go out to grab a snack, have dinner, or finish errands. Residents spend a good deal of time out and about walking the streets and enjoying the many quick snack shops and cafes that line the streets. On weekends, particularly Friday afternoons, families head out to the creek or spend time in the different parks and attractions throughout the neighbourhood.

Compared to newer districts in Dubai, Bur Dubai enjoys a more natural, organic feel. The availability of outdoor activities and affordable entertainment options give residents a chance to explore the beauty of the city without breaking the budget.

Pet owners, large families and people who like to live in a quiet environment

If you are someone who owns a pet, or generally needs a lot of space, then Bur Dubai is probably not the best choice for you. Despite the apartments being larger than other newer areas of Dubai, the chaos of the backstreets does not lend itself to happy free-roaming pets like other areas in the Greens, The Springs, and The Lakes. Bur Dubai can get very congested, especially during rush-hours and weekends, so prepare yourself for a lot of bumper-to-bumper traffic and noise pollution. In this area, using the Dubai Metro is a great option to avoid the delays caused by traffic.

Low to mid-range apartments

Rent in Bur Dubai is relatively cheap (starting from 50,000 AED/year). The area is dominated by mid-rise buildings offering 1BR, 2BR, 3BR, and 4BR apartments. There are the occasional villas in Bur Dubai, but finding a vacant one to rent is very difficult. Residential buildings vary in Bur Dubai; some offer top-notch amenities such as swimming pools and gyms, while others conspicuously require maintenance and upkeep.

The creek, the history and the food

Every small detail in Bur Dubai is a reminder of a rich Emirati past. From museums, to art galleries, old Dubai is where residents can explore the “real” Dubai. This is also where you’ll get the strongest sense of Bur Dubai’s status as the city’s Little India, with dozens of no-frills curry houses, window displays full of glittery saris, and optimistic touts offering fake watches or “nice pashminas”.


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Arabian Ranches

Located a few minutes from the three main ring roads leading to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, Arabian Ranches offers a variety of freehold villas and townhouses of two to six bedrooms, forming a complete community for families, with many amenities and facilities. Guaranteeing an exclusive lifestyle of comfort and luxury, every small detail of this community is designed to make life easy and enjoyable.

upper-class, Western expat families

Arabian Ranches has been designed specifically for upper-class, Western expat families. An exclusive gated villa community away from central Dubai, considered on the higher end of the property market, it is characterised by its privacy, spacious properties and unique Arabian architectural design.


Arabian Ranches provides the perfect family home for those who can afford the tag. Built with families in mind, the area offers a wide range of villas that would fit all different tastes and styles.

Family-oriented luxury living

Arabian Ranches is a great place for young families as there are a lot of community pools, parks, playgrounds and tennis courts. There is also a small mall with many dining options. The bus service operates very frequently so teenagers can access Mall Of Emirates. The Golf Club and Maison Mathis are both great venues for family dinners.

Young professionals seeking entertainment

While you will fall in love with the modernist architectural style of this community, the tranquil surroundings contribute to a sense of calm and quiet. For more of a vibrant lifestyle, young expats might want to commute to busier areas of the city, such as the Dubai Marina or DIFC.

High-end themed villas for rent starting from AED 110,000 per year

Arabian Ranches were among the most active areas in off-plan sales since the beginning of 2017, signalling increased investor activity, especially for villas.

The greenary

The greenary, the quiet, and the beautiful architecture. The fully-developed community offers an abundance of services that eliminates the need for daily trips to other areas.

image of Arabian Ranches boulevard

image of mosque in Arabian Ranches

image of Arabian Ranches area

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Umm Suqeim

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.

Expatriate renters and local home-owners

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.

Green, quiet, and healthy

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.

People keen on living a buzzing nightlife

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.

Medium-to-massive villas

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.

Quiet enough to get away from the crowds, but still has enough going on to have an exciting social life

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.


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Al Barsha

Al Barsha is a safe and quiet area filled with large, standalone villas and some new apartment blocks popular among Media City and Dubai Internet City employees. It is one of the relatively new communities located in the west part of the city between Sheikh Zayed Road and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Road. The area has district zones, each with its own accommodation options. It is the general name for Al Barsha I, Al Barsha II, Al Barsha III and the very new Al Barsha South compounds.

Young professionals and expat families

Al Barsha was once popular with groups of young professionals, who wished to share the cost of a property, but they have moved on and the area is becoming the preserve of families. Al Barsha was once popular within groups of young professionals, wishing to share the costs of a property. These communal villas still exist, but the area is also becoming the preserve of families that enjoy the quiet neighborhood, larger living spaces, and huge plots of land.

Residents can enjoy the benefits of living in a community of villas, away from the hustle and bustle of city life amongst Dubai’s skyscrapers. The streets in Al Barsha are wide and many villa plots are large, often equipped with private swimming pools and barbecue areas for hosting gatherings of friends and family. For those that are friends with their neighbors, it’s not uncommon to be invited to an ad-hoc BBQ at an adjacent villa. If you’re someone that enjoys hosting guests, a Ramadan Iftar, a pool party or a BBQ in your garden, this area will be a true pleasure.


Small to medium families wanting to live in the heart of Dubai without breaking the budget. Small to medium families looking to live in the heart of Dubai without breaking the budget. In 2016, you could rent an apartment in the area for an average price of AED 109,500 while today the price has come down to AED 86,500.  In addition to the low cost of rent per square foot, residents love the easy access to parking on the street. Hosting guests here is less challenging, as parking does not pose the logistical issue that often appears in other parts of this and other major cities around the globe.

Al Barsha has a true sense of neighborhood, while located next to the most busy areas of the city. The area is also ideal for single professionals who use the metro daily, offering many metro stations nearby.

Laid-back and family-oriented

Laid back, family-oriented lifestyle for people on a budget. Dozens of hotels offer an ambiant nightlife Laid back, family-oriented lifestyle for people on a budget who don’t like being constrained by small places, those who prefer a house over an apartment. Dozens of hotels in the surrounding areas offer an ambient nightlife.

Residents who get easily irritated by excess traffic and noise

If you get easily irritated by construction and traffic, Al Barsha is probably not the place for you. If you get easily irritated by construction and traffic, Al Barsha is probably not the place for you. The community is still a work in progress so some areas still suffer occasionally from excessive noise as early as 6:00 or 7:00 am, arguably much earlier than legally allowed.

Traffic diversions and dust are the obvious bedfellows to the construction activity dotted around villas and compounds.  These issues add up to the already significant challenge of directing visitors and taxis to the location of your villa.  Recent advances in technology and initiatives from the Dubai government and private sector – including Makani numbers, Uber, and others – have decreased, but not eliminated, such hassles.

Mid-rise apartment towers and villa communities

Al Barsha has large villa communities and midrise apartment towers that are popular with the locals as well as expats.vAl Barsha has large villa communities and mid-rise apartment towers that are popular among families of locals, as well as expats.

Apartments are of good quality as they are newly built. They are executive type flats and not necessarily luxurious. Nearly all the buildings tend to have the usual extras such as gyms and swimming pools.

The location and quality life on a budget

The convinient location, the dining options and easy access to Mall of the Emirates. Easy access to Mall Of the Emirates and Al Barsha Mall, with their innumerate retail, grocery, and dining options, makes Al Barsha an appealing location. While only connected to two metro stations on its northern perimeter, Barsha is also conveniently situated close to all of the other nightlife and fun weekend activities of JLT and Dubai Marina, as well as a number of golf courses located within a few kilometers’ radius. And with the spectacle which is not other than Dubai Miracle Garden located on the southern tip of Al Barsha, residents will never fail to amaze their guests with a quick neighbourhood tour.

You will get a lot more for your money than somewhere like Jumeirah, in terms of accommodation size. The area is central with easy access to Al Khail and Sheikh Zayed Roads. Mall Of the Emirates is on your doorstep and Al Quoz Art Community is very near, providing a bit of food for your soul when that is required. You will fall in love with the assortment of restaurants the area has to offer.

attractions barsha

living Barsha

al salam mosque al barsha

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Motor City

Replete with multiple groceries, salons, spas, laundries, kids entertainment, schools, and nurseries, as well as retail and dining amenities, this “city within a city”, reduces the need to travel outside the community for everyday living, or even specialty requirements, really.  With the Dubai Autodrome and Kartodrome right next door, and Tennis and Cricket Sports academies a stone’s throw away, there is never a dearth of fun, sporty and adventurous activities around.

A slightly quirky but extremely pleasant community with plenty of greenery that offers apartments with spacious terraces and balconies. With little through traffic, a number of play areas and community pools, its a good option for families.

Just about every nationality and age bracket

Motor City is a varied community; you’ll see just about every nationality and age bracket, but the neighbourhood is particularly popular with young professionals who enjoy having a lot of space at a reasonable cost. Your neighbours are likely to be outdoor enthusiasts, enjoying the pedestrian-friendly streets and the many options for community and sport activities at their doorsteps.

There are many dog-owners who choose to live in Motor City because of its pet-friendly policies and walkable streets. Community groups organise various canine-related activities such as the annual Dog Halloween.

Motor City has become particularly popular with small families thanks to its playgrounds and nurseries, and again, because of it’s reasonably priced housing options. Building clusters share community swimming pools and gyms, which form hubs of activity for those with young children, sun-seekers, and the gymming members of the community.

Small families and pet-owners

Motor City is a great place to start a family in Dubai; it is less hectic than Dubai’s commercial districts and the lush greenery provides fresher air. The spacious apartments mean the younger members of your family will have plenty of room to scatter their toys and build forts.

If you love exercising and working out, Motor City’s paved running tracks and outdoor exercise equipment will add significant value to your life. And these paths are not only for health and well-being; you’ll often find small groups of friends exercising together while chatting away!

Laid back and healthy

It is not uncommon to see runners and athletes jogging across the walk paths at any time of the day. The structure of Motor City encourages healthier lifestyle choices and outdoor activities. Even among those without a proclivity for sporting pastimes, many people are walking around this pedestrian friendly neighbourhood simply because it forms an easy mode of transportation. Otherwise, this is a fairly quiet and laid back area. With it’s Wednesday evening open cycling night, the Dubai Autodrome is a great facility for cycling enthusiasts to have a ride around the track, and for the health conscious foodies among us to enjoy a hearty, nutritious meal at The Cycle Bistro.

People who rely on taxis and public transport

Even though an Uber or Careem are both just a screen touch away, some people find Motor City remote. Owning or renting a car is a nice-to-have luxury if you want to live in Motor City. If you prefer to live in the heart of the big city, you might find Motor City a little too quaint.

Affordable mid-sized apartments and townhouses.

The area offers well-priced apartments and quality three-storey townhouses. The Green Community consists of spacious mid-range villas overlooking mesmerising lakes. The area falls into the more affordable range of apartments. Taking into consideration the great services and facilities it offers, Motor City is a good bargain.

The greenery and the friendly atmosphere

The reason why residents of Motor City love their community is because it offers everything you need to feel at home: friendly neighbours, fresh air, greenery, and convenient shops and services. Residents also love the sense of safety and security that the area provides for children, with plenty of cafes where adults can relax.


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Business Bay

Living, working, sightseeing and entertaining. Welcome to Business Bay! Until recently, the area nestled next to Downtown Dubai had been in the shadow of its glitzy neighbour to the north, whose high profile landmarks include the Burj Khalifa, Souk Al Bahar and The Dubai Mall. But Business Bay has now become one of Dubai’s most attractive residential, commercial, and business centres and will soon have quite a bit more waterfront property, as Dubai Water Canal approaches completion.

Young expats from different nationalities

Business Bay mostly attracts young professionals looking for a fast-paced, cosmopolitan lifestyle. High-rise buildings are the name of the game. Residents include those that want to be close to downtown, but might not want to pay the premium rents. High end hotels also abound, with their usual attraction of entertainment and dining options.

With direct access to major highways, and its proximity to Downtown, Jumeirah, DIFC and other central touch points, Business Bay is becoming a gradual (albeit work-in-progress) extension to the Downtown Dubai strip. Expect more and more conveniently located retail and restaurant outlets to populate the neighborhood. Young couples and singles love the area’s convenient location and its high-rise buildings.

Young professionals

The area is ideal for young professionals who want to live in the heart of Dubai’s business district and stay close to its commercial hub, Downtown Dubai. Also conveniently located near a metro stop, some parts of Business Bay make it easy to live in Dubai without a car. Business Bay is a mixed residential / commercial space with wide streets, and traffic tends to be light within the neighbourhood.  The same can not be said for Business Bay’s immediate neighbour to the north.

Business Bay offers excellent residential rent prices considering its proximity to Downtown and DIFC, with entertainment just a short drive away, and increasingly rearing its fun head in hotels throughout the community. In addition, residents say they love the amazing views of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountains. Certainly not all towers and units have that view, but securing one that does forms a great reason to live in Business Bay.

Fast-paced and business-oriented

The lifestyle in Business Bay can be defined as very business-oriented and fast-paced; you will see hurried people in suits and briefcases. On the other hand, Business Bay also has a very entertaining side, especially when it comes to nightlife on weekends.

Big families and pet-owners

Like in other high rising business districts, having a big family or large pets may be less than ideal in Business Bay. For those that admire the great expanses of Dubai’s largest villas, this area also might not be for you. The limited number of playgrounds, rush-hour traffic and mild pollution might scare off some parents. The streets are not as quiet as those small back roads in Jumeirah and Umm Suqeim, meaning children and aspiring athletes might not be as free to roam.

One additional complaint of residents, particularly those whose families enjoy the beaches of Dubai, is that the beaches are a drive away. Compared to other areas, including the Marina, Jumeirah, and Umm Suqeim, which provide walking or biking access to the beach, Business Bay is far.

Residents also lament that, both because it’s a work-in-progress area and because Business Bay houses a business district, there are fewer grocery stores and restaurants to choose from than one would prefer. The solution, of course, lies in any of the areas around Business Bay, but this is less convenient than having a multitude of options at your doorstep.

Traffic getting onto and off of Sheikh Zayed Road often sees delays during rush hours.

Mid-to-high range apartments for expatriate professionals

The residential apartments are quite spacious and airy here, as apartments go. From studios to 5 bedrooms and penthouses, Business Bay offers a complete range of rentals starting from 70,000 AED. Business Bay is a favourite amongst individuals looking for an upscale studio in a central area. The studios are spacious and well-lit.

The views, amenities, easy access to SZR

In Business Bay, you will love just how close you are to Downtown, DIFC, and other areas of Dubai. Residents also love the availability of parking within Business Bay, which removes some of the hassle of inviting guests over to their part of town. The residential units in Business Bay offer beautiful views of the Arabian Gulf, Downtown Dubai, and the less developed side of Dubai.