Where to live in Dubai? Residents Guide

To live

Moving to Dubai, and unsure where to look for your new home? We’ve all been there, therefore we have asked some girlfriends where they live, and why, to help you make up your mind!

Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) Thanks to Frankie Hales

to live

My partner & I moved to JVC just over 3 years ago (despite connections living in Dubai at the time telling us to look in the Marina, or Downtown), and I remember seeing it for the first time and thinking – WHAT!! WHAATTTT!! “Why do we live in the desert” I kept moaning. This is supposed to be ‘the Dubai dream’ I kept moaning. My other half was adamant it was an ‘up-and-coming area’ but to me it just looked like a construction site. His argument, it was cheap, and we didn’t know how long we would be staying in Dubai as new expats. 3 years later, we are still in the Circle! It’s home, and our happy place! It still looks like a construction site, but we now have green parks perfect for walking our two dogs and letting them off the leads, we live in a spacious 3 bedroom townhouse for a very small spend in comparison to the Marina, or Downtown, and we can’t imagine leaving! We love feeling like we check out of Dubai every time we get home; it’s a quiet community, and homely, which is what we personally crave. It takes 15 minutes in the car to get to the Marina on a good day (despite people thinking we still do live in the desert!), and we have supermarkets & salons in the Circle (both Spinneys & Chointrums for those asking), but you do need a car – I wouldn’t advise anyone relying on taxi’s to live in the Circle. It’s cheap & cheerful for those looking to get more for their money, and setting up a Dubai home that has longevity.

The Palm Thanks to Olivia Phillips

resident guide

People will tell you various things about The Palm. One, that it’s a nightmare to get on and off. Two, that it’s super expensive. And three, that living there feels a wee bit detached from everything else, being that it can seem like Dubai consists of either the Marina or Downtown and not much in between. Ignore these people. They don’t want you to be happy. Move Palmside and I guarantee you’ll find that a) we have the best beaches, often bang on our doorsteps, b) we have the nicest apartments – maybe a bit pricier than the Marina but hey, if you’re in Dubai, you might as well do it properly, and c) come the weekend, you’ll rarely want to leave. That’s what happens when you can go for a run on the track under the palm trees at Golden Mile, have a mani at Tips & Toes, a full English at Dukes and then collapse on the beach at the Fairmont overlooking the – let’s be honest – best view in Dubai. Throw in Vista Mare – a strip of bars and restaurants just opened right on the beach (I recommend Breeze for chilled sundowners with a Bali-esque vibe, and Aji for some of the best Japanese around) – and a huge new mall opening at the end of the year (in the meantime, Golden Mile has everything you need) and it’s the perfect proposition. If I sound like I’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid, that’s because I’ve never been happier; the energy as soon as you drive onto The Palm is like an instant holiday. The best bit? It’s quiet when you want it to be, and buzzy if you’re looking for atmosphere. So if you want the energy of the Marina but without the noise, pollution and traffic, or the zen-like qualities of Al Barari but without the commute; The Palm is right up your street.
to live

The Marina Thanks to Katie Sadler

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Dubai residents seem to have a love / hate relationships with the Marina: just like marmite! And I personally love it. The Marina was my first location from moving over from the UK and it will forever hold my heart.

Yes the never ending red light at the traffic lights is annoying and the volume of traffic can be relentless (the tram and metro offer a good alternative) but there is an energy that just engulfs me. I think its the combination of high rise buildings which boasts some of the best architectural design, the Cayan apartments which is actually built on a 90 degree twist being one! You walk around with your head forever held up as you marvel at the heights of the concrete jungle, guided by its bright lights.

In the Marina, everything is pretty much at your disposable, coffee shops, supermarkets, an abundance of beach clubs and ladies nights all within walking distance of your apartment. This does mean you have to distract the temptation of being able to go out every night of the week because its that easy – a benefit that my bank account doesn’t appreciate! But this is what we are here for right,  to make memories, new friends and  new experiences!

So for that reason the Marina is a great base to submerge yourself into the Dubai adventure. Most apartments in this area have the best views too, from my bedroom window I can see all of the prime landmarks of the city; The Palm, the Burj Al Arab & the Burj Khalifa in the distance on a clear day; every morning I am still lost of words when I pull up my blinds to be greeted by such views. Getting lost in this urban playground close to the water with a glittering skyline has now become my home  and despite it costing me half my pay cheque; its definitely worth it!

Downtown Thanks to Selina Katz

resident guide

When we decided to relocate to Dubai my partner and I faced the rather overwhelming prospect of Downtown vs. the Marina / Palm end of town. With my office relocating to Dubai Design District it seemed foolish to commit myself to the stress of a long daily commute to work in traffic. This was, after all, one of the reasons behind swapping London for the ‘Dubai lifestyle’. Two and a half years later and we’re still living in the same spacious apartment in the Burj Khalifa area with views of the dancing fountains and the city scape which comes to life at nighttime. Admittedly I’m known as ‘downtown girl’ to my friends who all seem to have decided I might as well live in another country but the truth is we love being in the buzz of the city during the week and getting to work in 5 minutes gives us more time to ourselves. All our favorite restaurants, bars and clubs are within easy reach and our building is even connected to The Dubai Mall by a tunnel, oh so convenient during the Summer heat! On the weekends if we fancy a change of scenery we’ll book a staycay or visit friends on The Palm. We feel we’ve found the best of both worlds in our Downtown haven.

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The Greens Thanks to Jade Chilton

to live

The Greens is my little haven in this crazy city. Along with the lake, the shopping village and the beautiful infinity pool in my apartment building, it’s well, very green. Our apartment overlooks the golf course, a very luscious view in comparison to the concrete jungle and desert that surrounds most complexes. When we turn off the Sheik Zayed road and enter the area I take a deep breath as I know I’m home, away from the madness. Shorts go on, flip flops on my feet and I wander down to the local supermarket or the nail bar for a manicure. The simple things in life make such a difference when we live and work in this mad town.

Jumeriah Village Triangle (JVT) Thanks to Kayleigh Foster

to live

After 3 years of city living in Dubai we decided our priority for the next move was definitely going to be more space, a garden and parking so JVT ticked all boxes. We had a great Winter having friends over for BBQs and we even added to our family, a rescued German Shepherd. Evening walks around JVT are just what I need after a busy day driving around Dubai. The tennis and basketball courts are always busy and the streets are so peaceful and we are now walking distance from everything we need. I love the hustle and bustle of Dubai but it’s nice now to choose when to be a part of it and knowing it’s only a 10 minute taxi drive home.


1 Comment

  1. June 28, 2017 / 12:46 am

    Thank you so much for the information on moving here, really good to read, 7 weeks to go!

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