Before you house hunt in Dubai here are a few important things you should explore:
After zeroing on your priority, create a housing budget or allowance that is likely to be part of your employment package. Equipped with these major decision making pointers, find out which neighborhoods suit you and your family meeting the key parameters you identified earlier.
Palm Jumeirah is a man-made island in the shape of a palm tree that extends into the Gulf. Here, there are expensive villas with private beaches and pools on the fronds. The area is good for young couples and families. The area is quieter and has beach access. It is also greener, with more gardens. However, before you invest make sure you inspect the property to feel the neighborhood, first hand.
Older villas make up small compounds in this part of Dubai. The area is more established, with less construction and the villas near Beach Road are within walking distance of the beach. It's still possible to find a bargain here but you may have to shell out some renovation money. Each compound will normally be built around a communal pool and garden. The area is great for families with pets; the villas also often include a room for domestic helpers. The area is in a good central location and it is easy to get taxis. The area has quite a few schools and is more cosmopolitan. There are plenty of mosques in the area and you can hear the call to prayer here. The villas are here are also somewhat smaller compared to the newer buildings.
Dubai Marina and Dubai International Financial Centre and Downtown are right in the heart of the city and gives access to older parts of Dubai. However this area is completely covered with high rise buildings and apartments are the primary accommodation here.
The Springs, The Lakes, The Meadows and The Greens
An Emaar development known as Emirates Living comprises four different developments, all built close to the Emirates Golf Course. Among them is The Springs, a villa-style development in 15 phases, a two-bedroom unit being the smallest. The Lakes and The Meadows consist of larger free-standing villas with gardens. The fourth is The Greens, an apartment community. All the communities share parks, pools and, in some cases, basketball courts. They're great for families or people with pets. Rentals are reasonable, except for The Meadows, which remains very sought-after. The area is very green and leafy, as well as child-friendly and central and established. The villas are older and some ongoing road construction in certain areas exist.
All these developments can be found on Emirates Road between the Al Khail roundabout and the E66. The complexes consist of townhouses and free-standing villas, except in the case of Motor City, which also has some low-rise apartment blocks. These developments are popular with expats from South Africa, Australia and the UK due to the larger houses and gardens, and better value for money. Arabian Ranches is very popular, older and more established, and therefore more expensive. Built further out into the desert these areas are quieter, but can be dustier. There is more space and it is quieter, making it ideal for families with children and pets. These areas are farther from “Old” Dubai and a car is a necessity.
Mirdif and Al Garhoud
Built on either side of Dubai International Airport, Mirdif and Al Garhoud offer older style villa compounds with shared pool access. The rental prices are low to medium in these areas. The close proximity to good schools makes these popular areas for people with children who prefer value for money. The areas offer more competitive rental prices and there are good schools nearby. The proximity to the airport means it can be very noisy.
Although not one of the “villaments”, Bur Dubai is one of the oldest parts of Dubai city. It consists of mostly low- to medium-rise apartment blocks built over shops and restaurants. Traditionally home to expatriates from the sub-continent and Filipinos, it is a bustling and vibrant area. It's great for singles or couples who enjoy the hustle and bustle. The area is very affordable and very central. Parking can be an issue and good schools are not close by.
(Information courtesy: Global Media)