Dubai is known for its skyscrapers, luxury shopping, cutting-edge architecture and lively city life. But away from luxury hotels, beach clubs and sprawling homes in areas like Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina, there are thriving suburbs with resident populations.
As Dubai has expanded, so has the living space and post-pandemic, many people are moving from apartments to single-family homes that offer a lifestyle close to nature and, most importantly, outdoor space.
Jumeirah Islands is a purpose-built residential building close to the marina. The villas are grouped on 46 small islands surrounded by lakes and green areas. Like many other suburban neighborhoods, the community has its own supermarket, school, clubhouse, and recreational facilities.
Sheelah Odedra is a mother of two and lives in the Jumeirah Islands. The family moved shortly after their daughter was born.
“We did not know exactly what we were looking for, but we needed more space. The best thing is to be part of a community that has many common parks, many hiking trails, a lot of nature and things like the clubhouse. We have a pavilion where there are also a number of restaurants. “
This sense of community is helpful when you have children.
Jumeirah Islands Clubhouse features restaurants, a fitness center, a playground, a pool, and a hair salon. For many expats, these things are one of the best parts of the compromise that comes with living in another country.
Jumeirah Islands Clubhouse CEO Lorena Guerrero also confirms the strong sense of community:
“The locals feel comfortable here on Jumeirah Island, they feel at home. No matter what time of day you find young people or families with children here, for there are offers for all ages.”
Another popular residential area is the newly built Dubai Hills. The project, considered a city within a city, covers over 11 million square feet with thousands of apartments and villas, schools, hospitals, a shopping mall and an 18-hole championship golf course.
Louise Heatley decided to buy a home in the Dubai Hills. She told euronews: “I’ve been working in Dubai for 26 years, so I’ve lived in many neighborhoods. I’m always looking for something that offers me lots of amenities and facilities that make my life a little bit easier. All right outside the door.”
Professionally, Heatley is the CEO of the real estate company Exclusive Links. She adds that she is also aware of what makes a good investment.
“I want something that sells again and again. Dubai Hills ticks all the boxes for a great place to stay”she said.
Heatley said the most surprising thing for most visitors is that most locals live a completely normal life.
“We do not travel all the time and live big. We go to work, come home and eat dinner.”
As the city has grown, more and more neighborhood hotels have emerged to give local residents a place to meet as a community.
The First Collection JVC is a four star hotel located in Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC). The neighborhood was created in 2005 and covers an area of over 8.7 million square meters with a mix of large villas, townhouses and apartments.
Brendan McCormack, vice president of F&B at First Group Hospitality, says that after seeing the growth of suburbs in Dubai, the heart of these communities is the community centers.
“Dubai’s infrastructure has evolved enormously, especially around the exhibition. Many of these communities, which a few years ago were considered the end of the world, are now easily accessible.”he says. “Many people prefer to live in a townhouse or villa rather than an apartment. These suburbs are very popular with families, and the sense of community that may not have been there in recent years is not unique to JVC, but in many neighborhoods throughout Dubai.
Dubai has many famous and exclusive neighborhoods, but suburban communities are flourishing and more and more people are choosing to live in lifestyle developments like these.