The 4 best areas to live in Dubai

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  • Better value for money accommodation is preferred among Dubai residents.
  • The best areas to live in Dubai could be on the expensive end of the spectrum, but not necessarily.
  • We look at the top spots to settle in Dubai as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

It is common to think that generally, the most expensive areas in Dubai are the most sought after places to live. While areas like the Palm Jumeirah, the Marina, or central Downtown do offer great luxuries and always make it on the top of the list, many residents of the city value affordability, convenience, and comfort above all.

To accurately comprehend which Dubai areas are the best and why, many aspects such as home size and layout, quality of facilities, amount of traffic, sense of community, availability of public transportation, and value for money to come into play.

Let’s take an overall look at some of the top areas to settle down in Dubai as an expat (apart from the obvious ones), along with some facts, average prices and recommendations that we hope can help you make your final decision. This list covers both ends of the annual rental price spectrum!

Motor City

best areas to live in dubai

What we love about Motor City is its suburban vibe and lush greenery that exudes tranquility and lots of footpaths around. While it’s one of the most affordable communities in the city and tucked a bit farther away from mainstream Dubai, this gem of an area offers convenience and quiet peace to its residents. It’s also relatively close to Mall of the Emirates and there’s a nearby Spinneys – a big plus in our book.

  • Layout and size of the properties are excellent, there is parking availability and safety levels are high
  • Amenities are widely available. There are also swimming pools and gyms scattered around uptown Motor City.
  • Traffic along the nearby major roads is usually good
  • Motor City has a great community feel
  • There are schools at close proximity (within 5 km)
Great for:
  • Families
  • Single expats
  • Nature lovers
  • Outdoor fitness lovers
  • Pet owners (Motor City is a pet-friendly community)
The dreaded cons:
  • Chiller charges apply
  • Maintenance companies are not as prompt (however, works gets done decently)
  • Not an ideal location for those who intend to make use of public transport
  • Not many restaurants and bars around
  • There could be some noise from the Autodrome on the weekends, but that shouldn’t put you off

Average annual rent for a 2 bedroom: 105,000 – 110,000 AED/year

The Greens

best areas to live in dubai

It’s no wonder that The Greens, a very well established Emaar community is known as the greenest area in Dubai. For many, the region’s hot climate and sandy landscape makes them long for lush, green landscapes and greenery, and lots of it. This area provides one of the healthiest and greenest environments to live in around the city, and its low-rise character exudes lots of charm, retaining its serene atmosphere and character. If you like the “small town” vibe, then look no further. However, new high rise towers have been introduced to the area for those who are looking for a more urban vibe in green surroundings. The Greens is more reasonably priced compared to its neighbor Dubai Marina and offers a more serene atmosphere.

  • It’s pet-friendly
  • It offers lots of parks, lakes and wide pavements that are ideal for strolling, jogging or cycling
  • It offers safety, peace, and quiet and is kept beautifully clean
  • Walking possibilities around the area are endless
  • It offers lots of greenery
  • There are shared pools and recreation areas
  • People are very friendly and respectful of the community
  • The traffic congestion problem has been resolved and is now a thing of the past, with new access roads from SZR and Al Barsha.
  • Supermarkets, pharmacies beauty salons and many eateries in walking distance
  • The area offers a large choice of schools
Great for:
  • Families
  • Professional singles
  • Nature lovers
  • Outdoor fitness freaks
  • Pet owners
The dreaded cons:
  • Public transport is too far to walk to in the summer heat
  • Visitor parking is on-street only and hard to find
  • Some residents have complained of slight road noises

Average annual rent for a 2 bedroom: 105,000 – 130,000 AED/year

Arabian Ranches

best areas to live in dubai

Albeit on the more expensive side and exclusively scattered with freehold villas ranging from two to five bedrooms and townhouses of two to six bedrooms, Arabian Ranches has the reputation of being convenient in terms of location, and very clean and aesthetically pleasing overall. If you fancy manicured surroundings and unique Arabian architectural design, then the area should be on your priority list.

  • Great community feel with and abundance of amenities, facilities and services
  • Offers an exclusive lifestyle of comfort and luxury
  • Offers excellent school options in the immediate area
  • Large gardens outside most villas
  • Lots of greenery
  • Family-oriented luxury living
  • Spacious properties
Great for:
  • Those who want a typical family home
  • Those who seek a highly luxurious lifestyle
The dreaded cons:
  • It can be a little busy to get out of the area during rush-hour mornings
  • Some slight nose from Emirates road (slightly problematic for those who choose houses that are quite close to it)
  • DEWA charges are quite expensive as you need to add the villa surcharge to your bill
  • Not great for young professionals seeking entertainment

Average annual rent starting from: 160,000 AED/year

Emirates Hills

best areas to live in dubai

Leafy streets that lead off to spacious villas, children playing ball outside, friendly neighbors. Described as the Beverly Hills of Dubai, Emirates Hills offers a typical suburban life with a collection of residential areas known as the Springs and the Meadows.

  • The area is within close proximity to some of the best schools in Dubai
  • It boasts lakes and parks and a small “town centre” area with a supermarket, cafes, and restaurants
  • Outstanding security
  • Well-designed apartments and villas
  • It has a beautiful golf course
Great for:
  • Those who love golf
  • Families
The dreaded cons:
  • It’s fabulously expensive

Average annual rent: Prices vary greatly based on the exact location and size of home you’re looking for.

Yes, one must keep a lot of things in mind while choosing a perfect home. Shortlisting your future home options is no easy feat, but it’s about time to live your dream lifestyle in Dubai and make some lasting memories. There’s plenty to cater for that!


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