Best Residential Areas to Live in Dubai for Expats in 2021
Dubai is a mixed-cultural cosmopolitan city and the most visited emirate in the United Arab Emirates. The city offers work opportunities, a lavish lifestyle, real estate investments, and tons of entertainment for people of all backgrounds. It is easy to see why so many people from around the world seek to live here since it has the best residential areas.
Why is Dubai the Best Emirate to Live In?
If there could be a heaven on Earth, it would be Dubai. The city is vibrant with a welcoming and highly diverse community. Below are some of the things that make this city the best place to live in:
Opportunities for Leisure
Dubai has a well-deserved reputation for leisure. The city is home to the biggest mall in the world. It allows has endless opportunities for fun under the sun, surf, and sand, thanks to its numerous pristine beaches that offer watersports activities, its golden deserts that offer safaris and camel rides, and a huge assortment of global restaurants, cineplexes, gardens, aquariums, ice rinks, and more.
A Growing Economy
Dubai’s economy is rapidly recovering after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emirati Dirham is a very stable currency with annual GDP growth of 5%. Coupled with the Expo 2020 event, real estate and other investment opportunities are expected to boom even further in the coming weeks.
Sunshine Throughout the Year
Dubai sees a lot of sun throughout the year, even during the winter season, and the temperature rarely goes below 20 degrees Celsius during the day. It can get hot in the summers, but the spring, fall, and winter seasons are ideal for soaking in the sun on the beaches or going on a desert safari. When the weather is too warm, you have plenty of opportunities to cool off with fabulous hotels that have indoor swimming pools and other venues which offer indoor ice skating.
A Tax-Free haven
The best reason to live in Dubai is that you won’t have to pay any income taxes, VAT, or sales tax on a majority of goods and services. This means that your income will not be deducted, and you can live a better quality of life compared to other cities.
Dubai may seem like a city of glamour and luxury; however, that does not mean that an average person cannot afford it. No matter what kind of finances you have, you can still enjoy clean, hygienic, and delicious food from indoor and outdoor eateries, dress well from affordable global retail brands and live in highly sought after places that offer you all the amenities and facilities that you need to live a comfortable life.
A Wealth of Amenities
The Government of Dubai has invested heavily in its infrastructure, whether it is health, education, or transportation. The city offers high-quality education that follows international standards, and its hospitals are top-class. It also offers safe, swift, and sanitary public transport, including metro, buses, and taxis. We recommend you try the RTA Dubai Metro, with its Red and Green lines, for a truly modern, convenient, and overall excellent experience.
Dubai’s law enforcement is also top-notch. Despite the city being filled with people from all sorts of backgrounds and tourists coming in from all over the world throughout the year, the city has a very low crime rate. This means you can go out in the middle of the night without anyone bothering you.
Best Areas to Live in Dubai In 2021
Looking for the best residential areas to live in Dubai? We have you covered!
Dubai Marina is located on the sparkling blue shoreline of Dubai and is a vibrant mixed community that offers not just a mix of apartments in skyscrapers and villas but also five-star dining and entertainment options. This is the best place to live in Dubai if you want to be close to the water and enjoy the sun, sand, and sea breeze. Plus, the community has access to the public transport system as well.
Starting Price: AED 1,992,000
DAMAC Heights is an award-winning tower located in the enviable Dubai Marina. The beautiful building overlooks the glittering waters of the Arabian Sea and has a breathtaking view of the Palm Jumeirah archipelago.
The hotel rooms are large and airy, with spacious balconies and picture windows allowing in plenty of light. The suites are gorgeously decorated in soft and elegant neutral tones that are accented with rich dark marble. All the apartments have fine-quality finishing, fully-fitted kitchens, and built-in wardrobes.
Starting Price: Available upon request
The graceful curvy building of Ocean Heights is hard to miss. The 84-storey tower boasts a signature design with a stunning lobby that reflects the jewel blue tones of the sea and the golden tones of the desert, instantly taking you to a place of luxury.
Ocean Heights offers apartments of up to three bedrooms, which feature open balconies and terraces, premium furniture and fixtures, and a full range of amenities that makes it one of the most enjoyable and best residential towers to live in Dubai.
Jumeirah Village Circle
JVC is a mixed-purpose residential development that offers you peace and quiet, away from the bustling main city. The district offers state-of-the-art amenities for its residents and is near major attractions like the Dubai Marina and Mall of Emirates, if you are looking to have some fun. This is one of the best areas to live in Dubai for families as it houses a range of schools, hospitals, supermarkets, malls, and gyms.
Starting Price: AED 757,000
Named after the most auspicious number of all, Tower 108 is a majestic structure with modern architecture and upscale interiors. The tower offers studio, 1-bed, 2-bed, and 3-bed apartments that are beautifully decorated and have separate living and dining rooms.
Every suite comes with a fully-equipped kitchen, and residents have the opportunity to enjoy vibrant landscaped gardens at the podium level, as well as a health and fitness club, a swimming pool, and 24/7 valet parking.
Starting Price: AED 949,000
The beautifully-built low-rise building of Emirates Gardens is gorgeously decorated with Mediterranean and Arabesque themes. The property offers studio, 1-bed, or 2-bed apartments that are housed in three buildings. The apartments have wide balconies and open terraces that give a lovely view of the entire community.
Residents can enjoy the amenities available at street level like a swimming pool, a health club, sauna and steam room, barbecue area, a retail area, and more, making it one of the best neighbourhoods to live in Dubai.
Starting Price: AED 1,107,000
The quaintly designed Tuscan Residences comprise three apartment buildings that offer a mix of studio, 1-bed, and 2-bed apartments, similar to Emirates Garden. The building has a very warm and inviting aura and is decorated in the Mediterranean style. The apartments are open and spacious with high-end finishing.
The community offers various amenities and facilities like a state-of-the-art gym, pool, steam room, spa, residents lounge, barbecue area, and more. In addition, the apartments are located in a free zone, making it one of the cheapest areas to live in Dubai. It is also close to communities like the Dubai Internet City.
Business Bay is the centre of business in Dubai and is located right next to Downtown Dubai, the commercial hub of the city. The community plays a key role in making Dubai a prominent business destination and has a mix of over 240 residential and commercial buildings. The area is currently experiencing rapid development and offers best-in-class amenities.
Starting Price: AED 905,714
DAMAC Towers is a futuristic-looking four-tower complex, which offers residents 1,200 luxury apartments, as well as Paramount hotel suites for visitors. The tall and modern towers are inspired by Hollywood and offer a direct view of the Burj area. The complex is at a prime location and has access to the most scrumptious eateries and the most exciting retail experiences. The high-end apartments are very contemporary and offer spectacular lobbies, screening rooms that mimic Paramount studios, kids’ studio clubs, meeting and event facilities, and more.
Starting Price: AED 699,999
Zada Tower is a stunning 30-storey building that offers a marvellous collection of 1-bedroom apartments. Residents can enjoy the open-air cinema, take advantage of a wellness centre, and stroll through beautifully-maintained gardens. This is the best area to live in Dubai for singles.
As a resident of Zada Tower, you have access to premium amenities, as well as prime locations to enjoy the nightlife, have al fresco dining experiences, and exciting shopping ventures.
Starting Price: AED 787,000
The classic and elegant-looking Reva Residences are located next to the Dubai Canal and have easy access to walkways, parks, and amenities that offer residents a life of comfort. Here, you can enjoy a diverse range of retail options in Business Bay, as well as the Burj Area.
The building is very close to Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, which is a plus. The building has apartments on its highest floor, which afford a stunning view of the Dubai skyline, and have world-class interiors and amenities.
Barsha Heights, previously known as Tecom, is an urban locality that offers a blend of commercial and residential buildings. This is one of the most favoured expat communities in Dubai, as it offers an affordable lifestyle while not compromising on amenities. This is a great place for small businesses and startups and it is integrated with living spaces. It also offers direct access to two major highways: Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road.
Starting Price: AED 2,425,000
Smart Heights is a 26-storey commercial property located in the heart of the media and business centre of the city. The building offers a nice blend of office workspaces, as well as a range of diverse retail outlets. The building is equipped with all the modern amenities, including a gym, swimming pool, spa area, and high-speed elevators, and is a stone’s throw away from the Palm Jumeirah, the Burj Al Arab, and The Walk at JBR.
If you like the hustle and bustle of an urban community, Dubailand is the place to be. The community offers premium leisure, entertainment, and sports activities and plays an important role in attracting tourists. It offers many residential options for people of all backgrounds and has great investment opportunities for villas and apartments.
Starting Price: AED 2,076,000
For a peaceful, serene, and lavish lifestyle, we recommend The Legends. This elite community offers 3-bedroom to 7-bedroom villas that offer a panoramic view of the internationally-recognised Trump International Golf Club Dubai. The place may be slightly pricey, but it is one of the best areas to live in Dubai for couples and families.
The villas offer private living space, but the community also has large open outdoor areas, which allows community members to mingle together. Residents can buy villas with rooftop terraces that can house guests. This is one of the most expensive areas to live in Dubai on our list, but it is so worth it.
DAMAC Hills 2
Starting Price: Available upon request
DAMAC Hills 2 offers a truly unique and fun-filled lifestyle for people of all backgrounds, tastes, and preferences. DAMAC Hills 2 is one of the greenest and most sustainable living spaces in Dubai and consists of several beautifully-designed apartments, townhouses, and villas that are close to water attractions, sports amenities, and more. The community is self-sufficient and offers a serene lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Starting Price: AED 1,426,000
If you want to live a life of privilege, we recommend Privilege Villas at DAMAC Hills 2. These villas have an air of exclusivity, gorgeous upscale layouts, and all the luxuries that you require to live in style. The villas are a tribute to the finer things in life and offer green living spaces, high-end leisure experiences, sports amenities, unique water attractions, and more.
Jumeirah Lake Towers
JLT is one of the most affordable places to live in Dubai — however, it is also one of the places that can offer you the highest ROI on your investment. The community has high-rise apartments that are situated across the luxurious flats of Dubai Marina. Many of the amenities that JLT offers are similar to Dubai Marina but come at a lower cost.
As a resident, you can enjoy a range of local and exotic cuisines and keep yourself fit with state-of-the-art gym and fitness facilities. If you are looking for a place that is close to shopping destinations, JLT is just minutes away from the Mall of Emirates, Dubai Marina Mall, and Ibn Battuta Mall.
Starting Price: AED 1,257,000
A 4-storey residential building, Lake View at JLT offers expats apartments in several configurations, including studio, 1-bed, and 2-bed flats. The building is in easy reach of one of the two metro stations in Dubai, and residents can take advantage of its proximity to several eateries to enjoy the most delicious and budget-friendly food.
Lake View also offers a picturesque view of JLT’s lakes, as well as the entire community from the open balconies and large windows.
Sheikh Zayed Road
Rated as one of the most preferred areas in Dubai to live, Sheikh Zayed Road is the arterial thoroughfare that connects the entire city of Dubai, offering residents and visitors easy access to the UAE. The iconic road is lined on both sides by skyscrapers, residential projects, and office complexes. The road offers a huge range of investment opportunities that yield a high rate of return. Additionally, this is one of the best places to live in Dubai for expats as it offers affordable housing units and easy access to malls, beaches, restaurants, and hotels.
Starting Price: AED 997,143
A luxury hotel and residential tower next to Sheikh Zayed Road, floors 15 to 25 host a selection of high-end hotel rooms inspired by the Hollywood studio. A hotel room here represents a shrewd, completely managed investment into Dubai’s hospitality industry.
Starting Price: AED 670,476
The beautiful and elegant four-towered high-rise community of Aykon City is situated on the banks of the Dubai Canal. Located on the iconic Sheikh Zayed Road, Aykon City is placed at the heart of Dubai and is in easy reach of Business Bay and the Burj Area.
The majestic towers of Aykon City consist of a mix of urban residential apartments in various configurations. The locality has a podium-level plaza that allows residents to mingle and offers a mix of food and beverage options, retail outlets, and upscale leisure amenities. City Walk and DIFC are just a few minutes’ drive away.
Situated on the outskirts of the city, Arjan is a new community in Dubailand and part of its megacity project. The community offers freehold mixed-use developments and has Sheikh Zayed Road running at its south and Al Barsha South bordering its north. Just go a little further south, and you will reach Dubai Motor City, home to the world-famous Dubai Autodrome. The community has 48 completed buildings and 37 projects under development and is very popular because it houses Dubai Butterfly Garden and Dubai Miracle Garden.
Starting Price: AED 790,000
If you want to live in luxury urban apartments with ornate architecture and rooftop terraces, Lincoln Park is one of the best communities in the area. The beautiful structure has five buildings that draw inspiration from the Chicago School of Architecture and house modern residential units in 1-bed, 2-bed, and 3-bed configurations.
The building proudly boasts ornamental front entrances, a flat roof with lovely terraces, and domed windows. The kitchens are well-equipped with a whole host of appliances, and the complex offers a range of facilities that enables a comfortable and upscale lifestyle. The best part is that Lincoln Park is just two minutes’ away from the Dubai Butterfly Garden and Dubai Miracle Garden.
Dubai International Finance Centre
The major global financial hub of DIFC consists of global gourmet restaurants, upscale retailers, internationally renowned art galleries, and an assortment of commercial outlets. The district is close to Business Bay and Downtown Dubai and also has a thriving residential community; hence, it is one of the best places to live in Dubai for Indian families, Middle Eastern families, and African families. The area also offers public transport that links seamlessly to other communities of the city.
Starting Price: Available on request
The iconic twin towers of Park Towers are a mixed-purpose project in the heart of Dubai’s financial district. The futuristic-looking towers consist of 49 storeys and offer a panoramic view of DIFC. The suites offer comfort, high quality, and luxury and offer beautifully and practically constructed 1-bed, 2-bed, and 3-bed apartments with wide balconies.
Some of the perks that residents can enjoy at Park Towers is high-speed internet, a versatile range of restaurants and coffee shops and a 24-hour helpdesk.
Dubai Production City
Dubai Production City is a mixed-purpose development that offers several free zones and freehold areas that are particularly sought after by companies that specialise in media production. The community offers a pleasant ambience and a range of luxurious but comfortable apartments in different configurations. A blend of residential, commercial, and retail properties, the DPC is home to the famous City Centre Me’aisem, the famous shopping, and entertainment hub. The community also offers several internationally-accredited schools, restaurants, and mosques.
Starting price: 789,000
Lakeside by DAMAC is a cluster of four 22-storey towers created for residential purposes. The towers share a common podium which offers various convenient facilities, including supermarkets, salons, and cafes. Each tower consists of studios and 1-bed apartments, which are practically planned to maximise the living space. The towers also offer a breathtaking view of the lake and have shared amenities like a gymnasium, barbecue area, tennis court, and swimming pool. This place is perfect for a work-life balance and is the best area to live in Dubai with family.
A miracle of modern architecture, Palm Jumeirah is the biggest manmade island in the world and is the most expensive place to live in Dubai. Created by reclaimed land from the Arabian Sea and built in the shape of a palm tree, the stunning archipelago is the most eye-catching sight in the world. The island is home of some of the most exclusive collections of villas, townhouses, and hotels, and has best-in-class facilities that money can buy. It is because of this reason that many of the world’s most famous celebrities have bought homes here.
The island boasts Michelin star restaurants, the most thrilling entertainment and adventure options, and some of the most breathtaking sights in the world. The very sight of Palm Jumeirah evokes a sense of unmatchable exclusivity and extravagance.
Downtown Dubai is the very heart of Dubai and is one of the fastest-paced districts in the community. Home to world-famous tourist attractions and landmarks, the area is a constant hub of activities. For people living there, Downtown Dubai offers a luxurious lifestyle with residential units, including apartments in skyscrapers as well as villas.
The commercial area is connected strategically to the Sheikh Zayed Road and is one of the best areas for frequent travellers and non-drivers. The community boasts upscale hotels, huge shopping malls, and chic leisure spots. It also has the distinction of housing the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, hosts dozens of festivals and events throughout the year, and has a well-deserved reputation as the “Centre of Now.”
Dubai Sports City
This is a community that is loved by every health and fitness lover — perfect for sports lovers who play anything, from cricket to football. However, Dubai Sports City offers a lot of residential options as well, and at a competitive price. Home to the Els Club and the International Cricket Stadium, DSC is the most sought-after place to live in Dubai.
The community offers villas and apartment complexes for people who want to invest in the neighbourhood. In addition, it also offers a lot of rental options for studio, 1-bed, 2-bed, and 3-bed apartments and a variety of villas.
Dubai Sports City is a freehold area in Dubai and offers amenities that are within walking distance. The famous Mall of Emirates is also just a short walk away — a bonus for shopaholics.
Benefits of Living in Dubai
There is no place like Dubai. The city offers all sorts of benefits for all sorts of people. Here are some reasons why people want to live in the city:
- Globalisation: Dubai is a melting pot of global cultures, nationalities, and ethnicities and allows residents ample opportunities to mingle with each other.
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- Safety: Violent crimes, particularly gun-related crimes, are virtually non-existent in Dubai.
- Affordability: Contrary to popular belief, Dubai offers residential and investment options for people of all financial backgrounds.
- Global Cuisine: You can opt for local cuisine or exotic gourmet food — the sky is the limit.
- Work Opportunities: Because the economy is booming, any person who comes to the city unemployed can find work opportunities here.
- Tropical Weather: Its warm and sunny weather is the perfect setting for some fun time on the beach.
- Low Fuel Prices: Petrol in Dubai is more than three times cheaper than in developed countries.
- English: A huge number of the residents understand and speak English, so you don’t need to worry if you don’t know Arabic.
Living in Dubai as an Expat
For an expat, Dubai is one of the safest places in the world to live. Since it is a multicultural community, people from outside of the Middle East need not worry about becoming targets of racism. In addition, Dubai has very strong law enforcement, which protects the safety and rights of all its residents, whether they are locals or expats. As a result, there are virtually no violent crimes in Dubai.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best residential communities in Dubai to live in in 2021?
If you want to live in Dubai, there are thousands of properties to choose from. Depending on your lifestyle and budget, you can purchase an apartment or a villa, or buy a property in the middle of a commercial district or live in a peaceful community in the outskirts. The choice is yours.
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What is the median price for buying a house in Dubai?
The cost of a villa or house in Dubai varies depending on many factors, including the type of property, location, and amenities it provides.
Median prices in August 2021 as per Propertymonitor.ae
- Apartments: AED 1,112,000
- Townhouses: AED 1,850,000
- Villas: AED 3,138,00