If you’re planning a move to Dubai or you’ve just arrived, then finding a home that meets your requirements can be a challenge. It’s important to consider the community, schools and the commute to work, as well as the type of home you want – skyrise apartment with ocean views in the middle of the city vs a villa with a garden in the suburbs?
Bayut is the leading property portal in the region with thousands of listings available to buy or rent. They’ve given our mums who are new to Dubai, or those that fancy a change, a run down on five of the top leading villa neighbourhoods for British expats as well as required budgets to hopefully make your choice a little easier.
Property prices in top villa communities
Arabian Ranches 1 and 2
Still one of the most popular choices for British mums, Arabian Ranches or The Ranches, offers the perfect setting for a family-oriented lifestyle. With uniquely designed villas, surrounded by lush green landscaping, Arabian Ranches perfectly embodies the concept of suburban living in Dubai; much like the picturesque countryside of the UK. Arabian Ranches 2 has also just opened offering newer builds but keeping the same sense of community that Ranches 1 became so well known for!
Being a gated community, residents enjoy complete privacy and security in both Arabian Ranches 1 and 2. At every corner, there are parks with barbeque facilities and kids’ playgrounds, as well as tennis and basketball courts. You can also find community centres with supervised swimming pools for kids and adults.
There are also some great UK curriculum nurseries and schools such as Jumeirah English Speaking School (JESS) and The Ranches Primary School located on the doorstep, but Ranches is conveniently located close to other fabulous schools including Safa Community, Kings Al Barsha and Jebel Ali School
From Arabian Ranches you’re looking at a 20 minute commute (traffic dependent) to most of the main areas of Dubai including Business Bay, Downtown, The Palm & Dubai Marina and Dubai International Airport is approx. a 30 minute drive.
Arabian Ranches offers a great variety of villas and was ranked as the second most popular neighbourhood to buy villas in Dubai and the fourth-most sought after area for renting villas in the city. The report also showed that property prices for renting and buying in this neighbourhood have become more affordable. The cost to rent a 3-bed villa is approx. AED 140k per year, whilst 4 and 5 beds average in at AED 215k and AED 240k respectively. If you are looking at villas for sale in Arabian Ranches, price per square foot dropped from AED 981 previously to AED 916 now. As a result the cost 3, 4 and 5 bed units average at AED 2.35M, AED 3.6M and AED 4.5M, respectively
Located just off the coast of Kite Beach, Umm Suqeim is the ideal neighbourhood for those who want to live by the beach. It has three sub-communities – Umm Suqeim 1, 2 and 3 and is perfect for those who enjoy living close to the main hubs of the city while benefiting from the seclusion and privacy of a quieter community.
With homes close to the beach and a family-friendly lifestyle, Umm Suqeim offers vibes similar to the suburban areas of England. Residents don’t need to travel far to get to the beach because Kite Beach and all its fun activities are just a stone’s throw away. Finding plans for the weekend is also easy because iconic hotels such as the Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel are in the neighbourhood. Other basic amenities like grocery stores, cafes, restaurants and banks are dotted around the vicinity too. Some of the best British schools in Dubai, such as Dubai College, Kings’ School and Raffles International can also be found here.
Living in Umm Sequim means you’re never too far from anywhere in the city and the commute to work will be relatively quick and easy. You’re closer to the Dubai Marina end of town and a drive to Dubai International Airport will still take approx. 30- 40 minutes, dependent on the time of day.
Umm Suqeim is a non-freehold area – which means owning a villa here is not possible for expats. However, this neighbourhood still attracts a diverse mix of residents as there are plenty of rental villas in Umm Suqeim. A 3-bed villa is sitting at a current average of AED 160k, whilst a 4-bed and 5-bed home are approx. AED 180k and AED 230k respectively.
Neighbouring Umm Suqeim, Jumeirah is one of the most iconic residential neighbourhoods in Dubai. It’s situated across the coast of Jumeirah Beach making it perfect for families who love some downtime by the sand and sea. This too is divided into three sub-communities, namely, Jumeirah 1, Jumeirah 2 and Jumeirah 3.
The neighbourhoods of Jumeirah and Umm Suqeim are similar in many ways. They’re both non-freehold residential districts and have homes located near the beach. But what sets Jumeirah apart from the others, is that it’s constantly evolving.
The opening of La Mer and City Walk has created tons of entertainment opportunities. You can find plenty of grocery stores, salons, spas and other amenities dotted around. Jumeirah is in proximity to schools, nurseries and healthcare facilities, making it a prime location for families with kids.
As with Umm Suqeim, Jumeirah is right in the middle of the city so commuting time shouldn’t be too much of an issue if you live in this area. Just over Sheikh Zayed Road is Al Quoz, Business Bay & and Downtown. Jumeirah is closer to the Sharjah side of Dubai than Umm Sequim so a drive to Dubai airport is likely to take 25-30 minutes.
Jumeirah offers great rental villas as standalone units and villa compounds. Average rents for 3-bedroom houses in Jumeirah average at AED 155k whilst 4-bedroom villas now stand at an average of AED 180k. Rental prices for 5-bedroom villas are averaging at AED 220k now, making this slightly more affordable than Umm Sequim.
Mira is one of the newer neighbourhoods in Dubai. It’s part of the larger Reem community, developed by Emaar. It’s located along Dubai Bypass Road and Al Qudra Road (D63) and features 3 and 4-bedroom villas and townhouses for rent and sale.
The Mira community was established in 2017 and has since flourished as a relaxed family-friendly community, away from the busy streets of the main city. It’s fully gated, with communal parks and gardens, as well as a Town Centre with restaurants, supermarkets and more.
The closest schools are the ones in and around the Arabian Ranches area, which are a short drive away but easily accessible.
Getting to the main city is a bit of a challenge since Mira is located more on the outskirts of the city (approx. 30-35 minutes), however, the affordable price tag of the well-designed homes here make up for the added travel time. The airport is located a 34-40 minute drive away and popular with pilots, cabin crew and ground staff due to the easy route that avoids most of the city’s traffic.
Since Mira is a freehold community, expats can purchase property here with a 3-bed starting at AED 1.7M and 4-bed at AED 2M. In terms of rent, you would be looking at AED 110k and AED 125k for a 3 and 4 bedroom respectively.
Situated right between Jumeirah Islands and Discovery Gardens, Jumeirah Park is a gated villa community with detached villas that offer a serene lifestyle, in the centre of ‘new Dubai’. It’s a favourite with families as it has 3, 4 and 5-bedroom villa units that come in varying floor plans.
Residents of Jumeirah Park don’t have to travel far to access any necessities as the neighbourhood has jogging/bicycle tracks, children’s play areas, green parks, gyms, a community clubhouse and sports courts.
In terms of schools and nurseries, Dubai British School and Toddler Town British Nursery are located close by, as well as schools in the neighbouring community of Springs and Meadows, also easily accessible.
Sheikh Zayed Road (E11) and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road (E311), which are two of the city’s major road links, are 5 minutes away and can get you to any part of the city in approximately 20 minutes.
The average cost to buy a 3-bed villa in Jumeirah Park is AED 3.2M, 4-bedroom houses cost AED 3.75M and 5-bedroom villas average at AED 5M now. To rent in Jumeirah park, you’d be looking at AED 175k for a 3-bed, AED 185k for a 4-bed and AED 250k for a 5-bed.
If you need some help finding the perfect home for your family, remember to make use of the dedicated email Bayut has for British Mums members – firstname.lastname@example.org. They have a dedicated member of their team, ready to help our members with renting, buying or investing anywhere in the UAE.
You can also check out the complete 2019 Dubai market report by Bayut, to find out how property prices in areas such as Downtown Dubai, JBR or Dubai Marina have performed.