By Deepthi Nair, Property magazine www.gulfnews.com
Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai
Resident says: Daryl Patni, commercial photographer, Indian
Thumbs-up or veto: The Burj Khalifa is a great option for singles or young couples. The building is, however, not ideal for families with children.
Why Burj Khalifa: I used to live in Jumeirah Lakes Towers but always dreamt of living in the Burj Khalifa. When the prices dropped, I lapped up the opportunity to buy a two-bedroom apartment on the 21st floor of the Burj Khalifa. I bought it for Dh4.2 million. My apartment offers great views of Shaikh Zayed Road and the sea.
Where you let your hair down: I head to the Dubai Mall to enjoy its multiple attractions.
Advantages: I particularly enjoy the comfort and peace associated with high-end vertical living. The main attraction, however, is the unparalleled location.
Niggles: The main glitches would be the two small swimming pools and gyms. These can get crowded if there are many people using them simultaneously. I think these facilities are not appropriate for a building with approximately 800 apartments and where owners also pay high maintenance fees. I wouldn’t recommend the Burj Khalifa to people who use facilities like the pool and gym on a regular basis.
Consultant says: Deborah Staines, Better Homes
Sought-after units: The Burj Residences. Lower floor units offering the fountain view and higher floor apartments with sea/sunset views are in demand.
Favoured rental bracket: Studios for Dh80,000 and one-bedroom apartments going for Dh110,000 to Dh130,000. Senior executives and CEOs prefer larger two-bedroom apartments in the range of Dh190,000 to Dh220,000.
Who’s renting: Executives from sectors such as the financial industry, oil and gas and lawyers. The bachelor occupants are mostly European, American and there are Arabs as well. They are after prestige and first impression of the property as seen through the visitors’ eyes, and are also looking for amenities such as shops, convenience stores and proximity to good road networks.
Facilities and amenities: Swimming pool, premium health club, cigar bar, restaurants, sun deck and tennis courts. Work is in progress for four floors of health club facilities too.
USP: Opportunity to live in a five-star world at affordable rates.
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
Resident says: Janice Tan, consultant, Singaporean
Thumbs-up or veto: I’d recommend the DIFC for singles, especially if they are working around the area. The DIFC is a centralised location and close to many workplaces.
Why DIFC: Before moving here, I used to live in Dubai Marina. Though the Marina has ample facilities, I had to drive a long distance to work. The DIFC area is close to my workplace and I have an option of taking a stroll to work, which has enhanced my quality of life.
Where you let your hair down: Staying in DIFC is not so much about the amenities within the area, but more about the convenience of the location. There are several malls within 30 minutes’ walking distance or a five-minute drive.
Advantages: There is a lovely hidden area for a morning or evening jog around the Zabeel inner roads close to the DIFC. It is safe and I haven’t faced any problems while taking a walk at night.
Niggles: Parking around the DIFC is an issue. Unless buildings have parking for visitors it is a nightmare for guests. In Sky Gardens, for instance, the management recently decided that there should be no parking slots for visitors in the building. They have taped off around 40 slots on the ground floor, claiming that they are reserved for apartment owners.
Consultant says: Pravin D’Mello, Better Homes
Sought-after towers: The Index Tower, Sky Gardens as well as Limestone House.
Favoured rental bracket: Dh55,000 to Dh70,000.
Who’s renting: Mainly those working in the DIFC and surrounding areas. Sky Gardens and Limestone House are close to the main Gate area of the DIFC. However, from Index Tower, it involves a bit of a walk to the DIFC, but the unobstructed views have been a deal clincher.
Facilities and amenities: All residential buildings in the DIFC, excluding the Index Tower, are equipped with a gym and pool. The DIFC Gate retail area boasts a number of restaurants such as Zuma, Caramel Lounge, Royal China, Gazebo and The Noodle House, shops, coffee houses, a Fitness First gym and so on.
USP: Location, access to main roads connecting to the rest of Dubai and a lesser building density compared to other projects. In addition, living in the DIFC means you get easy access to retail facilities, restaurants and are spoilt for choice when it comes to entertainment.
Al Khail Gate
Resident says: Firas Mohammad, banker, Indian
Thumbs-up or veto: I would recommend Al Khail Gate for bachelors since it is a developing area. The apartments are nice and affordable for the average single working person unlike, say, Dubai Marina and Discovery Gardens. A clause in the tenancy contract also allows bachelors to share apartments. A maximum of four people can share a two-bedroom apartment. The management has prudently divided buildings housing bachelors from those occupied by families.
Why Al Khail Gate: I used to live in Muhaisnah, Al Qusais before moving to Al Khail Gate. I chose to move here because of the large room sizes, affordable rents and a quiet neighbourhood. A short taxi ride takes me to the Noor Islamic Bank Metro Station; this helps me save money on transportation as well.
Where you let your hair down: There is the Al Khail Mall right around the corner. It has a Grand Hypermarket, hair salon, laundromat and restaurants. I also frequent the Fitness First at Oasis Centre, the Dubai Bowling Centre and other recreation options at Dubai Mall.
Advantages: Affordable rents, ample parking unlike Karama, Bur Dubai and Deira, large community for an evening stroll, a security guard in each building, round-the-clock availability of Idama Facilities Management staff, alternative routes to avoid Shaikh Zayed Road traffic and free chiller services for Phase 2 residents.
Niggles: I have no complaints about my apartment. However, apartments in Phase 2 don’t have balconies and basement parking. Also, speed bumps should be installed as people drive recklessly sometimes.
Consultant says: Mohanad Alwadiya, Harbor Real Estate
Sought-after clusters: Phase 1 has studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments while Phase 2 has one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The difference between Phase 1 and Phase 2 is that the former has balconies while the latter doesn’t. Phase 1 also has more retail facilities and better infrastructure. Phase 1 is popular among bachelors because it has studios and hosts retail facilities as well. However, Phase 2 is newer, which is a good thing, especially because these buildings are not expected to age well.
Favoured rental bracket: Salwan, the property manager of Al Khail Gate, is offering units from as low as Dh22,000. Bachelors in this segment are always looking for the most affordable option, while considering other key variables such as location, proximity to work and payment terms. Other variables such as amenities, facilities and availability of retail outlets are definitely a plus.
Who’s renting: Low-income individuals or corporate staff.
Facilities and amenities: 24-hour security and maintenance.
USP: Affordability and strategic location.
Resident says: Yvette Kikuyu, sales executive, Kenyan
Thumbs-up or veto: Many residents here are single executives from different nations. The area has all the basic amenities that a single person would need.
Why Discovery Gardens: I used to share a two-bedroom apartment with a friend in Tecom. When my friend decided not to renew her contract, I knew it was time to look for a cost-effective abode on the same side of town. Discovery Gardens was my best option.
Where you let your hair down: Grand Metroplex Cinema in Ibn Battuta Mall, New Midnight Café and Restaurant and Gorgeous R Us in Zen cluster.
Advantages: Excellent bus route, access to the Metro, proximity to Ibn Batutta Mall, an array of restaurants, gyms, health care facilities, laundromats, retail outlets and proximity to Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), which have great nightlife options. I have lived in two clusters here — Mogul and Zen. The Mogul cluster offers tranquillity, and you wake up to the sound of birds chirping. Zen, on the other hand, is a buzz of activity and there is an array of restaurants on the ground floor of every building. The increase in the number of bachelors living in Discovery Gardens doesn’t bother me. Companies housing their staff here have imposed rules and regulations, hence disturbances occur only rarely.
Niggles: Parking can be a problem in the Mogul cluster. There are also no shops or restaurants beyond the Zen cluster, so you have to rely on delivery services. The noise of cars honking is very annoying for residents in the Zen cluster. It is also close to a sewage treatment plant and the stench can be unbearable at times.
Consultant says: Mohammad Masood Ali Khan, Better Homes
Sought-after clusters: Zen and Mediterranean are the most popular ones. Most clients want to be close to Shaikh Zayed Road and the Ibn Battuta Metro station. The only drawback with Discovery Gardens is the single exit and entry point from Shaikh Zayed Road.
Favoured rental bracket: Studios ranging between Dh25,000 and Dh27,000; one-bedroom apartments going for Dh33,000 to Dh36,000.
Who’s renting: Expatriates new to Dubai and people who work in and around the area; long-time Dubai residents who prefer to live outside Dubai Central; students studying at colleges based at Knowledge Village and people working in Abu Dhabi.
Facilities and amenities: These are basic, but decent nevertheless. Facilities include lawn tennis, basketball courts, swimming pools that are planned but not yet open. There are abundant free parking lots and green courtyards too.
USP: Two words: affordability and accessibility because the development is conveniently located between the Jebel Ali Free Zone and New Dubai. Location is what drives the popularity of this enclave. More info