Below is a general overview of Dubai including information on the different areas within the Emirate. The guide will help you gather general knowledge about Dubai and the practicalities of travelling there.
Sitting at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, Dubai is ideally located. With a fast growing economy, Dubai is producing record-breaking projects to produce a plethora of awe-inspiring developments catering for both commercial and tourism needs. Only four years ago when the first of the Palm Island projects was announced, it seemed an impossible task, yet now the Palm Jumeirah is nearly completed and more than 20 other key projects are underway, making The Palm look distinctly small by comparison. And so the building goes on, bigger and better at each stage.
Having been built from a desert, Dubai's natural surroundings are arid but, despite its sandy and rocky nature, Dubai and the UAE as a whole are adorned with many green parks. Dubai is actually undergoing an extensive "greening programme", to border the roads with colourful flowers, grass and palm trees, consistently maintained by round-the-clock gardeners and workers cleaning and cutting its parks and borders.
A subtropical, arid climate means that rainfall is rare and erratic, on average falling only 25 days per year between December and March. Average temperatures range from around 24°C in January to 41°C in August. During winter, occasional sandstorms can cover the city from the surrounding dessert.
Residential areas in Dubai are plentiful and it will take careful planning to decide which is best for you. Below we summarize the main areas:
Al Barsha: known for a quiet pace of life with large, good value villas, all within easy reach of the Sheikh Zayed Road and large local shopping Mall.
Al Qusais: cheap accommodation, easy parking on the outskirts of Dubai.
Garhoud: a popular suburban residential area within easy reach of downtown Dubai and two minutes from the airport.
Karama: thriving commercial area, rich with amenities and reasonable rents.
Al Safa & Al Wasl: a quiet, well served area, near Bur Dubai, Dubai Marina. Jumeira and the beach.
Arabian Ranches: a safe, enclosed community of villas and lush gardens, popular with overseas buyers.
Green Community: An oasis of green located on the outskirts of Dubai, near the Jebel Ali Free Zone. Ideal for families.
Bur Dubai: Well served apartment blocks in a conveniently central location.
Deira: Upmarket residential area, popular with expats. Good shopping amenities and relatively cheap rents.
Dubai Marina & Al Sufouh: A highly desirable area, near entertainment facilities and Media and Internet City. The area boasts many palatial villas.
Emirates Hills: Family villas along attractive tree-lined streets with surrounding landscape gardens. 20-30 minutes easy commute into central Dubai city.
Jebel Ali & The Gardens: Originally a satellite town to Dubai, this area is slowing integrating into the urban sprawl. Well connected and within easy reach of Media and Internet Cities.
Jumeira: Fantastic, highly prestigious name and location close to the beach, shops and central Dubai.
Mirdif, Rashidiya & Al Warqa: Lowest rents with a suburban feel. The area is currently undergoing development on its surrounding desertland.
Oud Metha & Umm Hurair: Apartments in a central location with easy access to highways, shopping and leisure complexes.
Satwa: Central location and a popular choice amongst singles and young couples looking for lively hustle and bustle.
Trade Centre: Home to some of Dubai's biggest residential and commercial towers, including impressive hotels. A popular area where rents are high.
UmmSuqueim: Popular for its proximity to the beach, while remaining relatively peaceful. Upmarket area, popular with expatriate families looking to live in a comfortable family villa.
Here are some important points you should be aware of when travelling to Dubai:
Entry Visa required, valid for 60 days. Many nationalities receive an automatic visa upon arrival in Dubai. Work visas are also required.
Anti-malarial medication is advised
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