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In 2021, Dubai was voted the world’s seventh safest city by the global data website Numbeo with an index of 83.44 out of 100, meaning its residents feel very secure indeed. Alongside safety, the poll takes into account the quality of healthcare, house price-to-income ratio and pollution levels, among other factors. With tax-free living, a range of international schools and premium medical facilities, it is easy to see why Dubai has become a very popular destination for living.
When considering the perfect location to settle with your family in the city, there are many nuances that have to be kept in mind, such as nearby schools, supermarkets, parks and play areas, besides public transport links. With so many developments on offer, it can be quite challenging to make the right choice, thus we have shared our top-11 family-friendly communities, including Al Barari, Villanova, Arabian Ranches and others.
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Top Family-Friendly Communities in Dubai
The communities described below offer a variety of villas with generous living and dining spaces, and they boast close proximity to groceries, academic institutions and medical centers. As for real estate prices, the Emirates Hills is the most expensive option for buying a home. The selling price here starts at AED 18M (USD 4.9M) and can reach a maximum of AED 135M (USD 36.75M). In contrast, the most affordable community is Mirdif with an starting sale price of AED 660K (USD 180K). It is followed by Jumeirah Lakes Tower and DAMAC Hills, offering the most affordable properties on this list.
Important! All of the below mentioned residences cost above AED 750K (USD 205K), providing the attractive opportunity to become a UAE resident with a provision for family sponsorship. This is due to the fact that in September 2021, DLD slashed a required minimum investment amount of AED 1M (USD 272K) to apply for a 3-year visa. Thus, buyers of completed residential properties worth above AED 750K (USD 205K) can benefit from this exciting initiative and bring their spouses and children to live with them in the UAE.
Hailed as the Beverly Hills of Dubai, Emirates Hills is the first freehold development by Emaar in Dubai, where the general developer put up for sale plots of land so that every interested investor could not only buy a ready-made property but also build their own house based on their personal preferences in design and layouts. This community is rightfully considered one of the most exclusive addresses in the emirate, as it houses diplomats, politicians and world-renowned businessmen with their families. According to Knight Frank, Emirates Hills along with Palm Jumeirah has accounted for nearly 75% of super-prime home sales so far in 2021.
Most villas are overlooking lush verdant landscaping with golf courses and one of the 17 lakes. Emirates Hills features a world-class 18-hole Montgomerie Championship Golf Course and Emirates Golf Club, ever popular among locals and tourists. Among the world-class amenities, there are swimming pools, children’s playgrounds, BBQ areas, tennis courts, basketball courts and 24-hour security. As well as all that, Emirates Hills is home to three large parks: Lailak Park, Julnar Park and Nasreen Park.
Since Emirates Hills is a gated community, it is recommended that residents own a private vehicle for an easy commute around Dubai. The nearest metro stations, Sobha Realty and Al Khail, can be reached within a 15-minute’ drive. In terms of nearby academic facilities, there are the Dubai British School Emirates Hills, DIA Emirates Hills – KG1 and Dubai International Academy – Emirates Hills, to name a few. Meanwhile, kindergartens include Raffles Nursery Emirates Hills, Dewdrops Nursery and Raffles Lake Nursery.
Emirates Hills offers 2-8 bedroom villas for sale for the starting price of AED 18M (USD 4.9M). You can buy the land for about AED 27M (USD 7.35M). There are also 5-7 bedroom residences available to rent priced at a minimum of AED 1M (USD 272K) per annum.
Umm Suqeim, established over 20 years ago, is a non-freehold area located on Jumeirah Beach Road between Jumeirah and Al Sufouh. It is divided into three communities: Umm Suqeim 1, 2 and 3 with a fairly sizable population of 12,000 people. This area has remained untouched and there is hardly any construction within the grounds, so it has developed organically over many years. Like Emirates Hills, Umm Suqeim is one of the most sought-after destinations for the wealthiest Dubai residents. It is essential to know that only GCC nationals can purchase a property in this district, but expats are always welcome to rent a residence here. This area boasts a selection of grand, custom-built homes with private backyards and swimming pools to showcase the high status of residents. There is a very limited range of apartments available, thus, Umm Suqeim is not in demand among single individuals, but more aimed at a family audience.
Umm Suqeim is known for being a quiet and serene area, but at the same time, it provides easy access to some of the well-known attractions in Dubai. One of them is Kite Beach, which offers numerous water activities, including kitesurfing, wakeboarding and stand-up paddleboarding. There is also Wild Wadi Water Park to be found with a wave pool, two artificial surfing machines and 17 slides.
Additionally, the area has a very well-developed infrastructure with malls, groceries, restaurants, mosques, clinics and hotels, besides numerous bus stations. It also offers a wide array of nurseries and schools, such as Hind Bint Maktoum School, Collegiate International School, Raffles World Academy and Kids Palace Nursery, just to name a few.
The well-established area of Umm Suqeim features 4-8 bedroom villas for sale at a minimum cost of AED 5.9M (USD 1.6M). There is also a large choice of 3-8 bedroom villas to rent, the starting price of which amounts to AED 95K (USD 26K) per year.
Set among green gardens, tree-lined pathways and lakes, Al Barari Villas is a stunning mixed-use project by Al Barari Development Company located in Nad Al Sheba, Dubailand. This is the region’s first integrated luxury and active eco-conscious project. There are 260 villas built-in 6 distinctive styles: Balinese, Mediterranean, Contemporary, Water, Woodland and Renaissance. Every home is equipped with an energy-efficient system to bolster sustainability within the community.
Although Al Barari Villas is a secluded community, it has a range of ultimate offerings for the leisure and recreation of its residents. These include the Body Language health club, the Heart & Soul wellness center, as well as two fine eateries, The Farm and Mez Me. Furthermore, it is famed for having the largest plant nursery in the region. Green Works houses more than 500 cultivated plant species brought from all over the world. Meanwhile, the little ones will enjoy Al Barari Playground, which promotes a healthy lifestyle.
The gated development of Al Barari Villas is adjacent to the intersection of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road and Al Ain Road, ensuring a hassle-free commute in and around the city. There are currently no subway stations or bus stops within walking distance, so having a private car is a must if you are considering this village as a place to live. When it comes to schools and nurseries in Al Barari, children can attend Kids Spot Nursery Barari, Daffodil Barari Nursery and Dunecrest American School.
Al Barari Villas includes an array of 3-8 bedroom villas for sale priced at a minimum of AED 3.5M (USD 955K).To rent, there are 5-7 bedroom villas on offer for the starting price of AED 600K (USD 165K) per annum.
Dubai Silicon Oasis
Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) is one of the very few free zones in the city where you can work and live as it is comprisedf of four components: industrial, commercial, residential and educational. This area serves as an incubator for start-ups, offering well-developed infrastructure and in-house business services. A few of the most attractive benefits of residing in DSO include 100% foreign ownership, state-of-the-art IT facilities and dedicated business support amenities. Established in 2002, it is already home to over 2,000 global and local companies.
There are two community centers in Dubai Silicon Oasis, which feature Spinneys supermarkets, a range of stores and restaurants, as well as a swimming pool. Moreover, the residential areas house squash courts, children’s wading pools, gyms, yoga rooms, nursery rooms and multi-purpose halls, besides four floodlit tennis courts, all set within a growing number of green spaces. Following the latest trends for sustainability, DSO boasts a community farm, which encourages residents to try organic farming. There are three large parks to be found within the area: North Park, Lake Park and Central Park.
For now, the main retail center is Souq Extra with 42 shops, but there is also an ultimate retail destination under development, which is due for completion in 2022. Silicon Central will feature 24 restaurants, 21 court units, a 12-screen cinema, a gym and a huge family entertainment center. LuLu hypermarket has already been opened with a dedicated café, a sushi counter and live cooking areas.
Although there are no metro stations in the immediate vicinity of DSO, the area still remains well-connected with the rest of the city. This is due to the fact that it lies next to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road and Al Ain Road, and there are also multiple bus stations within the community. DSO boasts a range of schools and nurseries, including British Orchard Nursery, Toddlers International Nursery and Gems Wellington Academy, among others. For more educational options, there is Academic City just 10 minutes away.
Dubai Silicon Oasis features 3-6 bedroom villas for sale and 3-5 bedroom residences to rent. The starting selling price is AED 2.9M (USD 790K), while one can rent a villa in DSO for AED 138K (USD 38K) per annum.
Dubai Hills Estate
Dubai Hills Estate by Emaar and Meraas Holding is set within a huge area of 118.4 million sq ft in Mohammed Bin Rashed City. It boasts landscaped green areas, parks and open spaces, alongside an 18-hole championship golf course. Launched in 2014, the exclusive villa community is still under development and upon completion it will boast a wide array of amenities and facilities. Alongside 2.2 million sq ft of retail spaces and 2.1 million sq ft of office spaces, residents will be able to benefit from fine restaurants, two hotels, cycling and running tracks, as well as a tennis academy and 14 tennis courts.
Meanwhile, Dubai Hills Park opened its doors in Q1 2021, offering an ice rink, a skate park, a splash park and children’s play areas. There is also Dubai Hills Mall due for completion in Q1 2022, which is set to become an ultimate entertainment and recreation hub for residents of Dubai Hills Estate. The master plan of the shopping center includes a hypermarket, Cineplex, leisure centers and a range of food and drinks venues and retail stores.
In addition to the above, there are three operational schools to be found in the community with one more in the final stages of construction. Homeowners can choose from academic establishments such as GEMS International School, GEMS New Millennium School and GEMS Wellington Academy. Meanwhile, the Blossom Nursery accepts children of a younger age. Dubai Hills Estate is located in close proximity to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road and Al Khail Road, ensuring easy travel to and from key areas of Dubai by private vehicle. Also, there will be two metro links built, pink and purple, in the vicinity of the gated community.
There are 3-8 bedroom villas on offer for sale at a minimum cost of AED 2.4M (USD 654K). In terms of rentals, one can choose from a collection of 3-7 bedroom properties, where the least expensive option is priced at AED 140K (USD 38K) per year.
Located far from the bustle of the city, Arabian Ranches by Emaar is an exclusive community of freehold villas and townhouses. It was launched back in 2004 and now the development consists of three sub-communities: Arabian Ranches I, II and III. The architecture of properties pays tribute to Portuguese, Arabic and Spanish styles, while each residence features gardens and private car parking.
Arabian Ranches is particularly popular among families with young children as it offers tennis and basketball courts, a swimming pool and open green spaces for recreation. Additionally, the private community is home to numerous amenities, such as a supermarket, 20 stores, a pharmacy, food and drink venues, a mosque, a community center and a medical center. Moreover, Arabian Ranches Golf Club is a must-visit destination for golf amateurs and professionals, while Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club hosts world-class polo, dressage and showjumping frequently.
Residents with children can benefit from a wide selection of schools and nurseries within the grounds, such as Jumeirah English Speaking School, Raffles Nursery Arabian Ranches, Jebel Ali Village Nursery and Ranches Primary School, to name a few. Since Arabian Ranches is situated between Emirates Road and Sheikh Zayed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Street, it provides an easy commute to some of the sought-after districts of the city, including Al Barari, Academic City and Silicon Oasis.
There are 2-7 bedroom properties available for sale and to rent in Arabian Ranches. The starting selling price is AED 1.6M (USD 436K), and a minimum annual rental price is set at AED 90K (USD 25K).
Tilal Al Ghaf
Tilal Al Ghaf is a mixed-use community by Majid Al Futtaim set between Dubai International Airport and Dubai Downtown. Currently under development, it has already proved its popularity among end users and investors, since the first phase was fully sold out three weeks after the launch and the third phase, within 48 hours.
The stunning centerpiece of Tilal Al Ghaf is Lagoon Al Ghaf with an impressive area of 753.5 thousand sq ft, fringed by palm-lined sandy beaches. As well as that, the community offers 376.7 thousand sq ft of green open spaces with interconnected parks and picnic grounds. Each neighborhood within Tilal Al Ghaf is designed in a distinctive style and is surrounded by themed parks, mosques, cafes, shops and restaurants. Residents of the upcoming community will benefit from The Beach with its barbecue areas and an outdoor gym, while The Park offers a picnic spot, outdoor markets and a themed children’s playground. Tilal Al Ghaf also features smart streetlights, district access control with facial recognition and RFID technology, a bike-sharing programme and autonomous electric vehicles and charging stations.
Since Tilal Al Ghaf is under construction, it houses only one academic establishment; The Royal Grammar School Guildford Dubai. Nevertheless, the neighboring Dubai Sports City community offers numerous options, such as Kinder Castle Nursery and Victory Heights School, among others.
Tilal Al Ghaf offers 3-8 bedroom villas for sale at a minimum cost of AED 1.5M (USD 410K). As for rental options, they will be available once the development is fully completed.
Villanova is a residential community developed by Dubai Properties at the prestigious address of Dubailand. It comprises three housing clusters: Amaranta, La Quinta and La Rosa, which are inspired by the Mediterranean. Each home comes with private gardens and faces parks with biking and walking trails.
There are numerous amenities available in Villanova, including barbecue areas, a basketball court, a community center and mosques. As well as that, residents can benefit from a dedicated pets zone, swimming pools and cycling routes, besides Villanova Community Center with entertainment centers and retail and dining outlets. Also, Villanova is home to Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club, which offers 520 stables, a polo academy and a riding school, among other facilities. In terms of academic facilities, one will findGEMS FirstPoint School nearby, which is a FS1 to Year 13 institution, offering the National Curriculum for England.
The public transport infrastructure is still under development, thus a private vehicle is recommended to travel around the Emirate. Villanova is situated in close proximity to Emirates Road and Al Ain Dubai Road, ensuring excellent connectivity with the rest of the city.
There is an opportunity to choose from 2-5 bedroom villas in Villanova for the starting selling price of AED 1.2M (USD 330K). Rental options range from 2 to 4 bedroom properties at a minimum annual cost of AED 80K (USD 22K).
Jumeirah Lake Towers
Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) is a mixed-use waterfront district situated behind Dubai Marina. It houses the Dubai Multi Commodities Center Free Zone, the largest and the most rapidly growing zone in the Emirates. The residential clusters are built around three lakes and a park, providing a gorgeous view. Meanwhile, JLT features commercial buildings, hotels, shops and various leisure facilities.
Although JLT does not feature villas, only apartments, penthouses and duplexes, it is considered to be one of the most family-friendly communities in the city. This is due to the fact that all tower clusters offer convenience shops or mini-marts on the podium level, as well as the waterfront house gyms, medical clinics, health clubs, four children’s playgrounds and shared pools. There are also many educational establishments available: Mosaic Nursery JLT, Dewdrops Nursery – JLT Cluster X, Speak English Institute JLT and many others. The transport connectivity at JLT is excellent as it provides easy access to Sobha Realty Metro Station and numerous bus links.
In JLT, families with children often choose 3-5 bedroom apartments with generous living and dining spaces. It is possible to acquire a 3-bedroom apartment for AED 800K (USD 220K). In terms of rent, the same type of property will cost about AED 75K (USD 21K) per annum.
DAMAC Hills is a 42 million sq ft freehold development by DAMAC, set around the Trump International Golf Club Dubai in Dubailand. This destination offers a large clubhouse with high-end restaurants, a wellness center and a spa. Within the community itself, there are 4,000 sq ft of parkland, running tracks and outdoor exercise equipment. Additionally, other amenities include a skatepark, a basketball court, a pool, a gym, pharmacies, supermarkets, banks, schools, a play area and nurseries. Also, the prestigious development hosts different events on a regular basis for its residents.
Children living in DAMAC Hills can attend Jebel Ali School, Akoya Nursery and CreaKids Nursery DAMAC Hills, all to be found within the community. For grocery shopping, residents can visit a branch of the major hypermarket Carrefour as well as the Viva supermarket. There are several bus stations scattered throughout the area, but there are no metro stations close by. Thus, it is preferable to move around by private vehicle or taxi.
DAMAC Hills is home to 3-9 bedroom villas for sale and 3-6 bedroom residences to rent. To purchase a property, you will require a minimum of AED 800K (USD 220K), while annual rents start at AED 60K (USD 17K).
Mirdif is an old residential district, situated in the vicinity of Dubai International Airport. It consists of three sub-communities: Uptown Mirdif, Shorooq and Ghoroob, surrounded by numerous facilities. Foreigners cannot buy villas in Mirdif, as there is only one freehold development at the moment, Mirdif Hills, which offers apartments and duplexes.
Residents of this area enjoy easy access to one of the major Dubai landmarks; Mushrif Park. It was built back in 1980 and since then the park has become a highly popular destination for socializing and recreation. Besides a botanical garden, an equestrian center, public pools and a play area, Mushrif Park features a global village with a display of traditional homes from different countries. As well as that, Mirdif includes landscaped gardens, basketball and volleyball courts, children’s play areas, a community clubhouse and Carrefour as well as a healthcare center. For shopping, home owners can visit Mirdif City center with 400 retail stores, an entertainment zone with an indoor skydiving center, ten cinemas and a gym, besides food courts.
Mirdif is conveniently located next to Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road and two bus stations – Mirdif City Center and Golden Gate Mall, St. 71. Speaking of educational institutions, residents with children can benefit from Uptown International School, Star International School Mirdif, Emirates Nursery and Step by Step Nursery, among other numerous academic facilities.
In Mirdif you can buy different types of properties such as studios, apartments with 1-4 bedrooms, or spacious villas with 3-7 bedrooms. The purchase price of apartments in Mirdif starts from AED 660K (USD 180K), while prices for villas start from AED 2.4M (USD 654K). In addition, there is a numerous choice of 2-8 bedroom villas to rent priced at a minimum of AED 55K (USD 15K) per year.
- Foreigners are not allowed to purchase properties in Umm Suqeim, while Mirdif houses only one freehold development.
- Apart from children’s play areas, all family-friendly communities feature a gym, groceries, sports grounds and healthcare facilities.
- Dubai is one of the top 10 safest cities in the world to raise a family.
- The public transportation infrastructure in Al DAMAC Hills, Tilal Al Ghaf and Arabian Ranches is still under development, so it is recommended to consider buying or renting a car when choosing these communities.
- Communities like Mirdif, DAMAC Hills and JLT offer the most affordable prices to buy properties, starting at AED 660K (USD 180K).