The area with the self-explanatory name, Business Bay is the business and commercial center of Dubai. Its concept was created as an equivalent of Manhattan in New York and Ginza in Tokyo. Development of the area began in 2003 and by 2017, the world-famous publishing house; Lonely Planet, who publishes global travel guides, included Business Bay in the top-five most interesting places to visit.
Business Bay hosts a number of mixed-use, high-rise developments from office buildings, banks and retail areas, residential real estate, luxury hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues. The total area of Business Bay is 79,975,854 sq. ft. After the full completion of construction works, there will be 240 skyscrapers that will house residential and commercial units. The main waterway of the Emirate, the artificial Dubai Water Canal, runs along the central part of the entire area. There are dozens of restaurants, as well as cultural and entertainment facilities along the waterfront, including the famous aqua theatre, La Perle.
This is a multicultural area with a vibrant cosmopolitan atmosphere that attracts young professionals from all over Dubai. Residences are often bought and rented by foreigners who work in the Business Bay area itself or in the nearby areas of Downtown Dubai and Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).
Business Bay is located to the south of the cultural and tourist center of Downtown Dubai, which is home to the majority of the main attractions in the emirate. The area is also bordered by Al Quoz and Dubai Design District and is a short drive from DIFC and Jumeirah Beach. On the northern border of Business Bay there is Dubai’s main highway, Sheikh Zayed Road/ E11, which provides access to all parts of the Emirate as well as the main artery between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In the south of the district, there is another major highway – Al Khail Road/E 44 which runs parallel to Sheikh Zayed Road. Dubai International Airport is only 15 minutes away using the E11 route.
One can get to Business Bay by metro, bus, taxi or rental car. Moreover, the DC1 and DC2 ferries operate on the canal as well.
The closest metro station to the area is the Business Bay (red line) which is a stone’s throw away from the heart of the district. The Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall metro station is about a 20-minute walk from the northern border of the area, in neighboring Downtown Dubai.
There are about 20 bus stops within Business Bay with the buses No. 50, F14, F19A, F19B and F41 being the most popular routes
The business district has an easy yet busy infrastructure for owners of personal vehicles. When buying an apartment, residents obtain parking spaces automatically which is a huge advantage as parking spaces are in very high demand. One can also leave their car in the free parking lot on Al A’amal Street. In addition, there are several private parking lots in the area, with prices starting from AED 10 (USD 2.7) per hour.
Business Bay has several highly-reputable kindergartens, where toddlers are taught according to popular Western methods and teaching. They include Hummingbird Nursery at Bay Square and Blossoms Nursery at 8 Boulevard Walk Tower, which teach the UK’s Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum. There are also two kindergartens in the area that apply the Canadian early development practices: Maple Bear Preschool at The Burlington Tower and Canadian Kids Nursery at Churchill Towers.
In terms of primary/secondary school education, there are several prestigious institutions near Business Bay. Jumeirah English Speaking School and Safa British School are just a 5 minutes’ drive. Less than 10 minutes away in the Al Quoz area is Dubai International School Al Quoz where children under 12 years old are taught according to the American programme. GEMS Wellington International School in Al Sufouh is also 10 minutes away. Both British and international educational standards are applied here: The National Curriculum of England and International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.
A range of opportunities for prospective students are available in Dubai Knowledge Park, which is a 15-minute drive from Business Bay. It is a huge educational campus with over 400 organizations, including universities and professional headquarters. One can get there both by car and public transport.
One of the best clinics in the area is Emirates Hospital Clinic, which treats mild to moderate medical cases. For trauma or serious illnesses that require a more thorough examination, one can go to Medcare Hospital in Al Safa and Emirates Hospital in Jumeirah, all of which take only 10-15 minutes to get to.
In Business Bay, large religious buildings have not yet been opened, only small prayer rooms which are generally located in designated areas in office or residential buildings. Still, one can find temples in the neighboring areas. The famous Jumeirah Mosque, home of the Center for Intercultural Communication, is 15-minute drive away. Several mosques, including Al Ghafoor Mosque, Souk Al Bahar Mosque and Dubai Mall Mosque are all located in Downtown Dubai. These places of worship take about 10-15 minutes to get to.
The drive to the nearest Christian churches will take 15-20 minutes. In the Oud Metha area there is the interfaith Holy Trinity Church, Orthodox cathedrals of St. Thomas Orthodox Cathedral and St. Mark & Ava Bishoy Coptic Orthodox Church as well as St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
A 15-minute walk from the metro is the Bay Avenue Mall shopping and entertainment center with a total area of 200,000 square feet. Beside boutiques, there are also cafes, restaurants, spa centers and sports facilities.
The iconic The Dubai Mall (Downtown Dubai) is located 10-minutes’ from Business Bay, or even less if you take the metro. The mall is the world’s largest shopping center and one of the main tourist destinations in Dubai.
Business Bay has enough grocery stores to meet the needs of residents and visitors in the area. These include Spinneys and Choithrams supermarkets as well as Zoom convenience stores. There is also a small West Zone Supermarket next to the Mayfair Tower residential complex.
The closest beach to Business Bay is the famous Jumeirah Beach, which is located just a 10-15 minutes’ drive away. It is a free public beach with soft white sand and situated in a well developed residential area as the beach itself has cabanas and numerous cafes and bars.
In Business Bay, one can also enjoy relaxing by the water, with no need to go to a beach. In the center of the district, there are different spaces to view the picturesque l Dubai Water Canal. The canal is 9842 ft and both sides have a wooden promenade for walking that starts from Business Bay and ends the other side of Al Wasl Road.
The district has a wide variety of food service establishments, from cafes with casual dining for lunches to exclusive dining options. A popular eatery is Mama’esh, which is a Middle Eastern restaurant in Bayswater Tower as well as several other well-reviewed restaurants, Tong Thai, Kitchen 6 and PRIME 68, which are all located in JW Marriott Marquis Hotel.
As for bars and pubs in Business Bay, The Vault at JW Marriott Marquis and The Eloquent Elephant at Taj Dubai are the favorites.
The main attraction in the area is the 10,498-feet-long Dubai Canal which opened in 2017 and became an extension of the natural offshore branch of Dubai Creek. The 19,685-feet promenade has a running and cycling track. On the border of Business Bay, where the canal runs under the bridge of Sheikh Zayed Road, is a small waterfall, which is fantastically illuminated at night. The canal can be crossed on foot via special pedestrian bridges. The Dubai Canal is not only beautifully designed, but is also practical – it connects Business Bay with the old part of Dubai by a water transport system.
Another attraction in the district is JW Marriott Marquis Hotel – the second highest hotel in the world (1164 ft) and also one of the busiest hotels in Dubai. It used to rank 1st amongst the tallest hotels, however until February 2018, when the Gevora Hotel was built on Sheikh Zayed Road,it overtook it by three feet.
As for entertainment venues, La Perle by Dragone Theatre, which hosts incredible acrobatic water shows, operates in Al Habtoor City. The concept of the performance was developed by Franco Dragone, the world-renowned Italian theater director.
Another significant landmark in the district is the unique The Opus skyscraper by Omniyat, which was completed in 2020. Its peculiarity lies in its surreal design: it is a building with mirrored facades, in the center of which there is a large opening of a bizarre shape. In the dark, the futuristic look of The Opus is complemented by illumination. The architect of the project was the legendary Zaha Hadid, the first female architect in the world to be awarded the Pritzker Prize and the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II herself. The Opus is a mixed-use building with restaurants, hotel rooms, private residences and offices available to rent.
Although there are not so many ‘tourist’ attractions in Business Bay itself, from here one can reach Dubai’s main attractions located in Downtown Dubai in just 7-10 minutes:
In 2017, the world-renowned travel guide publisher, Lonely Planet, ranked Business Bay as one of the most interesting destinations on the planet, alongside London, New York and Rio de Janeiro. The proximity to the attractions of Downtown Dubai, developed infrastructure and dynamic life constantly attract tourists from all over the world. Farmers’ markets are organized in the area of Bay Avenue as well as music festivals and celebrations that are held here on New Year’s, Earth Day, Mother’s Day and other dates throughout the year.
Being the business hub of Dubai, demand for both commercial space and residential real estate in Business Bay continues to be high, as expatriates make up a significant proportion of office and retail workers. As stated by experts, the local economy will grow by an average of 5-9% per year for the next several years. Hundreds of local and international companies open their offices in Dubai monthly, which means they will need office spaces to house their employees.
Business Bay belongs to the freehold territories – here one can buy residential and commercial real estate in full ownership. In 2020, the district became one of the most sought-after among investors looking for affordable apartments.
At the end of 2020, the average return on investment of real estate in Business Bay was 5.9%. In the residential real estate sector, studios had the highest ROI of 6.0%. One-bedroom apartments are in second place with an index of 5.6%
As Business Bay is an area of skyscrapers, residential real estate is mainly represented by apartments. Most of the towers provide a wide range of amenities for residents and tenants like gyms, swimming pools and children’s playgrounds, etc. Prices for studios start at AED 410,000 (USD 112,000) for one-bedroom apartments, prices start from AED 570,000 (USD 155,000). The minimum rental price is AED 28000 (USD 7,700) per year for a studio and AED 38,000 (USD 10,500) for one-bedroom apartment.
Property in Business Bay includes a limited series of hotel apartments – private residences in a hotel, which are serviced in the same way as all other rooms. Hotel apartments can be purchased both as a personal residence with maximum luxury, and as a rental option for tourists. The minimum cost of such real estate in Business Bay is AED 450,000 (USD 122,500). For instance, The Vogue offers serviced apartments for sale.
Business Bay also offers a fairly wide selection of penthouses from AED 1,040,000 (USD 285,000). There are also several exclusive options within the area – one can purchase an entire floor of a skyscraper and design or merge the units at their own discretion. For instance, it is possible to divide complete floors into several apartments or offices and rent these out separately.The minimum price for a full-floor is AED 9,000,000 (USD 2,450,000).
Entire high-rise buildings can also be purchased in Business Bay. The minimum price for such a purchase is AED 138,000,000 (USD 37,600,000).
Surprisingly, Business Bay offers a limited collection of villas and duplexes. They are mainly located on the lower levels of skyscrapers, but there is also the option of the Marasi floating houses located along the canal. Prices for these unique villas start from AED 2,000,000 (USD 545,000), and the annual rent will cost a minimum of AED 175,000 (USD 48 000).
The 35-storey Volante Tower in Business Bay is popular with investors. The tower was built in 2017 in the very center of the district, next to the canal and is now complete. There are 45 apartments with 2-5 bedrooms and the residential complex is pet-friendly. Facilities include 24/7 security and concierge services, underground parking, an indoor club for residents, several gyms, a swimming pool, a sauna and a barbecue area. The minimum price for a two-bedroom apartment is AED 16,630,000 (USD 4,500,000).
The most popular off-plan project is Zada Tower by Damac Properties, where only one-bedroom apartments are for sale. Completion of construction is scheduled for the end of 2022. Apartment owners will be able to use all its luxury amenities, including swimming pools, gyms, covered parking and security as well as an open-air cinema. The minimum price of apartments in Zada Tower is AED 713,000 (USD 194,000).
Demand for apartments in the new 29-storey residential complex, Merano Tower by DAMAC, has been high. Built next to a water channel and a 15 minute walk from the metro, the building is located close to Sheikh Zayed Road, so it is easy to get to the most popular locations in Dubai. It takes 15 minutes’ to get to the Burj Khalifa and other attractions of Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Beach is 10 minutes away, and it takes just 15 minutes to drive to the airport. Here, potential residents can rent apartments with 1-3 bedrooms and use the numerous amenities, including 24-hour concierge service, heated pool, sauna and fitness center. The annual rent of a one-bedroom apartment in Merano Tower will cost AED 45,000 (USD 12,300).
Another popular tower among tenants is The Pad by Omniyat which is just a 2-minute walk from one of the many bus stops. This is an elite 24-storey residential complex offering studios and 1- 2BR apartments overlooking the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Canal. On the lower levels of the skyscraper, there is a swimming pool and a gym. Other amenities include central air conditioning and 24-hour security, sauna and parking with reserved spaces for each residence. Renting a 1-bedroom apartment at The Pad costs an average of AED 67,000 (USD 18,000) per year.
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