Deira is the oldest commercial district in Dubai and is located in the eastern part of the emirate, surrounded by the Persian Gulf, Sharjah and Dubai Creek. Due to the Mina Port Rashid, Deira has played an important role in the Dubai trade industry and shaped the emirate as the center of international trade. In 2018 cargo operations moved to Jebel Ali Port, so Mina Port Rashid stopped functioning. However, Deira remains a trading hub for spice, textile and jewelry delivery to Asia and Africa. The developed infrastructure makes the area in high demand, especially for business workers. A great number of offices, government buildings, courts and embassies are located in Deira.
Additionally, Deira is also a popular tourist destination as thousands of tourists come here to visit the markets where they can obtain spices, perfumes and food such as fish and vegetables. The Gold Souk in Deira is famous for a wide range of jewelry from all over the world, and what is more important is the quality of the products is under the control of the UAE government.
Deira is connected with Dubai Downtown via the Sheikh Zayed Road so Dubai International Airport (DXB) can be reached in a 10-minute drive, while Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina take about 30 minutes to get to.
You can make use of the robust public transport while living in Deira as there are 7 stations on the Red Line and 3 stations on the Green Line in the area. The busiest ones are Al Rigga, Union and Deira City Centre. You can also reach Dubai Downtown on buses 27, 88 and X28.
Deira City Centre and Al Ghurair Centre are considered the best shopping centers in Deira. Among the most famous restaurants in the district is Aseelah which offers Middle Eastern cuisine, Bateaux, Gordon Ramsay’s Table 9, Max’s Restaurant, Denny’s, Miyako and Yakitate are also popular among locals and tourists.
Due to the fact that Deira is the oldest district in Dubai, a number of properties are not offered under the ‘freehold scheme, so investing in real estate here is not available to a wide range of foreign nationals. Most properties can only be purchased by citizens of the GCC and the UAE.
The government is working on the expansion and further development of Deira, trying to preserve its history and uniqueness. Deira Enrichment Project (DEP), realized in 2012, is aimed at the development of the Deira Waterfront. The embankment goes from the northern part of modern Deira across the street from the old Souks and fronting Dubai Creek.
It’s planned that Deira Waterfront will become the center of the area and new retail spaces, hotels, restaurants and shopping malls will be opened here in the future. About 2,200 residential units and 1,450 hotel rooms in 8 hotels will be available to attract everyone from tourists to business workers and locals. To provide residents with a comfortable life, additional parks, cycling tracks and transport hubs including two new metro stations will be opened as well.
The reconstruction of current commercial areas, garages and storage facilities are also in the Deira Enrichment Project (DEP). This sector is under the development of Ithra Dubai, which celebrated a win in January 2021 at the distinguished Big Project Awards ME 2020 as the Deira Enrichment Project received the “Mixed-use Project of the Year” award.
Thanks to the plans to expand Deira, the area has a certain selection of freehold apartments and villas for investors from all over the world to purchase. For example, foreign investors can buy off-plan land and villas in Al Mamzar Front.
Moreover, Deira is popular among tenants as it provides a wide range of residential properties, offices, warehouses and retail shops at a reasonable price. According to Bayut & Dubizzle Analysis of Rental Prices in Dubai for 2020, Deira was ranked 5th popular in the city among apartment tenants.
One of the most in-demand property unit options are studios, which can bring investors AED 30,000 (USD 8,200) annually. 1-bedroom apartments in Port Saeed, located a 5-minute walk away from the centre of the area can be rented for AED 55,000 (USD 15,000), and 2-bedroom apartments for AED 60,000 (USD 16,300) per year.
Economic interest in Deira can be explained by several factors:
Even though Deira is an old district and it lacks freehold real estate units, at present the emirate’s government is working on the development of the area and attracting foreign investors. Therefore, some areas provide freehold units for non-local buyers as well.
Al Mamzar Front is located in the prestigious area of Al Mamzar. Here you can find freehold real estate where villas by Meraas will be built. Residents are allowed to build G+1 villas within the plots of land, thanks to the project being made according to the Dubai Creativity Cluster Authority (DCCA). It’s an attractive option as the developer offers profitable payment plans and there are no limits for construction. You can also avoid maintenance fees.
If time is of the essence you can choose completed villas. The price of an elite 6-bedroom villa with a fountain at the entrance and an area of 10,000 sq.ft is priced at AED 27,000,000 (USD 7,351,000). Whilst a plot with a 14,250 sq.ft area can be obtained for AED 4,400,000 (USD 1,198,000). The ROI in similar projects is a minimum of 7%.
Ithra Dubai offers interesting and profitable options in a new area called Deira Waterfront. The project of Sherina Plaza (District 3) was completed in September 2020 and consists of two residential buildings, a hotel and an office building. In the 14-storey residential buildings, 1-3 bedroom apartments with a generous living area of 2,820 sq.ft to 6,705 sq,ft are offered. Potential buyers may also be interested in similar off-plan units in Deira Waterfront such as property in Osha Plaza. The project offers two 18-storey residential buildings and an office building. You can choose from 1-4 bedroom apartments. The Osha Plaza plans to be completed in Q2 2022. The travel time to The Dubai Mall takes around 15 minutes’, and to reach the Palm Jumeirah, will take 30 minutes.
Emaar Properties also works on projects in Deira, including the development of Emaar Towers which are available to buy for citizens of Persian Gulf countries and for renting to everyone. The 16-storey buildings offer apartments, penthouses and duplexes with 2-5 bedrooms. The project territory is under 24/7 security control and is provided with a swimming pool, sauna and gym. Emaar Towers is a 5-minute drive from Dubai International Airport and the price of 2-bedroom apartments starts from AED 1,250,000 (USD 340,000). The annual rental yield for this development is about 7.5%.
Deira is popular among tourists who want to see Old Dubai and experience the traditional Middle East culture.
One of the most significant sights located in Deira is a 20-meter Deira Clocktower which was built in 1964 to commemorate the first oil shipment from Idd Al Sharqi. The tower is an important symbol of Dubai’s New Way. In 2020 it was registered with UNESCO to obtain World Heritage status. Deira Clocktower is located at the roundabout and provides access to Al Maktoum Bridge. It’s easy to reach other Dubai areas from Deira City Centre and Al Rigga metro stations.
You might be interested in the Heritage House, which provides a comprehensive description of the traditional house of the 19th century. There you can discover household tools and utensils, furniture, clothes, jewelry dating back to those times. The first national semi-regular Al Almadia School built-in 1912 neighbours the Heritage House and was transformed into a historical museum in 1994. Here you can learn about the history and development of the school and the education systems in the Emirates.
If you like shopping, you should visit Deira City Centre which is a large mall on 8th Street Port Saeed with 340 shops. About 20 million people visit Deira City Centre every year. Here you can find a family entertainment centre Magic Planet, VOX Cinemas with over 20 screens and several restaurants.
Waterfront Market in Deira Cornice is an ideal place to shop for fresh fish, seafood, meat, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. Visitors can feel the Arabian atmosphere here, for instance, the old fish market saves the authentic vibe of the Emirati souk. More than 800,000 visitors come to Waterfront Market monthly.
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