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United Arab Emirates > Property

United Arab Emirates

A Guide To The Expat Property Hotspots Of The UAE

Published Sunday August 16, 2015 (16:56:40)

Image © Michael Jäkel on Flickr

The modern cities of the UAE offer numerous work opportunities for expats. These cosmopolitan destinations have thriving business environments and provide the expat population with many benefits, such as excellent salary packages and no income taxation. These cities therefore have a significant expat community, enabling new entrants to feel at home easily. Here are some of the property hotspots in the UAE that are popular among expats.

Abu Dhabi

The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi boasts a skyline of designer buildings and sophisticated bridges. The city center area is popular among expats who like to be close to the bustle of city life. Many young single professionals and small families live in the high-rise residential towers in the heart of the city. It is also convenient to live here due to the close proximity to shopping malls, restaurants, good schools and excellent healthcare facilities.

Areas like the Tourist Club and Al Markaziyah, which is bordered by the Corniche in the north, are highly cosmopolitan. The Corniche is the ideal place for those who enjoy outdoor activities like cycling or jogging. Most of the accommodation here is in high-rise apartments. Expats who prefer more spacious living can head to the areas just beyond the city center, such as Madinat Zayed, Al Whada and Khalidya, which are quieter and less congested. Those who live in these areas may have to face rush hour traffic while commuting to the city center for work. Areas such as Karamah, Al Rowdah and Al Muroor are popular among expat families. Many international schools are located here and the spacious housing, in the form of villas or low-rise buildings, is great for family life.


Dubai is a cultural melting pot of people from different nationalities and backgrounds. It is a vibrant city that offers its residents a comfortable and luxurious lifestyle. One of the most popular residential areas in Dubai is the Marina, consisting of blocks of high-rise apartment buildings. Apartments here are not too expensive and are easily available.

In downtown Dubai you can find a mix of residential apartments and office buildings. These come at a higher price and are popular among younger professionals. The Jumeirah Beach Residence is a unique project that makes it possible for its residents to enjoy a beach lifestyle. Sea-view apartments are available here, and restaurants and shops are within walking distance.

At Palm Jumeirah, you can find medium-rise apartment buildings and villas. Umm Suqeim, located along the Jumeirah Beach coastline, has some great older villas that are not very expensive. There are lots of schools here and commuting is also easy due to the central location. Bur Dubai has a considerable expat population living in its many low to medium-rise apartment buildings, due to the affordable prices.

Ras Al Khaimah

The emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has become a thriving expat destination. The Al Marjan Island offers luxurious housing options in the form of townhouses and modern apartments. This is a man-made island where the houses overlook the water. The weather is almost always good here and there are a number of shops and eateries in the area. Many hotels and resorts have also opened on the island. Another popular destination in Ras Al Khaimah is Mina Al Arab. This is a beachfront development with villas, townhouses and apartments. Many new projects are still undergoing construction in the area.


Non-Arab expats can now buy plots in the newly-launched Tilal City, a recent development project. Located on Emirates Road, Tilal City is about 10 km from Sharjah International Airport. It plans to accommodate approximately 65,000 residents. The project is expected to reach completion by 2017. Al Majaz has always been a popular area to live in Sharjah. It has a family-friendly environment that allows residents to enjoy a leisurely pace of life. The Buhaira Corniche is located here and residents can often be seen walking or cycling along the cornice. Everything from schools and hospitals to shopping centers and restaurants can be found in Al Majaz. Other popular places to live in Sharjah include the Al Qasimia, Al Nahda and Al Wahda areas. Many expats choose Sharjah over Dubai, due to the affordable accommodation costs.

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