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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I leave the US on Monday the 29th to relocate to Dubai for the next 3 years for work. I have been looking on Dubizzle and Propertyfinder.ae, but I cannot tell from these sites the type of neighborhood nor the ease of access to the airport (needed weekly for work) or grocery/shops. My allowance is 265K UAE yearly. I thought about an apartment on the Palm so I had beach access, but airport travel could take awhile in the commute (not sure). I can also afford a really nice villa, but I would like to have access to stores and public transportation until I get a new vehicle once settled. I am a male relocating alone and don't care to reside in a singles area if it is too noisy (which I have ready JBR is a bit noisy). I am seeking knowledge of the city to know what areas should I be seeking my residence. I will likely be residence shopping this coming week and the following week with a relocations advisor. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.
 

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I think the office is in the Convention Tower. For the duration, I will be traveling to DXB to fly to Iraq weekly for work. My residence will be in Dubai. It is my understanding it will take 6-8 weeks to get my Iraq visa so I will have to report to the office during that time. I suspect the place I choose will be my residence for the 3 year duration. I want to make the best possible choice. I like the beach and I live on the coast in the US. I would like to stay there, but I am thinking I can get a really nice "new-ish" villa 3 or 4 BR for the money. I am leaning this way, but I want to make sure it is close to stores or mass transit.
 

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265K is a very generous housing allowance for a single. You will have your pick of apartments barring the very top end.

First question: is your housing allowance an use it or lose it benefit? In other words, are you able to keep the differential if you pick a cheaper apartment or villa?

Actually, this is pretty much the only real question I have. Most places in Dubai are relatively close to the airport, the Palm to DXB is less than 30 minutes, for example.

Convention Tower is probably only 10 minutes from the airport. There are plenty of apartments within easy reach of Convention Tower, along Sheikh Zayed Road/DIFC and in Downtown, around the Dubai Mall, which is just a few more minutes away. Plenty of markets and bars and restaurants and taxis at all hours.

You can easily afford a 2-bedroom apartment on the Palm with money left over. The Palm is nice, but has few amenities in terms of shops and restaurants nearby and within walking distance. Dubai Marina is a only a few more minutes away and has all the supermarkets, restaurants, bars and cafes you need and living in the Marina means you can walk to those places easily. Scores of apartments available in the Marina and your budget puts you close to the top end, barring the penthouses.

Do you really want a villa? Ranches is fine. 20 minutes from the airport but it's a family oriented community. There's a small shopping centre and a club with a restaurant (and a liquor license) but it's definitely not really a walkable place like the Marina or Sheikh Zayed or Downtown.

Your budget will also allow you to rent a villa in Jumeirah or Umm Suqeim, within walking distance of the beach. But like the Ranches those are primarily family oriented neighbourhoods although unlike the Ranches you have far more shopping and dining options within easy reach, some walkable, others you will probably prefer a car. Airport is 15 minutes away depending on the traffic.

If I were in your shoes I'd look for a comfortable 2-bedroom apartment for under 150K in Downtown or Sheikh Zayed and bank the rest. The beach is only a 10 minute drive away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow. That is an abundance of information and just the kind of feedback I was seeking. My living allowance is a use it or lose it situation. I am sure my family will come visit during this assignment so my thoughts are a minimum of a 3BR. My room, guest room and a room to use as a media/office room. I've been searching 3/4BRs in the 200-265 range and there is an abundance around the city.

I like nightlife, but I also just turned 43. I seem to like my quiet and relaxation. I was thinking a villa so I don't have to listen to elevators, kids running through the halls or noisy neighbors on the other side of the wall. Convienience to amenities is important and not having a 45-60 minute taxi ride to/from the airport. Because of this the villa life seems very entertaining. If you folks tell me to stay in the Jumeriah, Marina, Umm Suqeim, etc areas... you are who I trust.

By The Way, I REALLY appreciate the help and information. I am now wishing I would have taken the preassignment visit that was offered so I could get a feel for the place. One more question, do I need to get UAE cash for the taxis or will my Visa/MasterCards be accepted until I can get a UAE bank account with local funds?
 

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I think Palm Jumeirah would suit your needs better. It's family friendly yet equally suitable for bachelors and it is a largely residential area which isn't pockmarked by commercial towers. It also gives you the feel of living in Dubai without feeling the desolation that comes with being in one of those quiet developments out in the desert and in the middle of nowhere.You're also much closer to the beach. If you want to eat out there's a number of hotels that offer fine dining in the area and you can also order in as well. Just use the Zomato app to find what you want.

Dubai Marina is for the young and restless crowd, traffic in the area is rather horrendous and noise is a common feature. It's also packed with tourists all year round.

Arabian Ranches is a nice family-friendly development but too out of the way, like an isolated self-sufficient community a bit far from all the action (think suburbia within suburbia in the middle of desert). It doesn't offer the duality of Palm Jumeirah, that is being family and bachelor friendly at the same time. It's also a bit far from your office location and the costs of taxis back and forth as well as the distance could be annoying.

Jumeirah/Umm Suqueim (not Palm Jumeirah, rather Jumeirah 1, 2 etc) is a community of villas and gated properties popular with expats who have been here longer ( 10 to 20 years) and local UAE citizens . It was the "IT" location before anyone dreamt of a Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah or Emirates Hills. However, it's not a place you can easily get a taxi should you need it or a place you can enjoy evening walks . A lot of residents there tend to live behind the walls of their properties, keep to themselves and are less inclined to mingle.

Downtown/DIFC can have a bit too much of a concrete and steel/commercial feel or that plastic, ultra-luxury vibe depending on which specific area you end up. Fine for those who are used to it but it's like living in the world of a luxury advert where everything is prim and proper with no room for social or physical imperfections.

The only downside I see with Palm Jumeirah is less shopping options (although several are on the way) and it's some distance from the metro. However shopping is often a social, fun affair for many in the UAE and often an opportunity to conduct informal studies on the local demographic. There are several shopping options close to the Palm Jumeirah such as Mall of the Emirates where you can do your shopping without much hassle and zip back home. It's also close to the road in the centre of it all, Sheikh Zayed Road, which leads up to your office area as well as both airports.

You'll need cash for the local taxis, there was some talk of fitting them with POS devices for credit/debit card transactions but I don't think its gone round yet.
 

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Downside to the Palm for me is the one road in, one road out. You have to drive a heck of a long way to do a u-turn to come back on yourself to get off the trunk and onto the main road. Totally disagree with there being nowhere to walk in Jumeirah, Umm Sequeim areas. I walk all year-round, with and without the dog. It's total suburbia.
 

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Palm has plenty of tourists and tourist traffic, and many of the apartment towers suffer from holiday lets, which can be rowdy. The beaches at the Palm can be crowded with tourists trucked in from local hotels who've bought beach access passes from Nakheel.

I lived in Jumeirah for two years and never had issues finding taxis, and the same is true for friends who still live there. People and families were always out walking pets, walking to the beach, walking to the local shops and cafes. One of the best aspects of living in Jumeirah was the evening stroll to the beach to watch the sunset. If the OP really wants a villa, this is probably the best and most convenient place for him, although he may need to look around carefully as villas do vary in size and quality, and some villas are better positioned for amenities while others aren't.

Another great option is the Greens/Views. His budget will get him a 3-bedroom apartment in one of the towers by the golf course. Great finishes. Nice quiet community (Recently voted as the most popular community in Dubai), small community shopping centre, a lake and parklike environs, yet only five minutes from the Marina if you want a nightlife, and 20-25 minutes from the airport.

DIFC may still be feasible. It's certainly quieter than the Marina but the convenience to the office is, what, 5 minutes? Even walkable! I agree it can feel too quiet and a bit sterile, especially after hours, but Sheikh Zayed is only a block or two away and it's always bustling, and Downtown is right up the road and is also always bustling.



I think Palm Jumeirah would suit your needs better. It's family friendly yet equally suitable for bachelors and it is a largely residential area which isn't pockmarked by commercial towers. It also gives you the feel of living in Dubai without feeling the desolation that comes with being in one of those quiet developments out in the desert and in the middle of nowhere.You're also much closer to the beach. If you want to eat out there's a number of hotels that offer fine dining in the area and you can also order in as well. Just use the Zomato app to find what you want.

Dubai Marina is for the young and restless crowd, traffic in the area is rather horrendous and noise is a common feature. It's also packed with tourists all year round.

Arabian Ranches is a nice family-friendly development but too out of the way, like an isolated self-sufficient community a bit far from all the action (think suburbia within suburbia in the middle of desert). It doesn't offer the duality of Palm Jumeirah, that is being family and bachelor friendly at the same time. It's also a bit far from your office location and the costs of taxis back and forth as well as the distance could be annoying.

Jumeirah/Umm Suqueim (not Palm Jumeirah, rather Jumeirah 1, 2 etc) is a community of villas and gated properties popular with expats who have been here longer ( 10 to 20 years) and local UAE citizens . It was the "IT" location before anyone dreamt of a Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah or Emirates Hills. However, it's not a place you can easily get a taxi should you need it or a place you can enjoy evening walks . A lot of residents there tend to live behind the walls of their properties, keep to themselves and are less inclined to mingle.

Downtown/DIFC can have a bit too much of a concrete and steel/commercial feel or that plastic, ultra-luxury vibe depending on which specific area you end up. Fine for those who are used to it but it's like living in the world of a luxury advert where everything is prim and proper with no room for social or physical imperfections.

The only downside I see with Palm Jumeirah is less shopping options (although several are on the way) and it's some distance from the metro. However shopping is often a social, fun affair for many in the UAE and often an opportunity to conduct informal studies on the local demographic. There are several shopping options close to the Palm Jumeirah such as Mall of the Emirates where you can do your shopping without much hassle and zip back home. It's also close to the road in the centre of it all, Sheikh Zayed Road, which leads up to your office area as well as both airports.

You'll need cash for the local taxis, there was some talk of fitting them with POS devices for credit/debit card transactions but I don't think its gone round yet.
 

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Palm is a bit of suburbia hell with not much there at all. Who needs shopping malls (they are currently building a massive one) at their doorstep? The kind of shops you would need are grocery shops and other convenience stores, which is where the Palm is seriously lacking. Not all apartments have beach access and there are quite a few big building sites there at the moment.
Palm traffic is very noisy with sports cars revving up at all hours. The speed bumps really invite them to speed-stop-speed which creates a lot of noise. The holiday lets is another issue as well as poxy security (some of them seem to think that they are there to make it as difficult as possible for residents)

To get the feel that you actually live in some kind of city- pick Marina but pick your building carefully. With your budget you have you can get something really nice and big. I would disagree with that the Marina is only for the young and restless! Al Bateen in JBR have their own beach and the apartments look nice. The original six are very nice, just select a building furthest away from the building site. The Marina has two metro stations, the tram can be useful and there are plenty of taxis so you will not be stuck before you have a car. The public beach is nice now with lot of restaurants and a small running track. There are so many grocery stores and some are open 24/7.
As you have time to have a look around, view the apartments at different hours to find out a bit better if it's a noisy spot or not. With your budget the agents should be bending over backwards...;)
Here's a useful map to see where buildings are located: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=25.078544&lon=55.137076&z=16&m=b&search=dubai
 

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I am not an expert on your set of requirements (I live in Ranches with my family) but I do have friends with kids who live in the Marina and have never complained of noise, I suspect that you need to choose the apartment quite carefully but with your budget you will have the pick, traffic is an issue though so you need to pick carefully though.

I find the palm quite laid back but it's a bit lacking in shopping and dining (as mentioned already) without going out to one of the hotels (which isn't too tricky).

As for Taxis, you can use Uber and pay with your card, I prefer it as I find the drivers tend to be safer than the taxis.
 

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My opinion is similar to Bedougirl.

If you're 43 and single and prefer some peace and quiet, with that kind of money, I'd recommend renting a villa in Jumeirah / Umm Suqeim. It's a central area, nice quiet neighbourhood and with easy access to the beach.
 

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I think the office is in the Convention Tower. For the duration, I will be traveling to DXB to fly to Iraq weekly for work. My residence will be in Dubai. It is my understanding it will take 6-8 weeks to get my Iraq visa so I will have to report to the office during that time. I suspect the place I choose will be my residence for the 3 year duration. I want to make the best possible choice. I like the beach and I live on the coast in the US. I would like to stay there, but I am thinking I can get a really nice "new-ish" villa 3 or 4 BR for the money. I am leaning this way, but I want to make sure it is close to stores or mass transit.
with a view to your generous package and the fact that you will be back and fro to Iraq have you considered an apartment hotel or serviced apartment? You will not have the hassles of having to deal with landlords.real estate agents and al, your utility bills and tv/broadband will be covered as well as weekly cleaning and changing of sheets/towels etc. i stay in Amwaj Suites on JBR and traffic is not a problem, and it is close to all amenities.
 

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With regards to the Palm, they're in the process of fitting out all of the retail units in Golden Mile facing the park (which is excellent for jogging/walking). There will be a big Spinneys supermarket and loads of restaurants, coffee shops, etc, by the end of the year.

If you get a sea-facing apartment you won't get much noise coming your way. I only ever heard noisy cars on weekends if I left my window open at night.

Fairmont Residence would suit your needs as long as Nakheel are not following through on their plans to turn the private beach into a shopping mall. Otherwise, Oceana Residence has a really nice pool and beach area, although it can get a bit busy on weekends.

Not sure what the Marina Residences are like, but I'd generally avoid any property still managed by Nakheel.

Also worth considering, if you don't mind adding 15 minutes to your commute are some of the hotels with apartment blocks on the crescent of the Palm like the Sofitel, Anantara or the Kempinsky. No idea if they are in your price range or not, but if someone else is paying for it, living as luxuriously as possible may make life here more bearable, especially if you're spending a lot of time in Iraq.
 

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Hotel residences on the Palm is a nice suggestion. Anantara has nice facilities and the buildings look lovely but 1BR cost AED 265,000, 2BR is AED 365,000. They don't have 3BR.

I was recently told that Fairmont has really nice apartments, facilities and good location but I have not checked them.

The best properties I saw on the Palm after checking few residential buildings were Dream Residences next to Rixos. The only problem is the location itself, as they are at the end of crescent, so it takes 15mins to get out of the Palm only. The apartments are huge, the size of the villa. 3BR are approx. 3,500sqft and the rent is AED 300,000. You may comfortably settle for cheaper 2BR as I am sure you will be able to allocate your home office space easily in those spacious apartments. The facilities are nice including swimming pool and beach access. If I would move to Palm, this is where I would rent.

There are plenty of investments going on the Palm right now, including the Atlantis 2, Pointe mall with promenade (to be partially finished Q3 this year, Waitrose supermarket + 100 restaurants and shops has already leased the space), 11km Crescent boardwalk (completion mid-2016) etc.

I wouldn't worry about nothing to do on the Palm right now, especially that as you can see in 1 year it will change dramatically. Also proximity to Marina is a bonus. The only thing I would worry but have not checked myself is the quality of beach. I am being told that people are quite disappointed with the man made beaches on the Palm, not sure if certain areas are worse and some are better, like crescent perhaps?

If you want a villa, definitely not Arabian Ranches. It's great for families but not for a single person with family coming over from time to time. I would recommend Al Wasl villas on Jumeirah 1, these are managed villas 24/7, so if something happens you have one point of contact to a professional company. AED 250,00 for 3BR, check here. Fantastic location by the beach and restaurants.
 

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I have a question regarding paying for an apartment. Do many owners allow you to pay twice a year (one cheque every 6 months)? Most of what I've seen is a full year up front?
 

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Yes.

You can always negotiate extra cheques. Some landlords will insistent on one cheque, others are more flexible.

Landlords will generally ask for more money if you pay in multiple cheques, but in this softening rental market if you hold your ground you have a good chance of getting 2-3 cheques despite the initial demand for one, even at the same rent.

I have a question regarding paying for an apartment. Do many owners allow you to pay twice a year (one cheque every 6 months)? Most of what I've seen is a full year up front?
 
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