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This forum seems deader than the proverbial dodo bird but I might as well give it a shot.

Any thoughts on comparing these four communities: Raha Beach, Reem Island, Saadiyat Beach and Rayyana?

Work is on the corniche near Central Market. Reem and Saadiyat would be closest. Reem seems very quiet. No beaches, right? Would have to drive everywhere. Saadiyat seems nice, on the water, but not much else. Raha has a pleasant modern design aesthetic and apparently a private resident only beach, but I wonder how the water quality is, as it's tucked within the mangroves while the public beaches/Saadiyat directly front the open seas (right?). How long does it take to get from Raha to Corniche? Is it better to go via Yas?

Rayyana looks nice too, especially if you have a golf course view. Can't find anything else about the community but I noticed in the photos of apartment listings that adjoining apartments are very visible from your balconies so you wouldn't have much privacy inside without curtains closed all the time.

Otherwise, any pros and cons of these four areas I should be aware of? Do they all have district cooling? If so, what are the charges usually like?

I also haven't ruled out the Corniche area itself, particularly Khalidya. But I can find very little information on it. Few listings for properties and what exist isn't compelling and my few forays through the area shows it to be staid and dull with little merit. Am I missing something?

Any thoughts/suggestions/advice you're willing to share is greatly appreciated.
 

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Hi - I'm sure Steve and RSinner will be able to give you some help and, hopefully, a few of the other Dhabi based folk, but they don't tend to frequent the forum quite as much as the Dubai based regulars. Also, doesn't FatBhoyTIm live there too? Could be worth dropping them all a PM perhaps?
 

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Reem has a growing population despite lots of sand, but you are right there are no beaches yet (one is in the plan in front of Sun/Sky Tower, but time will tell if it ever happens). Lots of roads on Reem with traffic lights that slows the journey, depending on which part of Reem you go to. Adjustments get made from time-to-time. I lived on Reem for 3 years and find living at Eastern Mangroves quicker to get to the Corniche, despite being further. Reem residents don't get the option of the tunnel under the Tourist Club Area.
Saadiyat has the best beach in Abu Dhabi and there are a few hotels on the island; also you have the golf club. Both Saadiyat and Raha feel isolated to me and are a very long (expensive) way if you ever need to get a taxi. You have to have a car in those locations. On Reem you could at a push use the bus.
I don't know Rayyana.
 

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rayanna is a very decent place, and with so much cheap eats available in KCA, is actually pretty well located... quality of finishings is pretty decent...

raha beach is significantly overpriced, and depending on which set of buildings you end up in, you are looking for apartments from the tiny to the huge for pretty much the same amount of money... zeina and muneera both have the private beach - which is essentially a stretch of sand thats about 500 meters long, and the water is pretty clear and calm... there have been a raft of jet ski issues there from people buzzing too close to the shore and racing... been in the papers...

apartments in zeina are larger, but suffer from being under the airport flight path and closer to yas marina circuit, and at times the noise can get pretty annoying from what i have heard... the times i have been there and the cars were whipping around the circuit, it was pretty loud... there is a waitrose in zeina, and looking at pricing there was jaw dropping... but then again its not for frequent shopping... there is a nando's there, as well as a few other cafe's...

muneera has puny apartments for about the same amount of money as zeina, but the place is overall nicer, and has a pretty decent retail area with a carrefour express opening up there in a few weeks... a bunch of restaurants and cafe's...

bander i particularly didnt like, there is a huge marina in front of the buildings with lots of boats moored there, not my sort of thing but others like it a lot... a few restaurants and cafe's there too... there is a spinneys in bander (including a booze outlet in the basement accessible through the parking - which was a nice touch - and its one of the "i forgot my license at home" places)...

all of raha is district cooling, and the chiller charges seem to range between 500-1000 for a three bed...

from raha you would could either take the new highway across yas, but if you stick to salam street all the way in under the tunnel, you should be ok for traffic on that route too for the most part...

rsinner and alex are the defacto experts for reem... sure they will chime in with their opinions...
 

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We like Al Reem, we are in Skytower so it does have the advantage of the Boutik mall being downstairs and so able to go to Waitrose without going outside. Also lots of space around the pools, so do not find ourselves going to the beach much, maybe half a dozen times for the year. But for some I appreciate this is more important.
Plenty of busses and taxis if you need them. Busses are very cheap, taxi cost to Al Wadha mall or Le Meridien is around 10 dirhams, takes about 10 minutes. (obviously longer at Rush hour) To the Hilton on the Corniche around 20-25 dirhams. We like socialising and eating out so relatively easy/quick access to the many excellent bars and restaurants was important for us.
Have a couple of friends who live in the Raha beach area and they like it as well.
 

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I think we have already had this discussion but here goes.
Not aware of your family situation (whether you single, or moving as a couple, or as a family), but I quite like Reem - the work commute is short for me, and my son's school in on Reem. I hate the madness (or boredom) of driving in Abu DHabi downtown (which is like one big Bur Dubai) and love the relative peace and quiet of Reem.
Obviously some apartments are small (custom built for "investors" who won't live in them) and poor quality, but some of the buildings are pretty good with great pools and facilities.
Marina square is closer to the city than the whole Sun/Sky tower area, but Sun/Sky Towers have great facilities and the convenience of the mall below them. A bigger Geant is now there in Marina square (along with some eateries etc). Marina Square has more of a "finished look" if you just ignore the unfinished hotel/mall and the mosque which is close to completion - otherwise no other construction ongoing. If you like to be able to walk to most places etc then Reem is not for you, but otherwise as already pointed out the city is close by (but far enough) and its not too bad. Rents are also lower than the other areas you mentioned. The only thing Reem really lacks these days is a petrol station - otherwise there is no other pressing need to go to the city. No beach in Reem but there is a "Marina" area currently open around building 13-15 which is small but nice. Taxis would definitely be an issue during rush hour.
I pay about 40-50 Dhs a month for the chiller fees, and I believe the pricing structure may be similar for Marina Square but different for other areas in Reem. Other big con for me is that most apartments do not have balconies.

I love Saadiyat for the beach (open waters) and the lovely low rise apartments. There are a few shops for day to day living, but you will need to drive a bit more to reach most places, and it is not as self contained as I would like it to be.

Another good development would be the Marasy apartments in the Bateen area - reasonably close to the Corniche. Low rise, decent facilities. Haven't been there in a while, but a few shops were scheduled to open there. I have another friend who lives in Capital Plaza (same complex as the Sofitel) at the end of the Corniche. Great facilities, places you can walk to (including the Corniche itself) but not really a part of a "community".

One suggestion when house hunting in AD would be that you will always have something lacking - hence have a set of non negotiable requirements, and see if you can live with some of the flaws.

Also, be clear on the parking if you have a second car - most apartments just have one available.
 
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