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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

My soon-to-be wife and I are moving to Dubai at the start of September. We are both working in the DIFC and have been looking at suitable locations. Although we like the marina, the commute sounds horrendous so are now focusing on Downtown and the DIFC itself. We have a budget of around 120-160dhms per annum and are looking for a two bedroom apartment.

I also have what may sound like a silly preference. I have looked at a lot of apartments on Dubizzle and the vast majority seem to have small windows, ie in the lounge there are no floor to ceiling windows, is this as common as it seems? I have looked at The Park Towers and The Index buildings and both have big windows, though they seem to be the exceptions (as they are both new). The apartments in these buildings look great though I understand from other threads the buildings are largely untenanted and have no direct route to the metro station, is this still the case?

Are there any members who live in either of these buildings or any others in the DIFC (such as limestone house) or know a bit about them and also what the DIFC is like to live in generally? We are leaning more towards an apartment in Downtown simply as DIFC and its apartment buildings sound a bit dead by comparison, is this accurate?

Sorry for the long post!
 

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Living within walking distance of DIFC means not having to deal with parking and the traffic. That would be a major advantage. Some of the buildings are very nice but those tend to be quieter and a bit remote from the streetlife activity that surround the buildings directly on Sheikh Zayed, although you're only a few minutes walk away.

The commute from the Marina isn't bad as it's probably 20 minutes even during rush hour. But it's getting out and getting back in the Marina that's the problem. Construction work + poorly designed access means major bottlenecks. It's one reason why Marina rents have softened relative to Downtown and other areas.

However, Downtown isn't without its own traffic problems. The access in/out is also delayed due to multiple lights and on weekends the traffic for the Dubai Mall causes a lot of delays for residents. Periodically there are festivals that sees the main roads closed for hours or a day.

Downtown apartments are nicer as Emaar has very high quality design for their buildings that incorporates large windows and good proportions for the rooms, so even small apartments don't feel cramped. But on the whole but it's best to be on the ground and look around yourself before making any final decisions.


Hi,

My soon-to-be wife and I are moving to Dubai at the start of September. We are both working in the DIFC and have been looking at suitable locations. Although we like the marina, the commute sounds horrendous so are now focusing on Downtown and the DIFC itself. We have a budget of around 120-160dhms per annum and are looking for a two bedroom apartment.

I also have what may sound like a silly preference. I have looked at a lot of apartments on Dubizzle and the vast majority seem to have small windows, ie in the lounge there are no floor to ceiling windows, is this as common as it seems? I have looked at The Park Towers and The Index buildings and both have big windows, though they seem to be the exceptions (as they are both new). The apartments in these buildings look great though I understand from other threads the buildings are largely untenanted and have no direct route to the metro station, is this still the case?

Are there any members who live in either of these buildings or any others in the DIFC (such as limestone house) or know a bit about them and also what the DIFC is like to live in generally? We are leaning more towards an apartment in Downtown simply as DIFC and its apartment buildings sound a bit dead by comparison, is this accurate?

Sorry for the long post!
 

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I do not know that I have seen anything in Emaar building with floor to ceiling windows, personally, the huge windows scared me when I saw them in Park Tower. I think it would be hot in summer and there no way to keep light out.

Downtown and DIFC are very close but they are worlds apart in what they offer as a living experience. There just is not much going on in DIFC and if you are looking for an area where you can walk to restaurants, shops, etc it is not there in DIFC. Plus I think the build quality is better downtown.

@Tally is correct in that it is longer to get from apartment to SZR downtown compared to access from many of Marina/JBR buildings. When I was in JBR it was about two minutes to SZR so sometimes it annoys me, but the reality is even at the worst of times it is still less than 10 minutes. Weekends are really not that bad but yes there is mall traffic. You just need to know the times that alternate routes are required

Something that might be worth exploring is doing a few weeks in a serviced apartment in both Marina and Downtown and see what suites you. To me that added expense is worth making an informed decision and if you have that kind of budget a one bedroom serviced apartment is not going to be out of reach

A building you may want to check out downtown is 29 Blvd. It was just completed and they are starting handover to owner's
 

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I live in an Emaar building and have floor to ceiling windows (well, close enough, it stops just at the crown moldings). The ones in Downtown - Views, Lofts and Residences, also have similar windows. The windows are tinted and that deflects most of the glare.

I do not know that I have seen anything in Emaar building with floor to ceiling windows, personally, the huge windows scared me when I saw them in Park Tower. I think it would be hot in summer and there no way to keep light out.

Downtown and DIFC are very close but they are worlds apart in what they offer as a living experience. There just is not much going on in DIFC and if you are looking for an area where you can walk to restaurants, shops, etc it is not there in DIFC. Plus I think the build quality is better downtown.

@Tally is correct in that it is longer to get from apartment to SZR downtown compared to access from many of Marina/JBR buildings. When I was in JBR it was about two minutes to SZR so sometimes it annoys me, but the reality is even at the worst of times it is still less than 10 minutes. Weekends are really not that bad but yes there is mall traffic. You just need to know the times that alternate routes are required

Something that might be worth exploring is doing a few weeks in a serviced apartment in both Marina and Downtown and see what suites you. To me that added expense is worth making an informed decision and if you have that kind of budget a one bedroom serviced apartment is not going to be out of reach

A building you may want to check out downtown is 29 Blvd. It was just completed and they are starting handover to owner's
 

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Hi,
My soon-to-be wife and I are moving to Dubai at the start of September. We are both working in the DIFC and have been looking at suitable locations.
I live in DIFC, the major advantage if you live and work in DIFC is that you can do everything just walking: work, gym, small supermarkets, banks, services, plus you are next to the metro so it's easy to live with just one car. In winter is easy walking distance to dubai mall as well. The major disadvantage is to be surrounded by concrete.

Noise for me is not a big deal even if I live directly on SZR (but my windows are facing zabeel). I can imagine that the flats directly on SZR with windows facing the road are quite awful unless you are on >25 floor.

I also have what may sound like a silly preference. I have looked at a lot of apartments on Dubizzle and the vast majority seem to have small windows, ie in the lounge there are no floor to ceiling windows, is this as common as it seems?
No it's not: most of the apartments in DIFC and neighborhoods have big windows. Aside park towers if I were you I would evaluate other new buildings like the maze and the rolex tower; liberty house has some amazing duplex with huge glass surfaces as well.

The index is pretty dark, limestone house as far as I know you cannot even open the windows.

Even my building which is pretty old (1998) has a huge 5meters ceiling to floor glass surface. The problem is that I can open only a very small window, and it opens just like 20cm, while park towers has some flats with a balcony if I recall correctly, that would be better.

The apartments in these buildings look great though I understand from other threads the buildings are largely untenanted and have no direct route to the metro station, is this still the case?
No, Yes.

We are leaning more towards an apartment in Downtown simply as DIFC and its apartment buildings sound a bit dead by comparison, is this accurate?
Downtown for sure looks more "vibrant", if you can really use that term for a neighbourhood in Dubai, a city where the weather and the culture make unlikely for people to walk in the streets if the alternative is a valet parking for their Patrol, and most of the coffees, restaurants, venues, tend to be "enclosed", rather than road facing, with the exception maybe of JBR.

In DIFC Village you have some fancy places anyway, depending on tastes.

Relax anyhow, if you choose to live in a more distant place, traffic would not not a big deal either: I used to live in the greens before and it added only a few minutes to my commute, because you go against traffic, so at 110km/h is quite fast to cover an additional 20km.

But in case you need to drive to work, be very careful to check if you have a reserved parking, otherwise you will regret it.
 

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I live in an Emaar building in Downtown and have floor to ceiling windows, I have blackout curtains so no problems with the light, or the heat really.

Downtown is way better than DIFC. IMO Downtown is the best place to live in Dubai for apartment living.

I liked Limestone too because it has really nice wooden floors but the deal breaker was that it had no balconies.

Like the other posters said, sus out all the areas you want to live in and make an informed decision, I bet you’ll pick downtown, emaar boulevard at night will win you over :)
 
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I work in DIFC and live in JLT. It takes me only 15 minutes to drive from my house to my office in the morning and like 20 minutes in the evening (a bit longer because of traffic in JLT. It is really not big deal. Though I would love to not having to drive everyday, but JLT-Marina is way better place to live than DIFC area.
 

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What's better about it in your opinion?

Thanks
Each area has advantages and disadvantages, and opinions are like a$$*****. Really only you can decide. Have lived in JBR and Downtown. Prior to all the recent construction I would choose JBR/Marina. But now it is beyond absurd, they ruined the beach front and it seems like every road is torn up.

If I worked in DIFC or downtown I would certainly choose downtown. The drive is not that bad from the Marina, but I absolutely hate SZR and even 20 minutes twice a day would be worth avoiding if possible.
 

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I was about to move there around that area and we checked index. I personally liked and would have moved there. I found it ok, nice gym, pool, BUT my spouse found it dark greyish without life. So it was a NO GO. I agreed it was sinisterly greyish

We checked downtown and we liked it. There are brand new buildings being handed over to owners so you may grab something nice.

The other thing is that there is construction going on there so when you go around that area identify the places where they may start some serious pounding.....you dont want to be caught with a huge construction taking place right beside your building
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi All,

thank you so much for your feedback, I took the following points away:

being on the ground is still the best way to get a real feel for where you want to live;

the DIFC is quieter than downtown, though this may not be an entirely bad thing;

there are apartments downtown and indeed numerous other places that have good sized windows;

the marina commute is not as bad as I thought.

So yes, I think I am leaning towards downtown for now, subject to my in country recce. All the best and I hope to be a knowledgeable expat myself someday!
 

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Hi All,

thank you so much for your feedback, I took the following points away:

being on the ground is still the best way to get a real feel for where you want to live;

the DIFC is quieter than downtown, though this may not be an entirely bad thing;

there are apartments downtown and indeed numerous other places that have good sized windows;

the marina commute is not as bad as I thought.

So yes, I think I am leaning towards downtown for now, subject to my in country recce. All the best and I hope to be a knowledgeable expat myself someday!
I know I am repeating myself, but I really suggest taking a couple weeks in a serviced apartment in the various locations you are considering. I did this when I first moved to the Marina and it was well worth the expense. I was not rushed to make a decision and I was able to make an educated choice. Based on your budget, you should not have a problem finding a one bedroom serviced apartment that is priced within range.
 
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