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The 10 best place to live in Dubai: A guide for foreigners

what is the best place to live in dubai
Table of Contents

Foreigners who are looking for the best place to live in Dubai have many options to choose from. The city is known for its luxurious lifestyle, towering skyscrapers, and world-class amenities. Besides the posh areas in Dubai, you will also find residential areas offering affordable places to live in Dubai. But are you unsure where to start finding the best place to live in Dubai? This guide will walk you through the top neighborhoods, focusing on what makes each unique and why they might be the perfect fit for you.

What are the best places to live in Dubai?

Not sure where to live in Dubai? These are the ten best residential areas to live in Dubai:

  1. Dubai Marina
  2. Downtown Dubai
  3. Dubai Silicon Oasis
  4. Business Bay
  5. Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC)
  6. Arabian Ranches
  7. Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT)
  8. Al Barsha
  9. Al Nahda
  10. Dubai Hills Estate

1. Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is a waterfront community that offers a sophisticated and modern lifestyle. It’s often called the ‘Venice of the Gulf’ because of its winding canals, luxury yachts, and towering skyscrapers. The Marina Walk is a popular spot for residents and tourists, lined with cafes, boutiques, and restaurants. Dubai Marina Mall is also located in the area, offering a diverse mix of retail and entertainment options.

The location is ideal for working professionals due to its proximity to business hubs like Media City and Internet City. It is one of the most popular residential areas in Dubai and particularly attractive to foreigners, especially young couples and singles, as it provides a vibrant environment and waterfront living. You will also find many places to work in Dubai Marina.

Why is Dubai Marina the best place to live in Dubai?

  • Waterfront living with stunning views of the marina and skyline.
  • Vibrant nightlife, shopping malls, and diverse dining options.
  • Proximity to business hubs like Media City and Internet City.
  • It is the best place to live in Dubai for singles and young couples seeking a dynamic environment.

2. Downtown Dubai

Downtown Dubai is the city’s vibrant hub, offering a mix of commercial, residential, and entertainment activities. It’s home to some of Dubai’s most recognizable landmarks, such as the Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall, and The Dubai Fountain, making it the best place to live in Dubai for many.

Living in downtown places you at the center of Dubai’s cultural and entertainment scene, with year-round events, shows, and festivals. The area features a range of luxurious apartments with stunning cityscape views. For foreigners, particularly families and couples, Downtown Dubai provides a blend of urban excitement and luxury living, making it one of the best areas to live in Dubai.

Why is Downtown Dubai the best place to live in Dubai?

  • Home to iconic landmarks like the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall.
  • Cultural and entertainment hub with events, shows, and festivals year-round.
  • Luxury apartments with breathtaking cityscape views.
  • Central location with easy access to other parts of the city.
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3. Dubai Silicon Oasis

Dubai Silicon Oasis is a tech park demonstrating Dubai’s goal of becoming a global tech hub. It provides a seamless blend of work, living, and leisure. The park has been designed with modern urban planning, featuring contemporary office towers, R&D zones, educational institutions, and various residential options such as apartments and villas.

The area also has parks, fitness centers, and shopping complexes, making everything accessible to residents. Dubai Silicon Oasis can be the best place to live in Dubai for foreigners who work in the tech industry or anyone seeking a community-oriented environment.

Why is Dubai Silicon Oasis the best place to live in Dubai?

  • Integrated technology park offering a blend of work and leisure.
  • Modern urban planning with state-of-the-art office towers and educational institutions.
  • Parks, fitness centers, and shopping complexes within the community.
  • Ideal for tech professionals and families valuing innovation.

4. Business Bay

Business Bay, located near Downtown Dubai, is a hub for both commercial and residential activities. It is often compared to Manhattan in New York due to its high concentration of businesses, commercial complexes, and residential buildings. The Dubai Canal runs through Business Bay, which gives the lively atmosphere a touch of tranquility.

Business Bay provides a dynamic environment for foreigners, mainly working professionals and business entrepreneurs, seeking a balanced lifestyle in Dubai. The area offers a variety of luxury apartments with views of the canal or the famous Burj Khalifa. Its blend of modern architecture and leisure facilities makes it a top choice for those who want to live close to the city’s leading commercial and entertainment hubs.

Reasons why Business Bay is the best place to live in Dubai

  • Strategic location next to Downtown Dubai and the Dubai Canal.
  • A mix of commercial and residential properties.
  • Dynamic environment with modern architecture and leisure facilities.
  • Close to the city’s main commercial and entertainment hubs.

5. Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC)

Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) is a residential area in Dubai that’s gaining popularity as one of the best places to live in Dubai. The community is designed to be family-friendly and offers a variety of housing options, including apartments, townhouses, and villas surrounded by well-maintained gardens. Each block in JVC has its own dedicated green space, with large parks interspersed throughout.

Additionally, JVC has many amenities, such as schools, health facilities, shopping centers, and sports complexes. Its circular layout provides easy access to major highways, making commuting convenient. JVS can be the best place to live in Dubai for expats, particularly families seeking a peaceful yet well-connected neighborhood, as it provides a tranquil environment close to the city’s main attractions.

Why is Jumeriah Villa Circle the best place to live in Dubai?

  • It is a peaceful enclave with parks, schools, and shopping centers.
  • A diverse range of housing options, from apartments to townhouses.
  • Family-friendly environment with community events and activities.
  • Well-connected with major highways for easy commuting.

6. Arabian Ranches

Arabian Ranches, located in Dubai, is an exquisite, high-end neighborhood renowned for its calm suburban atmosphere. This gated community, famous for being one of the posh areas in Dubai, boasts an array of luxurious villas, verdant surroundings, and exceptional amenities such as a championship golf course and an equestrian club. Many consider it the best community to live in Dubai.

Additionally, this self-sufficient community offers residents convenient access to a shopping center, reputable schools, and healthcare services. If you wonder where to live in Dubai, Arabian Ranches is an excellent option worth exploring.

This is why Arabian Ranches is the best place to live in Dubai:

  • Premium gated community offering a tranquil suburban lifestyle.
  • Lush landscapes, golf courses, and spacious villas.
  • Community-centric with shopping centers, schools, and health facilities.
  • Ideal for families seeking luxury and serenity.
buy property in downtown dubai

7. Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT)

Jumeirah Lakes Towers, also known as JLT, is a lively community across from Dubai Marina. It features a mix of residential, commercial, and retail spaces around three artificial lakes. The community is divided into clusters, each with its own set of towers and amenities. JLT has parks, promenades, and lakeside dining options that provide a refreshing environment amid the city.

JLT is also the home of several international businesses, making it a hub for professionals and one of the best places to work in Dubai. JLT offers a vibrant and relaxed lifestyle with easy access to other parts of the city, making it one of the best areas to live in Dubai for foreigners, especially singles and young couples.

Why is Jumeriah Lakes Towers the best place to live in Dubai?

  • Dynamic mixed-use community set around artificial lakes.
  • Parks, promenades, and lakeside dining options.
  • Home to several international businesses and professionals.
  • Vibrant yet relaxed lifestyle with easy city access.

8. Al Barsha

Al Barsha is a community in Dubai that offers different types of homes for people with varying lifestyles and budgets. It has multiple sub-communities that cater to different needs. One of its main attractions is the Mall of the Emirates, a reputable shopping destination with an indoor ski resort called Ski Dubai.

Al Barsha’s location is convenient for families and professionals because it is close to schools, hospitals, and public transportation. It is worth considering for foreigners who want a central and affordable place to live in Dubai. Al Barsha is deemed to be one of the best places to live in Dubai for families and couples.

Reasons to live in Al Barsha:

  • Central location with proximity to Mall of the Emirates and Ski Dubai.
  • Mix of apartments, villas, and townhouses catering to diverse budgets.
  • Close to schools, hospitals, and public transport.
  • Convenient choice for families and professionals.

9. Al Nahda

Al Nahda is located on the border of Dubai and Sharjah. This area in Dubai is known for its affordable and spacious apartments, making it the best place to live in Dubai for expats. Many people working in Sharjah also live in Al Nahda due to its convenient location. The community offers several parks, shopping centers, and recreational facilities, which provide a balanced lifestyle for its residents.

The location of Al Nahda is strategic and allows easy access to both Dubai and Sharjah, making commuting stress-free. For foreigners looking for a comfortable living experience without compromising on amenities, Al Nahda is an excellent option.

Reasons why Al Nahda is the best place to live in Dubai:

  • Affordable and spacious apartments on the Dubai-Sharjah border.
  • Several parks, shopping centers, and recreational facilities.
  • Strategic location for easy access to both Dubai and Sharjah.
  • Best place to live in Dubai for expats seeking value for money.

10. Dubai Hills Estate

Dubai Hills Estate is a luxury residential community focusing on comfort and convenience, making it one of the best areas to live in Dubai. The community offers a variety of properties ranging from apartments to mansions, surrounded by green spaces and rolling hills. The Dubai Hills Golf Club is at the heart of the community, with an 18-hole championship course.

The community has amenities such as a shopping boulevard, schools, hospitals, and parks, providing residents with all necessary facilities. The boulevards are lined with trees, and there are jogging tracks and nature trails, making it a peaceful and calm environment in the city’s heart. For those looking for a luxurious and community-centered lifestyle, Dubai Hills Estate is an excellent place to live in Dubai.

Why should you live in Dubai Hills Estate?

  • A master-planned community set amidst rolling hills and open spaces.
  • Properties range from apartments to ultra-luxurious mansions.
  • It is centered around the Dubai Hills Golf Club and shopping boulevard.
  • Upscale, community-centric lifestyle with green spaces and amenities.

How can foreigners buy property in Dubai?

Dubai has opened its doors to foreign property ownership in designated areas. To buy property, foreigners must obtain a residency visa. Once secured, they can purchase freehold properties, which grant them full ownership, or leasehold properties, which allow them to lease for up to 99 years.

Own Property Abroad guides you through Dubai’s real estate market. With our deep understanding and hands-on experience, we offer assistance with legalities, property search, negotiation, and due diligence. Our dedicated team ensures you’re not alone in finding the best place to live in Dubai. To learn more about how we can support you, please leave your details below or contact us at

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Leave your name and email below – We will reach out to answer all your questions and assist you with buying property in Dubai.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the cheapest place to live in Dubai?

Al Nahda stands out as the most affordable place to live in Dubai. Located on the Dubai-Sharjah border, it offers spacious apartments and essential amenities, making it a popular choice among expats seeking the cheapest area to live in Dubai without compromising convenience.

Which are the best areas to live in Dubai?

The best areas to live in Dubai include Dubai Marina, known for its waterfront luxury; Downtown Dubai, the city’s bustling heart; and Jumeirah Village Circle, a peaceful enclave ideal for families. These areas offer a blend of urban excitement and serene living, making them top choices for those wondering where to live in Dubai.

What are the best neighborhoods in Dubai?

Some of the best neighborhoods in Dubai are Arabian Ranches, offering a tranquil suburban lifestyle; Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), a dynamic mixed-use community; and Al Barsha, a central location with diverse housing options. These neighborhoods in Dubai cater to various lifestyles, ensuring residents have a balanced and enriching experience.

Where to buy property in Dubai?

Foreigners looking to buy property in Dubai should consider Dubai Marina for waterfront properties, Downtown Dubai for proximity to landmarks, and Dubai Hills Estate for luxury living. These areas are among the best communities to live in Dubai and offer a range of properties suitable for different budgets and preferences.

Is Dubai a good place to live?

Absolutely! Dubai is renowned for its high standard of living, world-class amenities, and multicultural environment. With its diverse range of residential areas, from posh areas in Dubai like Downtown to more affordable places in areas like Al Nahda, Dubai caters to various lifestyles, making it a sought-after place to live for expats, families, singles, and couples alike.

Written by Matt Timmermans

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