Dubai is a city constantly on the move. Areas that that were once considered the outskirts are now a part of the city center. Like every other city in the world Dubai too has its share of peaceful nooks tucked away in beautiful corners, while most of the remaining city lives in the hustle and bustle of everyday excitement. It goes without saying that Dubai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and experiences a year round travelers footprint. Depending on what kind of lifestyle you choose to have, this city has something to offer to everyone. If you’re still trying to decide between the city life and suburbia, this guide may help.


The further away you get from the center of Dubai, the cheaper it usually gets. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but generally this rule holds true. A beautiful 1 bedroom apartment in Remraam, Dubailand, will cost you AED 55,000 per year, while a similar sized apartment for rent in Downtown Dubai will be approximately AED 95,000 a year.

However, there are other costs to consider as well, such as fuel and transport costs, which you will save on if you live (and work) in the city.

Apartments and Villas

If you are considering a villa, you may be leaning towards the suburbs as housing there is more affordable, as an independent home in the city is a pipe dream for most, while getting an apartment in the city could be a realistic option. A villa offers privacy, space and feels like a proper ‘home’, while an apartment’s advantages are that it is generally cheaper, requires less maintenance, and provides the owners with around-the-clock security.

Travel time

With a population of just 3.5 million, Dubai isn’t a large city. But dependence on personal transportation has seen a rise in traffic in recent years. So the closer you live to the city, the sooner you are going to get home. Fighting traffic every day of the week can be stressful and may cause you to resent your beautiful, spacious and affordable house on the outskirts.

Traffic on weekdays begins at 7am and runs till 9am (heading from Sharjah towards Jebel Ali), and then restarts at 5pm and goes on till 7pm (from Jebel Ali to Sharjah) on all major roads. There are smaller jams in the afternoons when the school sessions draw to a close. So if you really want to live in the outskirts, you might want to consider an area that lets you beat the traffic.

Entertainment and nightlife

Urban areas naturally attract more tourists than suburbs do. And where tourists go, attractions follow. Whether it is restaurants, parks, shops or nightlife, you’ll find more in the city than you will outside Dubai. Living in the city allows for more options of what to do and where to go, whether it is for your typical everyday activities or for a special occasion. The biggest malls are located within the city’s confines (viz. Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall etc.), as are most museums, theme parks and galleries. So, is being in the middle of the action more important to you? Or do you prefer peace and quiet?

You can also look for an accommodation on short term stay basis to get an idea and feel of the lifestyle in the selected area.

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