A multi-cultural mixing pot, living in skyscrapers that are even higher than Rapunzel’s castle, safe and secured living, a nightlife that would give the London and New York nightclubs a run for their money, tax-free income- living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an unparalleled experience. So where to live in the United Arab Emirates? We have a separate recommendation for each emirate

The UAE is a federation of seven emirates consisting of Abu Dhabi (the capital), Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Umm Al Quwain. Most expats move to the UAE for work and others to kick start their entrepreneurial dreams. Hence they are most likely heading to Dubai or Abu Dhabi where the majority of the business are centered. However, it is worth taking a look at the communities and neighborhoods in the other emirates. In this article we will explore the best areas to live in the United Arab Emirates.

Where To Live in Dubai?

Home to the world’s tallest buildings, world-class resorts, and hotels, grand malls, theme parks, supercars, and the sparkling nightlife, Dubai exudes the aura of luxury and class.

When it comes to entertainment, you are spoilt for choice in Dubai. From retail therapy to adrenaline rush activities like desert safari or sky diving over the Palm Jumeirah- there is never a dull moment in Dubai. Dubai has a very strong public transport system and the city is well connected by metros, trams, buses, and taxis.

Some of the popular attractions in Dubai are as follows:

Dubai Shopping Malls-

  • The Dubai Mall
  • Mall of the Emirates
  • Souq Madinat Jumeirah
  • Dubai Festival City Mall
  • Dubai Marina Mall

Leisure and Recreation-

  • Skydive Dubai
  • Aquaventure Water Park
  • Wild Wadi Waterpark
  • IMG World of Adventures
  • Dubai Parks and Resorts
  • Desert safari
  • Dhow cruise in Dubai Marina and Dubai Creek
  • Dubai Miracle Garden
  • Dubai Glow Garden
  • Global Village
  • Ski Dubai

Food & Nightlife

From fine dining to budget ones, Dubai brings you plenty of options when it comes to food and restaurants. Because of its diverse population, UAE is home to some of the finest Indian, Asian, European, and Mediterranean restaurants. It is a foodie’s paradise with a plethora of brunch choices on Fridays and Saturdays.

Contrary to popular belief alcohol is widely available in Dubai, however, is sold only in licensed bars, restaurants, and hotels. Dubai has throbbing nightlife too and you can dance the night away in some of the trendiest clubs in the city.

Best Communities and Neighborhoods:

If you are working in Dubai, you would love to live in this global city! From budget accommodation to plush villas, living is Dubai is an experience like no other. Depending on the locality the cost of living varies, however, listed below are the top communities preferred by ex-pats and locals alike.

Downtown Dubai

A favorite amongst ex-pats, Downtown Dubai is one of the top freehold areas in Dubai where anyone can buy a property. Home to the iconic Burj Khalifa, it offers an impressive portfolio of apartments. A studio apartment in Downtown Dubai comes with a starting price tag of AED 480K for sale.

Dubai Marina

When budget is not a constraint, this is a sweet spot to consider. The upscale location of Dubai Marina has everything from waterfront homes, shopping malls, restaurants, pubs, spa,s and many more. Studio flats in Dubai Marina are available for sale from a starting price of AED 390K.

Barsha Heights

Previously known as TECOM, Barsha Heights’ proximity to educational centers, hospitals, sports complexes, public transport, restaurants, spas, and other amenities attracts renters and investors alike. Prices for studios in Barsha Heights start from AED 400K for sale. 1 bedroom starts from 500K and 2 bedroom units start from AED 899K.

Jumeirah Beach Residence

Jumeirah Beach Residence offers an opulent lifestyle and beachfront living. Studios to 4 bedroom apartments, penthouses to duplexes- JBR has it all. Sale prices for studios in JBR start from AED 770K while 1-bedroom apartments have to start at prices of AED 960K.

Jumeirah Lake Towers

Jumeirah Lake Towers is one of the posh neighborhoods in Dubai, offering swanky apartments with all essential amenities and recreational facilities at hand. If you want to invest, you will have to shell out a minimum of AED 385K for studio apartments.

Arabian Ranches

One of Dubai’s premier villa communities, it is ideal for big families with children and offers a calm and serene way of life. It offers spacious villas and townhouses with family-friendly amenities like parks, lakes, and BBQ facilities. 2 BHK villas in Arabian Ranches start from AED 1.19M for sale while 3-bedroom villas for sale have starting prices of AED 1.4M.

Where To Live in Abu Dhabi?

The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is less than two hours drive from Dubai. The beautiful Emirate has a lot to offer to its residents.

The main attractions in Abu Dhabi can be listed as follows:

  • The Grand Mosque
  • The Emirates Palace
  • Yas Formula One circuit
  • Ferrari World
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi

There are numerous lovely communities in Abu Dhabi to live in. If you are struggling to pick the perfect spot and wondering where to stay, read on.

Yas Island

A 15-minute drive from the Abu Dhabi International Airport, Yas Island has a ton of amenities. From schools, hospitals, restaurants, and cafes to the city’s largest shopping destination Yas Mall, the community has it all. Starting rent for studio apartments is AED 50,000 annually. Studios are available for sale at a starting price of AED 700,000.

Saadiyat Island

Golf Clubs, beach clubs, restaurants, bars, cafes, museums, shopping malls, schools- this pristine neighborhood offers everything that you can possibly ask for! Starting price for a studio apartment is AED 90,000 annually for rent and AED 680,000 for sale.

Al Reem Island

Al Reem has a massive portfolio of commercial and residential units. Besides basic amenities like schools and hospitals, this community has a lot of entertainment options like Gateway Park, Reem Central Park, Dancing Fountains, and so on and so forth. Starting price for a studio apartment is AED 45,500 annually for rent and AED 442,000 for sale.

Al Maryah Island

Al Maryah Island has a number of 5-star hotels and tons of entertainment and shopping avenues which make it one of the top-rated communities in Abu Dhabi. Starting price for rent of a 2-bedroom apartment in this neighborhood is AED 195,000 per year.

Al Khalidiyah

Al Khalidiyah is a pretty suburb and one of the most vibrant communities in Abu Dhabi. The area is close to the city center and beach and has lots of dining, shopping, clubbing, and other entertainment choices available.

Where To Live in Sharjah?

Sharjah, the cultural capital of UAE is Dubai’s more affordable neighbor. Many ex-pats working in Dubai choose to live in Sharjah as it offers cheaper rent.

The main attractions in Sharjah can be noted as follows:

  • Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization
  • Sharjah Arts Museum
  • Sharjah Archeology Museum
  • Sharjah Science Museum
  • Al Qasba Canal
  • Central Souq
  • Al Jubail Fish Market
  • Al Noor Mosque
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Sharjah Aquarium and Maritime Museum

Sharjah has several shopping malls and restaurants and offers a vibrant community life. However, it is important to note that Sharjah is a ‘dry state. Sale or possession of alcohol is almost entirely forbidden keeping in line with strict sharia laws.

Listed below are the top communities in Sharjah.

Al Majaz

Situated by the beautiful Khalid Lake, Al Majaz offers a waterfront living experience. Luxurious waterfront apartments are available for rent at affordable rates with 1 bedroom flats starting at AED 28K annually. There are plenty of recreational facilities for families to take part in.

Al Qasimia

Dotted with retail outlets, restaurants, and supermarkets, Al Qasimia offers some of the best residential buildings in Sharjah. Rents for a 1-bedroom flat in Sharjah start at AED 22K per year.

Al Nahda

This neighborhood is the closest to Dubai and hence popular with ex-pats working there. It has a number of nurseries, schools, restaurants, and supermarkets. Renting a 1-bedroom apartment in Al Nahda starts at AED 26K annually.


Muwaileh offers affordable apartments for rent and is close to a number of schools, colleges, and universities. 1-bedroom apartment in this community starts at AED 24K for rent annually.

Al Khan

Al Khan features a number of family-friendly apartments. Rent for 1 bedroom flats starts at AED 26K per year. It offers waterfront living like Al Majaz.


With affordable housing in family-friendly residential areas, a plethora of good schools to choose from, excellent dining options, and a laidback vibe- Ajman has tons to offer to its residents.

Let us take a quick look at the popular communities in Ajman.

Al Rawda

Al Rawda has a good mix of reputed international schools, hospitals, shopping, and dining destinations and is one of the best residential areas for families in Ajman. Studios in Al Rawda have a starting price of AED 19K for rent annually.

Al Rashidiya

Al Rasidiya is close to the Ajman-Sharjah border and has a number of high-rises. Studios are available for rent at a starting price of AED 11K annually.

Al Mowaihat

Rent for a studio starts at AED 19K per year. 3 bedroom villas are available for rent at a starting price of AED 58K annually.

Al Bustan

Al Bustan is one of the cheapest communities to live in. Studios are available for rent from AED 15K per year and the average cost of renting a 3-bedroom villa is AED 40K annually.

Where To Live in Ras-al-Khaimah?

With views of the Hajar mountains and a pristine coastline, this emirate offers a quaint family life away from the buzz of the big cities. However, the neighborhoods in Ras-al-Khaima has all modern facilities like schools, universities, hospitals, retail outlets, restaurants, and others.

Let us take a look at the top communities in Ras-al-Khaimah.

Al Hamra Village

Comprising of over 1000 townhouses and villas and around 2500 apartments, the average annual rent of a 1-bedroom apartment for rent in Ras Al Khaimah Al Hamra Village is AED 35k.

Al Marjan Island

Al Marjan has swanky modern apartments with a starting price of AED 24K per year for the rent of a studio.

Mina Al Arab

Mina Al Arab is a waterfront gated community with amazing vistas of the Arabian Gulf. Studios in Mina Al Arab are available for rent for a starting price of AED 22K annually.

Yasmin Village

Most of the residences here are low-rise buildings comprising of apartments and penthouses. A 1-bedroom apartment is available for rent at AED 26K annually.

Where To Live in Al Ain?

Popularly known as the ‘Garden City of Abu Dhabi’, Al Ain is your pick if you want to live in a quaint, beautifully landscaped city.

The popular communities in Al Ain can be clubbed as follows:

Al Ghadeer

Located on the border between Al Ain and Dubai, this community is surrounded by greenery all around. The apartment sale price in Al Ghadeer starts from AED 300,000.

Al Bateen

Apartment rent prices start from AED 25K annually in Al Bateen.

Al Foah

Villa rent prices start at AED 80,000 per year in Al Foah.

Al Jimi

Villa rent prices in Al Jimi start from AED 70,000 annually.

Where To Live in Umm Al Quwain?

Least populated of the seven emirates, it is the site of the two largest archaeological discoveries in the city- Tell Abraq and Ed-dur. The popular communities include Umm Al Quwain marina with a gated neighborhood. 4-bedroom villas for rent are priced between AED 75K to AED 90K annually. Another community in Umm Al Quwain that is gaining popularity is Al Ramlah which mainly features villas. 2-bedroom villas are available for rent at AED 28K per year.

Where To Live in Fujairah?

Nestled between the mighty Hajar mountains and the clear blue sea, Fujairah is UAE’s best-kept secret. It is primarily a holiday destination with a number of 5-star beach resorts on the pristine coastline. Recently projects are coming up with villas and townhouses providing for a beachfront residential opportunity in Fujairah.

In Conclusion:

Hopefully, this guide will come in handy to decide where you want to live in the UAE. Get in touch with us today and we will help you in your journey to handpick the perfect community.

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