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A guide to the top 5 most family-friendly areas in Dubai
Words by Ruqayyah Khan in The Guides · Mar 22nd, 2017
There’s a lot that goes into looking for and finally choosing the perfect family home. There’s everything to consider from school runs to family activities and the amenities available. To help find the right fit for your family, here is Luxhabitat’s list of the top five best areas for families in Dubai.
The Emirates Living Master Community includes Emirates Hills, The Meadows, The Springs, and The Lakes. Each Emirates Living community has all you could ever need for the best imaginable environment in which to raise a family. Close proximity to some of the top schools in the city, superb services, perfectly landscaped green spaces, and a lively events calendar are just a few of the many benefits of these coveted neighbourhoods.
Emirates Hills, one of the most exclusive addresses in Dubai, is the premiere community from Emirates Living and has some of the most luxurious and unique villas in the city. This ultra-luxe location offers its residents everything and more. The Springs and The Meadows are the two largest Emirates Living communities, with townhouses and villas that are the closest to the schools in the area. Close by to these homes is the Meadows Village, a smaller version of the Town Centre. Both retail centres have a supermarket, pharmacy, and options for coffee and dining. The villas of The Lakes, located between The Address Montgomerie and Emirates Golf Club, are a golf-lover’s dream destination. The community also boasts The Lakes Club, which has an assortment of memberships and facilities like a swimming pool, gym, restaurant, and tennis courts.
The homes of this exclusive master community are just minutes away from schools like Dubai British School, Emirates International School, and Dubai International Academy. The latter is one of only a handful of schools in Dubai to have achieved an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). Apart from the excellent schools and nurseries on-site, there are others to choose from just a short drive away in Al Barsha and Jumeirah.
Besides keeping things beautifully maintained and upholding its reputation for top-notch service, Emaar aims to foster a sense of community and happiness for all residents. Fairs, events, and charity drives are regular occurrences at Emirates Living, which include the recent Happiness Day and Market Day, and the upcoming Lakes Art and Craft Fair. Refurbishments, security, and service updates are also handled with the utmost care.
Arabian Ranches prides itself as a retreat from the fast pace of the city, but that doesn’t mean it has nothing else to offer. Besides a lively and active community, Arabian Ranches has a variety of family-friendly entertainment options and even hosts events in its picturesque surroundings. Community BBQs, Market Days and even dedicated Family Fun Days and a Communithon and Fitness Fair are just a few that take place within the gated community.
The villas of Arabian Ranches are built around the fairways of the Arabian Ranches Golf Club and are also just a step away from the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club. Both clubs cater to curious beginners and experienced players alike and have options for dining and beverages and a great line-up of events throughout the year. The Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club recently hosted a Happiness Festival, and the Arabian Ranches Golf Club holds a number of tournaments throughout the year.
In addition to the superb events calendar and leisure services, Arabian Ranches is also close to some great schools and nurseries. Jumeirah English Speaking School, conveniently located within the gated community, is one of the few schools rated ‘Outstanding’ by the KHDA. Other quality schools nearby include GEMS Metropole in Motor City and Ranches Primary School, including Raffles Nursery and Jebel Ali Village Nursery Arabian Ranches just a few minutes away.
Arabian Ranches is a truly self-contained community. Every need is covered, with facilities ranging from the Retail Centre and the Ranches Souk to a Mediclinic and outdoor facilities like floodlit walkways and bike trails, tennis and basketball courts, and even a skate park, in addition to parks, playgrounds and community pools. In addition, events like the Happiness Festival at the Polo Club are just a stone’s throw away, as are the wellness and leisure facilities of both the nearby clubs and the amenities of community itself.
An exclusive yet laid back address, distinct from the gleaming skyscrapers of Downtown Dubai and Dubai Marina, Jumeirah epitomises the beach lifestyle. This charming and scenic area of the city, home to the iconic Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel, is as relaxed as it is beautiful. The neighbourhoods of Jumeirah are well-established and brimming with history and quiet sophistication. However, Jumeirah is also at the junction of old and new. More recent additions like the Dubai Canal and City Walk fit seamlessly with familiar landmarks like the famous Jumeirah Mosque and the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club.
Jumeirah was once the primary residential area for expats, but is now a more easygoing luxury destination for families seeking an established locale with character whilst still being connected to excellent amenities and the newer parts of the city. Most houses are low-rise single- or double-story villas and townhouses, but apartments are also available, including the off-plan City Walk development. With its central and connected location, plethora of retail, dining and other lifestyle destinations, and accessibility to Kite Beach and Jumeirah Beach, it’s no surprise why Jumeirah remains such a desirable and exclusive location.
Homes in Jumeirah are also close to some of the KHDA’s best-rated schools and the best nurseries. These include Jumeirah College and Jumeirah English Speaking School—both rated ‘Outstanding’—and nurseries like Small World Nursery and Royal Beach Nursery. This is not to mention the recently opened Modern Alternative Education, which is a dedicated school for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Jumeirah is also an undeniable cultural hub, playing host to various festivals and events. The Madinat Jumeirah annually hosts Art Dubai and the Dubai International Film Festival. The always popular Etisalat Beach Canteen was just held at the beach behind Sunset Mall. Dubai Canvas, the 3D art festival, moved to its new location in City Walk this year. Also in the area is the Dubai International Art Centre, which has exhibitions and classes for both adults and children. For a more relaxing time, look no further than the many hotels in Jumeirah that offer great packages for families. The Madinat Jumeirah in particular has quite a few family-friendly activities, whilst Jumeirah Beach Hotel has been voted the best family hotel multiple times.
The luxury villas and townhouses of Victory Heights in the western half of Dubai Sports City are set in and around the green fairways of The Els Club golf course. The award-winning golf community is the most well-established residential area in Dubai Sports City. This means that Victory Heights is well catered by excellent amenities and services, like the on-site school, landscaped green spaces, parks and playgrounds, and 24-hour security. In addition to the terrific facilities of the greater Sports City area, there are community basketball courts, a community centre with a swimming pool, and walking and bicycle paths.
Whilst you won’t be spoiled for choice, there’s no lack of quality schools and nurseries in and around the area. The closest schools are Victory Heights Primary School which is loved by resident families, and Bradenton Prep Academy which has moved forward in leaps and bounds since its opening and also has access to the Dubai Sports City track and field facilities. Other options close by include GEMS Metropole in Motor City right next door, and Nord Anglia International School Dubai in nearby Al Barsha. Nurseries include Building Blocks and Emirates British Nursery Motor City.
Beyond academics and extracurriculars, there are loads of fun things to do for the whole family. As the location in Dubai Sports City would suggest, residents of Victory Heights have a host of sports facilities right at their doorsteps. From the first ever Butch Harmon School of Golf to open outside the US, to the FIFA-approved football pitch, and even the International Cricket Council headquarters and Academy, the options are endless. In addition, there are state-of-the-art facilities for swimming, athletics, fitness, netball, and rugby.
However, it’s the community at Victory Heights that comes out on top. Residents can attend a range of family-friendly events throughout the year, like the recent Family Love Fete, the ninth Great Dubai Ride Off Road, and a St. Patrick’s Day feast. There’s plenty of fitness, sports, and fun for everyone to enjoy at Victory Heights.
Stepping into this lush green sanctuary is unlike anything else in the whole of Dubai. Low density living, luxury, and sustainability are at the heart of Al Barari. This hidden paradise, divided into leaf-shaped clusters, has stunningly luxurious villas set amidst beautiful landscaping and water features. In fact, 60% of the development is dedicated to themed gardens and green spaces, including lakes, streams and waterfalls. The greenery isn’t just for aesthetic purposes either. Al Barari is home to its very own thriving ecosystem of both indigenous and exotic flora and fauna. It also has a variety of sustainability practices and green initiatives in place to reduce its carbon footprint and manage waste.
Due to its secluded and tranquil location, school runs and drives to and from major areas of the city can be expected to take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. The nearest schools, GEMS FirstPoint School and Kings’ School Al Barsha, are about 15 minutes away. Others include Kent College Dubai, GEMS Wellington Academy in Dubai Silicon Oasis, and the ‘Outstanding’ rated Lycee Francais International Georges Pompidou, each more or less 20 minutes away.
However, any pent up stress from rush hour can be quickly taken care of at any one of the luxurious facilities available in Al Barari. Apart from taking in the breathtaking landscaping of the gated community, residents can take a journey of mindfulness at the Heart and Soul spa, get back in the fitness game at the state-of-the-art Body Language health club, or enjoy an award-winning culinary experience at The Farm, all on-site and incorporating the unique surroundings that Al Barari has to offer.
Al Barari residents get special rates at the Heart and Soul Spa for many of the featured packages. The Body Language health club hosts the Full Moon Yoga nights and Mommy & Me yoga sessions as well. Sporting events are also covered with the Junior & Teenagers’ Tennis Tournament and the Tennis Tournament for Adults. Besides this, there are also workshops in the community, and The Farm has hosted Jazz Nights and pop-up markets. For some peace and quiet, there’s nothing like a walk through the picturesque natural beauty of Al Barari.