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International City in Dubai gives residents a slice of suburban living although it is not far from the city centre. It can be referred to as an oasis, perfect for both residential and commercial purposes.
Comprising country-themed residential districts, this mixed-use development lies in the Al Warsan area. Flanked by Al Awir Road and Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, it may not be located in the heart of the city, but it definitely comes with a distinct set of advantages for its residents.
Abhishek and Preeti Jain have been residents of China Cluster for the past seven years. Abhishek works as Project Manager with Emirates, while Preeti is a full-time homemaker with a passion for yoga and guitar.
Recollecting her initial days in the freehold development, Preeti says, ''There was a time when I had to wait for as long as 45 minutes for a taxi. Except for a few clusters, it was a complete desert all around.''
A witness to several changes over the years, Preeti admits that the area has visibly matured. Better landscaping, a variety of shops and restaurants, and zero waiting time for taxis – these are some of the welcome changes that the family has encountered.
Enumerating the various advantages of living in International City, Preeti explains that the foremost advantage is its cheaper rents as compared to other places in Dubai.
She adds that its proximity to Abhishek's workplace is another factor as his office is located in Deira, barely a 20-minute commute. Also, their daughter Riya's school, GEMS Our Own English High School in Al Warqa, is just a ten-minute drive.
Sports facilities like volleyball courts and jogging tracks are a boon for the residents. There are also children's play areas within the neighbourhood.
''My daughter enjoys cycling and playing with her friends in the play area located in the cluster itself,'' Preeti says.
Essential community services like supermarkets, laundry shops, cybercafés, beauty parlours and typing shops are easily available. Dragon Mart, located barely five minutes away, makes shopping all the more convenient. Lots of restaurants, catering to various taste buds, also abound in International City, making eating out a convenient option for residents.
Preeti says their apartment offers fantastic views of the city. ''By virtue of living on the fourth floor, we are treated to partial views of the Burj Khalifa. I also love to relish my evening coffee in the balcony where I can witness the sunset. White pigeons and parrots can be seen fluttering around, adding to the charm of the place.''
A guitar lover, Preeti says she loves to spend her time playing the instrument and is happy that the community, owing to its calm and peaceful atmosphere, offers the right environment to pursue her hobby without any noise or disturbance.
Although a convenient place to live in, International City is not free from disadvantages. Preeti says the place's entry and exit points suffer gridlock during rush hours. She adds that it needs a Metro connectivity, and that although it is well-serviced by public buses, the absence of covered bus stops makes it difficult during summer.
Preeti also recommends that institutes offering hobby classes for children be opened in the area. ''The parents have to take their children to places like Karama and Bur Dubai for this purpose, which is inconvenient,'' concludes Preeti.
• Calm and quiet
• Bus connectivity
• Sports facilities and children's play areas
• Supermarkets, restaurants and cafes
• Beauty salons and laundry shops
• Close to Dragon Mart
• No Metro connectivity
• No covered bus stops
• No institutes offering hobby classes for children
Source: Bandana Jain, Special to Freehold