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We live in a four bedroom individual villa in Jumeirah 2. It's a fairly old villa by Dubai standards, with a garden and an outhouse for the domestic help. It's in a quiet residential area close to the beach. We've been here since the middle of 2013 and hope to stay when our tenancy is up for renewal next year.
We value the space and that was one of the reasons we chose it. Some of the properties we looked at in newer communities felt quite small and cramped, so even though ours is a lot older, we do enjoy the space. We have two small children, two dogs and two cats and that's a lot to fit in, so we had to compromise somewhere; for us, space was more of a priority than having a shiny, new property.
As it's an older villa, we do tend to have a few maintenance problems. Our air-conditioning system has caused us a few problems over the years, and the water supply can be somewhat unreliable. Thankfully, our landlord is very helpful and attends to any issues we have.
Good mix of nationalities
We love that houses in the area are so varied. There's everything from tiny single-storey villas to enormous mansions all mixed in together on the same street, and it makes driving around really interesting. We're also right next to the archaeological dig, and it's fascinating to think we're living pretty much on the site of where the first residents of Dubai lived 100 years ago.
There's a real mix of nationalities in our area, and lots of Emirati families. We love celebrating Eid and National Day, it's great to feel a part of the local community and be surrounded by all the festivities going on.
There are plenty of amenities close by. There are at least three major supermarkets within a five minute drive and everything else we might need; a petrol station, pharmacies, salons and medical facilities. Mercato is a short drive away along the beach road, and we can get to Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates in about 15 minutes.
There are lots of leisure opportunities within easy reach. We can walk to Box Park, which is lovely in the winter with so many outdoor cafés, and the new Four Sea- sons, which has some lovely restaurants, is within walking distance too.
We used to love the location for being so central, but these days we're right in the middle of the construction for the new canal, so it's making life somewhat more difficult than before. Our children are at school in Oud Metha and sometimes it takes longer to get from the house to Shaikh Zayed Road than it takes to get from the old Defence roundabout to school.
Also, because we're in the middle of Dubai, everywhere is reachable and we almost feel as though we have too many options. Deira, Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Residence or Dubai Marina — no place is really too far. So if we're trying to make plans, it's hard to choose which area we should go to.
One of the main downsides to living in our villa is that we don't have access to any facilities such as pools or play areas. We used to have Jumeirah Beach Park and Safa Park within walking distance, but now the Beach Park has been demolished and it's just too dangerous to walk to Safa Park with all the construction going on.
Source: Catherine Rankin Harper, Special to Property Weekly