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Dubai never runs short of beachfront properties where fitness venues and other lifestyle choices are aplenty.
If you want to wander on a sandy beach, or go for an after-dinner stroll around a marina promenade which is dotted with bistros, the Dubai Marina has it all.
Yorgos Kleivokiotis, a Greek expatriate, has lived most of his eight years in Dubai Marina mainly because of its reasonable rents. Currently, he is staying at Silverene Tower where ''my rent is still reasonable since it has not changed for the past three years, whereas new apartments come in at much higher values.''
Working for SIVVI.COM, a new online fashion retail shop located in Al Quoz, Dubai Marina provides Yorgos with the proximity he needs to reach his office on time when needs to.
Having a network of friends around is another key factor as the area is also the preferred choice among his friends and some compatriots, giving them the chance to hold get-togethers either at home or in the different dining and entertainment venues around, such as those near the beach and the marina.
Yorgos says, ''My living space is so accommodating that my friends crash for unplanned happenings very often. Life is never boring here as many entertainment options are conveniently within reach. Driving to work is easy and takes about 15 minutes, though coming back takes much longer these days due to traffic in the early evenings.''
He adds, ''In 2006, Dubai Marina felt like living in a construction site – cranes, noise and dust were everywhere. JBR was not ready. Most of the buildings were getting built. Some of the bridges and the Marina Mall were not opened yet. It was a different place. Today, it is a vibrant community full of outdoorsy people. It's got glitz and propinquity to water, whether it is the beach or inside the marina area. It has become an area where you can really walk around.''
JBR's The Walk and The Beach, the Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) on the other side and the hotels in close quarters are all strewn with entertainment options, too.
Though a bit crowded, the stretch of shoreline is decent and the wind thumping on your face feels cleaner here. Now that the weather is good, the promenade near the Dubai Marina Mall is a great place to drift around and have coffee.
Asked if pets are allowed, Yorgos says, ''Yes, they are allowed, but I have noticed that having a dog is difficult as many buildings ask pet owners to leave. The Marina Walk currently has signs asking pet owners not to walk their dogs there. This has also thwarted my desire to have one to keep me company.''
There are also woes on limited parking areas and the lack of green spaces.
Yorgos says he would have likewise wished to see in the area small shops whose owners he want to personally interact with, but he understands that the rents are very high for small businesses.
Despite all these, Dubai Marina has a dose of things for its residents, tourists and visitors to enjoy.
''Most bachelors like me would find the community very convenient because most things a single guy would need are all here, in practically walking distance. I often work from home and when I feel lazy to go out, going to the gym keeps me occupied.''
• Near the beach
• Jogging tracks and fitness facilities
• Lots of entertainment and dining options
• Retail and shopping areas all over the development
• Limited parking spaces
• Inadequate green courtyards
• Pets are prohibited in some walkways
• Traffic jams during rush hours
Take a look at some of Dubai's projects that grabbed headlines
Source: Alfred Ocianas, Special to Freehold