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New towers in whimsical designs sprouting out of the desert, a steady stream of people coming in and out of the country and people moving houses becoming routine – this is UAE in constant motion.
It is no surprise then that the quest for peace and quiet has become elusive for many. But thanks to some developers who have kept this factor in mind when projects were still on the drawing board, residents now have plenty of choices for far-from-the city-but-still-within-the city residential housing.
Graphic designer Rey Delante is one of those multitude of Dubaiites who, after having experienced living in a densely populated area for years, started looking for some place peaceful and neighborly, with a little more space. Rey, who also does photography on the side, said that he left the flat he shared with his sister and her family in Karama in 2011 to move to a non-shared apartment in Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO). The reason? ''Peace and silence, and the freedom to do what I want.''
DSO is a blend of residences and offices housing companies in the high-tech industries. Its wide range of housing options includes three to five-bedroom villas and one to two-bedroom apartments complete with state-of-the art amenities and facilities. The development is set in a massive layout peppered with the usual modern conveniences like food outlets, supermarkets, banks, children's play areas, jogging trails, parks, a post office and even a bookshop. It is also just a few minutes away from the airport, the central business district, and huge malls like The Dubai Mall and Mirdif City Centre. While these are elements that usually pull residents to a project, price is, undoubtedly, always a top and major consideration.
Although Rey considered Dubai Sports City, Dubai MotorCity, Jumeirah Village and Discovery Gardens during his apartment search three years ago, DSO's affordable rent, plus the size of the property (he lives in a one-bedroom unit) and the community's peaceful surroundings, sealed the deal for him. ''It is always about the price. At that time, I was only paying Dh32,000 annually. Traffic was fine and, even with the distance, everything was only about a 20 to 25-minute drive. There is a small Spinneys outlet, a coffee shop, and a few commercial places and restaurants around DSO. While pets are allowed, I did not get one. But the feeling of a peaceful environment away from the city met my expectations. It feels like I'm in the province yet near the city.''
Like other places in the UAE, DSO is not spared from any construction activities either, but Rey reiterated that a pleasant peacefulness pervades the entire neighborhood.
When asked to cite the pluses of living in DSO, Rey explains, ''Almost everything is here already though, as of the moment, rents have gone up as DSO now competes with Barsha and other areas closer to the city. Traffic has also gone bad especially on school days. However, residents are happy with the availability of restaurants, fast food outlets, schools, a commercial community area and a Spinneys supermarket. They are also developing the Silicon Park which will be a very good addition to the community.''
And unless the park is fully opened to the public, no one can force him to while away his time somewhere in the self-contained community. ''I don't have a favorite place in DSO. I go out to get occasional groceries at Spinneys. Coffee is not my thing. Unless the park is ready, home is my preferred place.'' That from a self-confessed homebody as well.
No wonder, an unruffled haven far from the city rush suits him to a tee.
• Self-contained community with modern amenities and facilities
• Easy accessibility to business, shopping and leisure destinations
• Peaceful development away from the chaos of the city
• Pet-friendly community
• Traffic during rush hours
• Rising rents
Click on Dubai Silicon Oasis and find out the latest market trends of this peaceful development away from the chaos of the city
Source: Ellen Joyce Soriano, Special to Freehold