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When driving on Shaikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road towards Sharjah, one cannot miss the prominent technology park located off the main road on the right side. Better known as Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the free zone is divided into four major pillars: industrial, commercial, educational and residential. On the residential side, DSO comprises, among others, the Coral Residence and Silicon Residences for apartments, and the Cedre Villas and Semmer Villas for villas and townhouses.
Semmer Villas consists of luxurious three-bedroom homes of standard sizes, while Cedre Villas has a range of three, four and five-bedroom residences in four different sizes. Both gated developments are replete with lush landscaping, amenities as well as leisure and entertainment facilities.
Proud owners of one of the Cedre villas are young couple Rajesh Mahadevan and Priya Ramakrishnan, along with their four-year-old daughter Avantika, who have been living there since March 2012. ''Prior to this, we were living in Layan at the heart of Dubailand; however, we chose DSO over it for a number of reasons,'' claims Priya. ''The location, proximity to my child's nursery and school, and the availability of all basic amenities such as supermarkets and clinics were some important considerations.''
Rajesh is a banker based at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), while wife Priya is a legal advisor working in Al Nahda. While he takes about 30 minutes to get to work, her daily drive is slightly longer, albeit always against the traffic.
However, ''the most important thing is that our daughter goes to Gems Wellington Academy which is a five-minute drive from our place,'' says Rajesh. In fact, residents of DSO have a multitude of options when it comes to nurseries and schools for their children. Besides the GEMS school and British Orchard Nursery based within the DSO premises, there is also GEMS Modern Academy and Repton School just a short drive from the community.
''Another highlight of our community is its calm and peaceful surroundings, providing the perfect atmosphere to retire after a hard day's work. There is also no dearth of open spaces for our daughter to go out and play and get some fresh air in the evenings,'' adds the doting father.
From the point of view of convenience, Priya says, ''Necessary provisions and grocery stores like Choithram and Spinneys are present within a stone's throw. Moreover, the development activity going on these days is a big plus with lots of new restaurants, coffee shops and kid's play areas coming up to make life more self-sufficient.''
To unwind on weekends, residents of DSO have several malls in the vicinity. The Dubai Mall and Mirdif City Centre are at a convenient drive, while the Dubai Outlet Mall and Dragon Mart close by are other frequented destinations. For a large part of the year when the Global Village is operational, DSO residents are known to flock there in huge numbers, owing to its proximity.
The Dubai airport is at a meager distance of 15 minutes by car which is a huge advantage for some, too. Priya adds, ''Our families back in India keep visiting us off and on, but airport pickup and drop-off are never an issue.''
All in all, DSO is a little family-friendly ''integrated city'' within the city. However, the only possible downer is that some consider it to be too far from the heart of Dubai. And with no Metro access in the area as yet, commuting without a car can be difficult at times.
• Peaceful neighborhood
• Communal pool, kid's play areas and other avenues for outdoor activities
• Department stores, clinics, salons and a bank exist within the community
• Several options for schooling close by
• Far from the city center
• Side-by-side commercial and residential living
• Own vehicle is a necessity to get to other destinations
Click on Dubai Silicon Oasis and get the latest market trends of this family-friendly development
Source: Priyanka Wade, Special to Freehold