A glimpse on the sporting communities in Dubai

A glimpse on the sporting communities in DubaiImage Credit: Supplied

From an afternoon on the polo fields to playing golf on an international standard 18-hole course, sporting communities in Dubai offer a welcome twist to the good life by providing all the facilities for leading an active and healthy life.

''There is tremendous focus on healthy living right now,'' says Yousuf Kazim, General Manager of Jumeirah Golf Estates.

''This means there is a lot of emphasis on developing a lifestyle centred around sports. Dubai was missing sport communities; this was a welcome change and filled a gap in the market.''

Jumeirah Golf Estates has a host of attractions: it is home to the prestigious DP World Tour Championship and boasts the region's only European Tour Performance Institute, a state-of-the-art golfing facility. A recently opened clubhouse has added to the estates' charm.

''If you look at Gleneagles [Hotel in Scotland] it doesn't just offer golf. There are a lot of [other] attractions and that is something we are looking to create,'' says Kazim. ''We have an 18-hole international standard golf course, sporting and leisure facilities, 14 districts under development, and more than 1,000 villas.''

Easy access

As the community matures, residents will have everything they need on their doorstep, with full access to all the facilities. ''There is no need to step outside the community, or even get into your car. All you have to do is use your own golf cart,'' says Kazim. A golf cart accompanies the sale of a property in Jumeirah Golf Estates.

With such provisions, it would be easy to assume that residents on a golf estate would mainly be avid golfers. Kazim, however, explains that it isn't the case. ''About only 40 per cent of people living here are golfers, while the remaining 60 per cent just love the features of the golf community.''

Expatriate Yelena Borisova is a resident at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Neither she nor her husband plays golf, but they still chose to move to Whispering Pines. ''We were searching for a new house,'' Borisova says. ''We saw that the quality and finishing of the villas at Jumeirah Golf Estates were way above others. The community is beautifully laid out, and Mall of the Emirates is less than 15 minutes from our house.

''For sure it is amazing to have a beautiful golf course in your back garden, and with the opening of the new clubhouse there are now five-star facilities to enjoy. It is wonderful to live in this beautiful community. We love having friends and family over, and all of us feel like we are on vacation! I would definitely recommend it,'' she says.

Nadia Hubbard is another expat who lives in a sporting community. She recently moved from the Green Community to Dubai Sports City.

''While we loved living in the Green Community with its great facilities and family feel, traffic had become an ongoing problem,'' says the mother of three. ''We wanted to stay within a community though, as we loved the gentle transition into independence that community living gave our children.

''The appeal of Dubai Sports City included the facilities. We have three active children and were finding it difficult to accommodate all their sports in various different locations.

''Now, everything seems to be within easy reach. One son has rugby training, while the other trains in football and we are planning on enrolling our daughter for netball — all of which are held at Dubai Sports City. There is also a new sports club opening up this month called Fit Republik where you can indulge in various sports from gymnastics to mixed martial arts and swimming. We also have excellent cricket facilities with the ICC headquartered here, not to mention The Els Club.''

Something for everyone

Vijay Sajjanhar, Chief Financial Officer of Dubai Sports City, says the development attracts various kinds of residents. ''Obviously those who are inclined towards sport will be attracted to what Dubai Sports City has to offer.

''But the combination of world-class sporting facilities on your doorstep — that are available for all — and outstanding properties, with a range of apartments, villas and town houses, ensures that there is accommodation to suit every requirement.''

People who live at Dubai Sports City also get to watch world-class competitions, with the Dubai International Stadium regularly staging cricket series between top teams and The Els Club hosting prestigious tours.

But, Sajjanhar insists that residents do not have to be sport fanatics to relish living in Dubai Sports City.

''Residents of Victory Heights live next door to the 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Ernie Els, so to wake up every morning to acres of greenery outside their windows is an absolute treat. The Els Club has superb, multiple dining options, including The Big Easy Bar and Grill and the 261 Restaurant. There are also Champs and Kickers restaurants within Dubai Sports City's facilities.''

Another major advantage for residents is that they have a range of outstanding educational establishments in the community, ranging from nurseries and schools to world-class sporting academies and venues.

Luxurious lifestyle

While Dubai Sports City offers residents various sports to enjoy, the Polo Homes at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, which is part of the Arabian Ranches development, provides a lifestyle that could be considered regal.

Gregory Lewis, Senior Negotiator at Knight Frank, says, ''The Arabian Ranches has always been a popular choice for expatriates in Dubai, as it offers a variety of local amenities in a close knit, family-oriented community. The Polo Homes is an extension of this and enables residents to enjoy the game from the comfort of their back garden, while being just a short drive from the city.''

Comprising 71 villas, the Polo Homes offers a bespoke experience to residents, with the highest quality finishes and sprawling layouts; the Polo Homes was designed with luxury in mind. These villas command one of the highest premiums in the Ranches, but with the unique aspect of being located directly on the polo fields, occupancy rates are high, indicating a strong demand for these villas and the lifestyle they offer residents.

When it comes to exclusive homes in sporting communities, it seems that investors are not deterred by the price tag.

Lewis says, ''The sports projects offer a unique selling point to investors as they incorporate not only a beautiful villa but the prestige of having a luxurious vantage point to watch a variety of elitist sports.

''The appeal is not wholly specific to just the spectators either; the players of golf, or polo, tend to be very much absorbed in the sport, and the appeal of living pitchside is incredibly lucrative.''

And it isn't only sports such as polo and golf that developments cater for nowadays. ''Motor City caters to different demographics,'' says Abisoye Odimayo, Residential Consultant at Better Homes' Green Community Office. ''The Motor City Autodrome and Kartdrome are obviously a big draw for those who are into motor sport, but the community is not just for car enthusiasts.

''The Kartdrome is great for children's activities and the community is largely pedestrianised, so you see a lot of people running and enjoying the fresh air and the cobbled streets.

''The community is well equipped with everything on your doorstep. There are four supermarkets, with newly opened schools such as Emirates British Nursery and Gems Metropole School Motor City.''

As facilities such as schools and supermarkets come up near sporting communities, value of properties should increase. So this might just be the right time to invest in such a project. Whether you are a football fan, golf aficionado, polo player or even a couch potato, sporting communities offer a wonderful and active lifestyle that is priceless.

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Source: Helga Jensen-Forde, Special to Property Weekly

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