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Traffic snarls, rigorous construction and parking woes might have left some of the residents wary of Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), but these niggles nonetheless testify a progressive and popular oceanfront community.
With several conveniences and a stunning array of entertainment options, JBR is an uber-popular hangout and one of the most happening residential communities in Dubai.
Popular for its Mediterranean lifestyle, this mixed-use development comprises residential and hotel buildings, restaurants and boutiques.
The place's The Walk is a fabulous gastronomic destination lined up with as many as 300 dining outlets catering to a variety of cuisines along with retail stores. Its bubbly atmosphere makes it a major draw for scores of tourists and residents from other neighbourhoods.
JBR also boasts The Beach which features retail shops, dining outlets and an open-air cinema, the first of its kind in the emirate and the whole country. This leisure destination enables people to dine, watch a movie and then hit the beach a few metres away if they so desire. Recently, The Beach took centre stage when artists from around the world converged for the Dubai Canvas, literally transforming the area into an open-air museum.
The recent years have also seen JBR serving as the pivot point for viewing the iconic fireworks at the Palm Jumeirah.
Filled with a host of modern facilities and amenities, there is no dearth of leisure activities in JBR.
Samer Akoum, a general manager in an Abu Dhabi engineering firm, and Mona Khreis, a Biology teacher, live in JBR with their son Imad, a grade four student.
Mona reckons that the best thing about JBR is imminent in its self-sufficiency, with almost everything available at their doorstep, adding, ''a beautiful beach complements the quality lifestyle.'' Furthermore, she says, ''The Dubai Marina Mall, restaurants and retail shops inevitably make for a better living. Last but not the least, the Dubai Tram has made a valuable addition to our lifestyle as it has improved the convenience factor of the area's transport system. We hardly use our car on weekends.''
Mona says that as a working couple, they needed to live in an area where they could relax and unwind after a day's work, and enjoy the weekend without the need to drive for miles.
''Life in JBR, which has a multicultural outlook, is definitely luxurious. The pool, the beach, the plaza and the safe playing areas, which my son particularly loves, make for great escapes for my family,'' Mona says.
The family has lived in JBR for the past six years, getting to bond more with each other in their walks around the area.
Mona says that the biggest change is that their dine-outs have considerably increased due to the presence of appealing restaurants around.
While she is happy that a gym recently opened beside their building, which makes workouts much easier, she fears that she would miss the beautiful sea views if construction work continues. In addition, she said she does not want to lose the free beach access promised to them by the developer.
Although they are enjoying a comfortable lifestyle in JBR, Mona reckons that the management could do better. ''The maintenance in the buildings is improving, but things would be better if grievances are dealt with at a quicker pace.''
• Restaurants and cafes
• Retail stores
• Swimming pools and gyms
• Dubai Tram
• Metro connectivity
• Rigorous construction
• Slow response to complaints
Here are the top waterfront communities for residents in UAE
Source: Bandana Jain, Special to Freehold