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The old phrase “location, location, location” is always trumpeted by real estate agents when a buyer or a renter goes on a property hunt. Almost often, the major decision to get hold of a specific property is based on this mantra. It is also what sealed the deal for Cery Calasicas, a project architect, when she was looking for a new place that is accessible to everything, including her office.
Cery moved to a studio apartment in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) from The Greens in November last year. She says the main factor that she considered while searching for a new place was the proximity of her residential building to her Palm Jumeirah site and her office’s JLT headquarters.
“I also made sure that it is near the Metro and other amenities. I did check Dubai Marina, but it’s too populated with tourists and crowded at night. Discovery Gardens’ traffic flow is a bit of a nightmare during rush hours. Besides, rent in JLT is a little bit lower by a few thousand dirhams,” she adds.
JLT is a flourishing self-contained community popular among expats, especially yuppies. It is dotted with towers, both residential and commercial, with lakes and pockets of green as added features. The locale is replete with cafes and restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, salons, leisure and recreational amenities, and much more, drawing many residents to it.
“Besides the Metro accessibility, my residential cluster has a parking space, gym, spa, salon and a temperature-controlled rooftop swimming pool. Restaurants are just a few steps away, a boon for me since I don’t do home cooking that much. In case I want some energetic vibe, McGettigan’s is within a few blocks. Shopping is easier as Mall of the Emirates is only a 10-minute train ride and Dubai Marina Mall just on the other side of the road,” Cery says.
Add to these JLT’s close location to Dubai Marina (just a Metro bridge crossing from JLT), one of the most happening places in the emirate and a favorite weekend haunt for tourists and residents alike. “Aside from JLT being only a 15-minute ride to the Dubai International Airport, it is also a five-minute ride to The Beach (in JBR) where I can do a variety of activities such as swimming, shopping and dining,” says Cery.
The architect reveals that she is quite content with living in JLT because of its peaceful ambience, and the community feel that it exudes. “It is a very relaxed neighborhood. On late afternoons, you will see residents walking their dogs, watching their kids play in the sandy playground or dining al fresco in restaurants.” “JLT is a pet-friendly area. Although I don’t own a pet, I can easily cuddle dogs during their afternoon walks with their owners and catch up with the neighbors at the same time. Watching the neighborhood kids play from the comfortable seats of any al fresco restaurant also relaxes my mind as it reminds me of my worry-free-childhood days,” she adds.
Her favorite spot in JLT? The newly transformed 55,000-square-meter greenery, which used to be a lake now turned into a park. “[That’s] where I can walk, jog and stargaze at night.”
However, she says that parking remains a problem. “Long-term parking should be introduced for residents’ visitors. The remaining other half of the lake should be maintained properly with fishery, if possible. They should add new exit routes to Shaikh Zayed Road so those who live in Clusters S to X can save petrol, and to reduce traffic in case of future roadworks.”
Overall though, Cery considers JLT a residential haven, “a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city.”
• Proximity to the Metro
• Pet-friendly community
• Lakes and greenery
• Dining, recreational and leisure venues
• Schools, nurseries and clinics
• Close to Dubai Marina
• Parking issues
• Could do with new exit routes to Shaikh Zayed Road
Source: Ellen Joyce Soriano, Special to Freehold
The writer is a freelancer