Top 10 places for expats to live in Dubai 2021

Top 10 places for expats to live in Dubai 2021

Dubai is synonymous with luxury and ultra-modern living and has seen a rapidly rising population over the last ten years. There are many different residential areas for expats to choose from, each with their own distinct flavour. In this article we will pick our top areas, in no particular order, for expats moving to Dubai in 2021.


Mirdif is located just to the North of the International city and is immediately East of the Dubai International Airport. Mirdif is one of the more affordable options for expats moving to Dubai. It is a good option for those looking to live near the centre without spending a lot on property, especially for those moving with families. Mirdif has a selection of baccalaureate and GCSE schools, a public park with basketball and tennis courts and a local super mall.


On the subject of malls, if you are a keen shopper then you should consider finding a property in Downtown Dubai where you can find the world’s second largest mall. Simply called the ‘Dubai Mall’ it welcomes around 54 million visitors a year.
Being in the heart of city means that property prices will be amongst the highest but the accommodation is also amongst the most lavish, with the added convenience of being on the doorstep of many of the large companies that have offices in the city. Not to mention being near the ice rink, underwater zoo and the Dubai fountains.

Media City

If you are planning on working in the creative industries when you move to Dubai you can consider moving to the Media City. This where news agencies, publishing, online media, advertising and broadcast facilities are likely to be based. Within the Media City you will also find a large scenic park and lake which makes for an ideal picnic destination. There are apartments available, however it isn’t a particularly residential area, with many workers in the area choosing to live in nearby areas such as Dubai Marina.

Arabian Ranches

If living in the hustle of the city is not for you and you have space in your budget for something more lavish then head East past the Autodrome and Motor City to what could be described as Dubai’s answer to Bel Air. The Arabian Ranches is a gated community that has houses and apartments of all sizes sitting proudly next to a golf course, equestrian centre, hospitals and excellent English speaking schools.

Sports City

If you have done any research on properties in Dubai you will have realised that there are themed areas within the city that have descriptive yet rather unimaginative names. Sports City is no exception to this rule, but it is certainly a standout area if you are looking for an active lifestyle and have easy access to gyms, sports clubs, stadiums and academies. Sports City is one of the more affordable options when it comes to properties in Dubai, so if you are passionate about sports, this is certainly one to consider.

Motor City

Another one of the regions that is what it says it is, the Motor City is where you can find the Dubai Autodrome motor track. Alongside the FIA sanctioned circuit, there is plenty of reminders of the motor theme including UpTown MotorCity which is a residential development complex featuring its own schools, shops and racing-themed recreational areas. Location wise, it sits between Sports City and the lavish Arabian Ranches.

Dubai Marina

Most of the areas mentioned so far have been family friendly, but what if you are moving to Dubai by yourself or just as a couple? The Dubai Marina has incredible sea views from the ultra-modern high-rise apartments. Living here will also mean that you have plenty of amenities nearby as you will be close to being in the very centre of Dubai. Property near the Dubai Marina does not come cheap, but you get plenty of luxury for your money.

Business Bay

For unrivalled proximity to the key commercial hubs like the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Dubai World Trade Centre you should consider moving to the Business Bay area of Dubai. As the name suggests, there are a lot of businesses based in the numerous skyscrapers in the Business Bay. If you can picture yourself in a luxury high rise apartment and want to be at the very heart of it all, this area should be on your list to consider.

Al Barsha

Al Barsha is one of the most popular destinations for expats moving to Dubai. Because of its close proximity to 2 of the major roads, Al Barsha is easily commutable for workers in Media City, Internet City and Emaar Business Park. Properties in Al Barsha are typically detached and semi-detached villas but some apartments are available.
The area is also well served by its fair share of restaurants, cafes, shops and supermarkets, meaning you don’t have to go far to stock up on the groceries for the week. The nearby Mall of the Emirates is a ‘must visit’ attraction that has hundreds of shops, a large cinema and even an indoor ski slope.

Jumeirah Islands

Perhaps we have saved the most enticing one until last. For most people moving to Dubai, it doesn’t get much more luxurious than the group of 50 man-made islands, known as the Jumeirah Islands. Located between Jumeirah Lake Towers and Dubai Marina, this gated community is close to being self-sufficient with almost all amenities accounted for including schools, hospitals, shops and gyms.

Within the Jumeirah Islands there are distinct clusters with their own feel. For example, there are areas that are clearly influenced by Spanish and Italian architecture and an area with a traditional Islamic feel.

If you are moving to Dubai you will have plenty to think about when it comes to choosing an area of the city to live in. Each of the areas mentioned above has its own appeal and this list is by no means exhaustive, Dubai genuinely has a lot to offer. Get in touch with our international removals team or click here to find out more about our services to help you when your moving to Dubai.