ABOUT BUR DUBAI
Perhaps there is no area besides Bur Dubai that captures Dubai’s journey. Starting as a land of pearl merchants and glittering souks to becoming a metropolitan city filled with high rise buildings and sensational malls. One of the largest residential hubs in the city, Bur Dubai includes the historic Al Fahidi neighbourhood, modernistic Oud Metha, Al Mankhool, Al Raffa, Al Jaddaf, and one of the most famous addresses in the country, Za’abeel. Living in Bur Dubai is a colourful experience, that mirrors the unbelievable growth of this emirate. This Bur Dubai area guide goes into the details of life in this popular old Dubai district.
Bur Dubai also emerged the 5th most popular area to rent apartments in the emirate according to Bayut.com's 2017 Real Estate Market Report for Dubai.
IN A NUTSHELL
- Home to the oldest monument in the emirate (Al Fahidi Fort) and the latest go-to destination, Dubai Frame
- A bustling commercial district: The old souks and Meena Bazaar are popular all over the country
- Home to Zabeel Palace, the official residence of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of UAE and ruler of Dubai
- A renters favourite thanks to the large, older apartments
- Fringed by the iconic Dubai Creek
- A majority of the consulates and government offices are located here
With its mix of fashionable, modern high rises, spacious villas and vintage apartments, Bur Dubai is a melting pot of cultural and economic influences. The popularity of other old neighbourhoods in Dubai may have paled over time, but renting in Bur Dubai still remains a hit with both locals and expats.
The buildings and amenities for those residing in Bur Dubai are much like the population living here; they come in all shapes and sizes. You will find everything from studios to 4-bedroom flats for rent in Bur Dubai and even large villas and townhouses. Villas will more commonly be found in Mankhool, Raffa and Zabeel. Unlike the newer developments in the city, many of the rental apartments in Bur Dubai do not have actual names and are commonly identified by the slew of shops beneath them (Huzaifa Building, Apsara Supermarket building and so on).
Bur Dubai also attracts a large tourist population thanks to the many hotels in the area. There are fully fitted hotel apartments in Bur Dubai for those who are here for a long stint and a range of hotels for shorter stays. Some popular 5-star hotels in Bur Dubai include Grand Hyatt in Oud Metha, Marriott in Al Jaddaf, Raffles in Wafi City, Melia in Kuwait Street and the uber-luxurious Palazzo Versace in Culture Village.
PROPERTIES IN BUR DUBAI
Residing in Bur Dubai is a popular option for expats from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Philippines. Average rent prices for properties in Bur Dubai vary depending on the area: Oud Metha and Jaddaf tend to be more expensive, while Raffa is significantly cheaper. Apartment rentals in Bur Dubai have always been a popular choice since the area is so well connected.
When it comes to average rents, studios are around AED 53k, 1-bedroom apartments are priced at AED 75k and 2-bedroom flats cost AED 102k. If you are looking at renting a villa, 4-bedroom houses in Al Mankhool start at AED 220k and those in Dubai Healthcare City can be as high as AED 600k!
TRANSPORTATION AND PARKING SPACES IN BUR DUBAI
Since there is a mix of old and new buildings in the area, it’s not easy to say what the parking arrangements will be. The newer apartments in Bur Dubai come with dedicated parking spaces for residents, but old buildings often do not. Those living in Bur Dubai have to either scout for free parking or get paid parking passes on a monthly/yearly basis. Visitors often find parking difficult because of this very reason. Street parking is limited and subject to availablity.
Bur Dubai is one of the most well-connected areas in the city. Public transportation in Bur Dubai is readily available in the form of buses, taxis and metros. Some of the popular metro stations in Bur Dubai include ADCB and Burjuman on the red line and Oud Metha and Al Fahidi on the green line. It is also easily accessed by Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Ain Hatta Road and Al Khail Road.
AMENITIES, SCHOOLS AND HEALTHCARE
For those looking at moving to Bur Dubai, there will be no reason to complain in terms to access to basic amenities. There are several supermarkets, schools and religious institutions in Bur Dubai to cater to the large population living here.
Supermarkets in Bur Dubai
There are several supermarkets in Bur Dubai for all of your shopping requirements, including Carrefour, Choithrams, Lulu and Spinneys and smaller branches of Al Maya and Al Madina supermarkets. There is an abundance of mini-marts and local groceries in Bur Dubai that will home deliver necessities if you don’t fancy a trip to the market.
Churches, Temples and Mosques in Bur Dubai
Bur Dubai is a shining example of the spiritual and religious tolerance of this emirate. The Zabeel Masjid and the Iranian mosque near the consulate area are well-known mosques in Bur Dubai for their intricate artwork and beautiful design. The Shiva and Krishna temples in Bur Dubai are the first temples in the UAE. Oud Metha’s St Mary’s Church is the oldest church in the emirate. All of these are easily accessible for the residents of the neighbourhood.
Schools in Bur Dubai
When it comes to schooling, parents in Bur Dubai are spoilt for choice. For those with younger kids, the nurseries here are known to be some of the best in the country. The Kindergarten Starters (KGS), an award-winning Dubai institution for primary education is also close by in neighbouring Garhoud.
In terms of high schools, one of the most popular choices is the Indian High School it offers the National Curriculum of India from Year 5 to 12. It has received an outstanding rating from the KHDA (governmental review of schools in Dubai) 6 times.
For those looking at UK based options will find Bur Dubai to have plenty of options. For younger children, there is Dubai English Speaking School, which educates children from nursery till Year 6. Other options include the highly popular St. Mary's Catholic High School and Dubai Gem Private School. Both of these options are until Year 13.
Other notable institutes include the French school, Lycée Francaise. It offers options from pre-primary to Grade 12, its primary campus (located next door) has received the outstanding rating for 3 years straight.
For older children looking to head to university, Oud Mehta is well connected to both the academic hubs. Both Knowledge Village near Media City and Dubai International Academic City near Dubai Silicon Oasis are 25-minutes away by car.
Clinics and hospitals in Bur Dubai
Should you need medical attention there are several multi-speciality hospitals in Bur Dubai with state-of-the-art infrastructure. This includes Mediclinic, Medeor and several branches of Aster Mediclinic. In Dubai Healthcare City, you will also find speciality clinics, with osteopaths, chiropractors, dentists and more. The Emirates’ leading medical school, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences is also in the area.
TOP 5 AREAS IN BUR DUBAI
The most popular area for renting in Bur Dubai appears to be Al Mankhool offering a mix of apartments and villas for residents. Oud Metha known for its abundance of schools comes a close second. The upscale buildings in Al Jaddaf are next on the list, followed by the more modest ones in Al Raffa. Khalid Bin Waleed Street is the busiest commercial area in Bur Dubai, with several office buildings and showrooms.
If you are considering investing in Bur Dubai, there are several off-plan projects in Al Jaddaf and Dubai Healthcare City.
Located south of the Creek, Bur Dubai is in the heart of Old Dubai. There are several well-known locations near Bur Dubai popular among renters in the emirate. Across the creek, to the north of Bur Dubai is Deira, Garhoud is to the east and Satwa and Karama to the west. The suburb is well connected to most areas in Dubai with access to major highways like the Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Khail Road and the Al Ain-Hatta Road.
SHOPPING, DINING AND NIGHTLIFE
Mall in Bur Dubai
Those living in Bur Dubai have no shortage of interesting things to do. Since life in Dubai is incomplete without a trip to the shopping complexes, there are many malls in Bur Dubai for those looking for a quick shopping fix. The ultra-chic Burjuman and the artistic Wafi are popular haunts for mall trawling, featuring some of the leading retail brands from across the world. If big brands are not your cup of tea, walk down the ancient souk fragrant with Oud and select from a range of brightly coloured fabrics to fashion your own special outfits. Did we mention the tailors in nearby Meena Bazaar are so famous, people come from as far as Arabian Ranches to get their custom-made outfits?
Tourists, in particular, love the spirited bargaining here, and you can find shop owners trying to sell you everything from delicate scarves to the latest iPhones.
Restaurants in Bur Dubai
Simply put, Bur Dubai is a culinary treasure! From delectable Asian street food in the alleyways of the markets to the luxury restaurants in the Raffles Hotel or Palazzo Versace, there’s something for everyone in the restaurants in Bur Dubai. For the more eclectic souls, the restaurants in Bur Dubai by the Creek, in the newly opened Al Seef and quaint little tea houses in the Bastakiya quarter of Old Dubai are a must-visit destination. No cuisine is missed, and no price point ignored! Pubs and clubs are largely limited to the hotels, but Century Village in Garhoud is not far away for more licensed options.
Beaches Near Bur Dubai
Those living in the neighbourhood can pack their beach towels and head to Jumeirah beach in just 20-minutes for a fun day at the beach. If you fancy a good swim both Jumeirah Beach and Mamzar Beach are known to allow swimmers.
For indoor options, there are several affordable gym and pool memberships in Bur Dubai; Al Nasr Leisureland in Oud Metha boasts the largest swimming pool in the country, alongside an Olympic-sized ice skating rink.
LEISURE ACTIVITIES AND NOTABLE LANDMARKS
There’s never a dull moment when you live in the busy lanes of Bur Dubai. The Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Resort is a popular spot amongst the city’s elite. Families with children love Al Nasr Leisureland and tourists flock to the Bastakiya district and the historic Dubai Museum. For the equestrian enthusiasts, the stables at Meydan house the country’s best-thoroughbred horses and the races here are fashionable affairs.
The Dubai Frame, which opened in early 2018, is yet another addition to Dubai’s impressive tourism repertoire. This is definitely one of the must-try things to do in Bur Dubai that will give you an unparalleled view of the twin facades of the city.
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES, FITNESS AND BEAUTY
Zabeel Park in Bur Dubai is a go-to destination for the fitness fanatics living in the city. One of the largest parks in Dubai, this landscaped beauty, close to the royal residence, is a great place to get fit or simply take a relaxing stroll. It’s 5 km running track is one of the largest in Dubai and because there’s plenty of parking in the area, it’s quite popular with fitness enthusiasts. There is Wi-Fi connectivity all over this park in Bur Dubai and it’s divided into several zones connected by pretty bridges.
The next popular outdoor location to get fit in Bur Dubai is the massive Creek Park on the banks of the iconic Dubai Creek.
For many 90s Dubai kids, family outings included a trip to the Creek Park where they could run around the lush lawns or wait patiently to ride the Abra. Even today, the Creek Park is well maintained and offers Bur Dubai residents a great place to stay healthy. Besides the jogging track, you can also rent bicycles here and take it for a spin around the park. Kids can enjoy the Children City, known for its educational entertainment options. These parks are a definite advantage of living in Bur Dubai.
Most of the well-known fitness franchises like Fitness First and Gold's Gym are found in and around Bur Dubai. If you are looking for something more than a treadmill and weights though, there are several exciting options including Maui Thai, Zumba, and squash.
Once you have your fitness needs sorted, you can look at pampering yourself at the salon or spa. Like most areas in the city, Bur Dubai too is well equipped to deal with any of your beauty and relaxation requirements. Many salons here are well known for offering great package deals, but they may not be as upmarket as the ones in more luxurious areas of Dubai. Luxury spas are staples of the many 5 star hotels in the area, besides the many wellness centres you find here.
One of the biggest benefits of living in the Bur Dubai area is the active social calendar in the area. True to its reputation as the cultural hub of Dubai, the historic Al Fahidi neighbourhood has several art galleries featuring some up and coming artists from around the world. XVA Art Hotel and AlSerkal Cultural Foundation, in particular, have many art exhibitions through the course of the year.
Bur Dubai is also close to the Dubai World Trade Centre where several events happen through the course of the year, including GITEX, GETEX and more. Other exciting events in Bur Dubai include The Meydan Hotel, Al Nasr Leisureland and Zabeel Park.
Zabeel Park’s weekly organic market is a big attraction for locals and expats. You can often spot local designers and artists with pop up stores and even flea markets for bargain deals.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
There is no doubt that living in Bur Dubai is a great experience, one filled with character. There are however a few things to consider for those planning on moving to Bur Dubai. The traffic and parking situation are a few of the things that residents often complain about. The roads get very busy during peak hours and you end up spending a considerable amount of time commuting from one place to the other. The houses in Bur Dubai tend to be older, so they also may not be as up to date as some of the other popular areas in Dubai when it comes to amenities.
- Bur Dubai is one of the oldest areas of Dubai and is home to several government offices and close to the commercial district of Deira.
- Centrally located, it is a 15-minute drive to the Dubai International Airport, DIFC and Downtown Dubai for those renting in Bur Dubai.
- Easy access to Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road.
- Distance to other emirates: Sharjah - 30 minutes, Ajman - 40 minutes, Umm Al Quwain - 50 minutes, Ras Al Khaimah- 1 hour, Abu Dhabi – 2 hours, Fujairah – 3 hours