The popular adage ‘Old is Gold’ rings especially true for Dubai’s most historical area – Deira. Situated north of Dubai Creek and south of the Sharjah border, Deira is the traditional centre of Dubai that showcases a unique fusion of heritage and modernity. Originating from the Arabic word, ‘Deyar’ which means house, Deira is home to many of the rich cultural attractions of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). If you want to get an insight into the origins and history of Dubai, living in Deira could be the right choice for you!
Pros of Living in Deira
Being one of the oldest regions of Dubai, Deira still retains a link to the rich trading past of the city and is home to many historical landmarks. Besides that, Deira has an abundance of retail outlets, restaurants, and markets, making it a convenient residential neighbourhood in Dubai. If you are planning to move from your current residence, here are some of the reasons why you should consider moving to Deira.
The Historical Significance of the Neighbourhood
Deira is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Dubai that is home to the world’s historic trade routes and region’s biggest markets. It also features one of the oldest buildings in the UAE, called the Heritage House, a traditional home consisting of 2 floors. Built in the year 1890, it spans across 41×24 metres and comprises a rectangular courtyard, where you can find relics and artefacts from the past, along with recreations of traditional Emirati life from decades ago. Deira also has the Dubai Clocktower, a symbol of a well-known monument in Dubai erected at the intersection of Al Maktoum Road (D 89) and Umm Hurair Road. Built in the year 1965 by Architecture Design Construction (ADC), the clock tower has even been featured in The Telegraph’s list of 17 beautiful towers in the world. Deira is also home to the iconic Dubai Creek, where you can still find traditional boats and abras ferrying goods and passengers.
The affordable prices for properties in Deira
Deira is a thriving community in Dubai that consists of a variety of properties, such as apartments, villas and commercial buildings. As far as the apartments are concerned, they come in various configurations, such as studios, 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom modular units. The price of 2-bedroom apartments in Deira starts from AED 770,888. As far as the villas are concerned, the rent of 3-bedroom villas in Deira starts from AED 85,000 and goes up to AED 160,000. Owing to these reasonable rates, living in Deira is a popular choice for those looking at affordable properties in the emirate.
The Abundance of Retail Outlets in Deira
Deira is home to various shopping malls and markets, such as City Centre Deira, Gold Souk and the city’s oldest mall, Al Ghurair Centre. An original flagship mall of Majid Al Futtaim Group, City Centre Deira contains 370 stores with various anchor shops including Virgin Megastore, Paris Gallery, Sharaf DG, Iconic, Debenhams, and Carrefour. The mall is spread over 1.2 million sq.ft of retail space and has an ample car parking area where 3600 cars can be easily parked. The traditional Arabian marketplace of Dubai, Gold Souk is also located in Deira. It is a labyrinth of pedestrian-friendly walkways and consists of more than 300 jewellery shops where silver, gold, diamonds, and platinum are also available. It is one of these markets that attracts both locals as well as expats equally. If you are an expat and want to buy gold, you can rest assured on both the quality and authenticity of gold in Dubai. If you are still not convinced, check out the reasons why expats prefer buying gold from Dubai. One of the big advantages of living in Deira is the proximity to all these shopping outlets, making it extremely easy to go for a grocery run or indulge in some retail therapy.
The Wide Choice of Restaurant and Dining Options in Deira
There are various restaurants in Deira with a variety of cuisines where you can dine out, including Puranmal – Al Muraqqabat, Curry N Wok, AB’s Absolute Barbecue, Al Bait Al Qadeem Restaurant, and Al Dawaar Restaurant. At Purnamal, you can enjoy vegetarian dishes at an estimated price of AED 40. In the cooler months, residents can enjoy the outdoor seating, where you can have a bite to eat while taking in the views of Dubai’s gorgeous skyline. If you love Indian food, you can also head over to Curry N Wok, where you can grab a meal at an average of AED 80 for two. While living in Deira, you can also visit Al Dawaar Restaurant to enjoy international dishes such as Vietnamese Beef, Pork Noodle Soup, Gyros, and Shawarma. Moreover, there are various Pakistani and Indian restaurants located in Deira, such as India Palace Restaurant, Lahori Khabay, and Lahore Darbar Restaurant that you can try out. If you are fond of Asian flavours, you can head straight to the top-notch Pakistani restaurants in Dubai and try some of the mouth-watering dishes there. For fine dining options, the restaurants in Park Hyatt, Radisson Blu, Crowne Plaza, and other 5-star hotels are a popular choice with residents of Deira.
The Proximity to Religious Institutions
Not many developments in Dubai can boast such easy access to places of worship as Deira can. There are a variety of mosques, churches, and temples that are located in and around the Deira development. The most prominent of them are Saifee Masjid, Al Rigga Mosque, Shiva Temple, Krishna Temple, St Mary’s Catholic Church, and Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral.
The Family-friendly Nature of the Community
One of the popular family-friendly areas of Dubai, Deira has a wide selection of educational institutions located nearby. The most popular of them are Deira International School, Deira Private School, Dubai International School, and The Elite English School. Deira International School follows the UK/IB system while the Deira Private School follows the British curriculum. However, Dubai International School is a globally accredited IB school and the Elite English School is an Indian school that follows the CBSE system.
To help residents deal with emergency situations, there are various clinics and hospitals in Deira such as Prime Medical Centre, Dubai Hospital, and Baraha Hospital. These well-reputed healthcare centres ensure that residents need not worry about having access to timely medical intervention in case of any serious ailments and for the regular checkups and minor diseases, there are various clinics located in the area, such as Aster, Amber, Thumbay, and Joseph’s Clinic.
The Easy Access to Public Transportation
Being part of the old Dubai means Deira has reliable transportation options. It lies close to several metro stations, such as Union, Deira City Centre, Palm Deira, and Baniyas Square. While living in Deira, you can board a metro from any of these stations and reach your desired destination in a short span of time. If the metro is not an option for you, you can always opt for Uber or a taxi or rely on one of the many bus routes in Deira. Those who enjoy a quick stroll and want to get in some exercise want can walk through the pedestrian-friendly walkways to reach the desired destination.
Cons of Living in Deira
While there are many benefits to living in Deira, it’s also important to look at the things to consider before moving there.
Deira is a non-freehold area which means that expats cannot buy property in the area. You have to pay annual rent and have to answer to a landlord in case you are failing to maintain your unit. In addition, tenants have to pay maintenance fees, annual service charges and other utility bills. Apart from that, you can face restrictions when it comes to keeping pets or subletting your apartment while living in Deira. And, if for instance, you fail to fulfill the terms and conditions of the lease, the tenancy agreement can become invalidated.
Busy Community with Traffic Congestion
Being a densely populated area, there is often quite a lot of traffic in Deira, especially during peak hours. So if you prefer living in a quiet community and find it hard to fall asleep when there is ambient noise from traffic in the background, you could find it challenging to adjust to the busy environs of Deira.
Lack of Parking Spaces
There is a shortage of parking spaces in Deira due to which motorists often have to wait for a long time to park their car which not only frustrates them but also leads to high levels of traffic congestion in the area. These concerns are, however, reduced significantly if you choose to rely on public transportation.
Now that you are aware of the merits and demerits of living in Deira. How likely is it that you will move there? In case, you think this might not be the option for you, rest assured that there are various communities in Dubai where you can make your home. You can think of The Springs, if you are looking for a quaint family-friendly area in Dubai or you can consider living in Jumeirah Lake Towers, a collection of swanky high-rise apartments in the outskirts of the city.