Property | UAE

A pick of the best paw-friendly areas in Dubai

Your search for a community in Dubai that welcomes your pets ends here. We short-list and rate some neighbourhoods that are perfect for you and your furry friends

  • By Sarah Alphanso, Property magazine
  • Published: 00:00 October 15, 2011
  • Property

Pet-friendly areas in Dubai
  • Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/ANM
  • Andrea Marshall, pet owner and tenant, lives in The Greens with Bodie, a German shepherd and Greyhound mix.
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THE GREENS AND THE VIEWS

Adjacent to the lush Emirates Golf Club along Shaikh Zayed Road, The Greens features mid-rise apartment blocks comprising studios and one- to three-bedroom apartments. Nearby, The Views is a vibrant community with mid- to high-rise towers offering studios and one- to three-bedroom suites. Both neighbourhoods are the only apartment communities in the Emirates Living cluster of Emaar Properties.

Petcare and services: There are many shops and clinics within a 20-minute drive from here. Al Barsha, which is close by, offers the Al Barsha Veterinary Clinic Pet's Necessities (04 395 8997) for supplies, while Pets Habitat (04 341 8085) is ideal for grooming. Pets Plus in Umm Suqeim (east) (04 323 6699) is not far away. Pet Connection (04 447 5307) and Al Barsha Veterinary Clinic - ABVC (04 340 8601), also in the vicinity, would be your nearest destination for vet care. For medical emergencies, ABVC is open 24/7 and offers pick-up and delivery of pets too. For those keen on alternative therapies, Energetic Panacea (04 344 7812 ) in Jumeirah offers a holistic approach, employing drug-free methods. To pamper and groom your pets, Woof Dubai (050 378 7486) in Al Quoz is another option.

Resident speaks: Andrea Marshall: "As a pet owner, it is difficult living in Dubai with a ‘furry child' compared to living in the US. Living in The Greens makes it easier, as the entire area is pedestrian-friendly, with partly shaded walking paths that enable you to walk and socialise your dog. There have been some recent changes in regulations as a result. [It is now] mandatory to keep your dog on a leash at all times. The best thing is to carry two leashes, a short one for walking and a long retractable one to let the dog play and run a bit."

Why you'd like it: One of the main factors making The Greens so attractive is the huge attention paid to landscaping. Set amidst beautiful green spaces dotted with attractive streetscapes, the community caters to both you and your pet's needs. This Emaar development is often considered the most pet-friendly apartment community in Dubai, with its good-sized balconies which are ideal for felines, while the floor-to-ceiling windows provide excellent views of the surroundings. The three-bedroom ground floor apartments with a huge patio offer a villa feel and could be perfect for playing during the comfortable months. Plus, the community has dog waste bins located around the lakes and buildings. So while you're enjoying the lifestyle in this community, your pets can love it here too.

The Views prides itself on its numerous paths and benches that circle the man-made lake. The landscaped areas with paths are a big draw for dog lovers. And you don't need to go far for shopping; Choithram's (04 366 3160) at the Greens retail centre provides everything - both for you and your pet. However, the developer has set strict rules that include a no-pet policy in communal areas such as the gym and pool. It is mandatory to keep your dog on a leash at all times. The approval for keeping a pet in your apartment depends on the landlord.

VICTORY HEIGHTS

Set within Dubai Sports City along Emirates Road, the community offers a fine collection of four-bedroom town houses and four- to five-bedroom villas with gardens and parks.

Petcare and services: The community has no services specifically for pets. However, residents here can take their pets to Pet Corner (04 447 3215) in MotorCity, only 2.5km away. The Vetcare Veterinary Medical Centre (04 430 9797) at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Centre adjacent to the Arabian Ranches on Emirates Road is the closest facility in case of a pet emergency.

Residents speak: Mariska and Leanda Klaassen: "Victory Heights provides us with so much open space and parks to walk our dogs or play with them. Even our pets look forward to their daily outings and meetings with their furry friends in the community."

Why you'd like it: As well as being spacious, the homes here are well insulated and sound proof. Plus, all bedrooms in villas have sliding doors that open up to a balcony, offering your pets enough space to spend time outside when the weather is pleasant. Indoors, the glass doors offer views of the green landscaped areas.

The homes come with a garden, which is ideal for your pets to play off their leash. When you step outside, the community offers lots of open spaces, walkways and parks that allow children and pets some freedom outdoors. However, there is no official dog park and your pet needs to be on a leash at all times.

Community rule: Like most communities, Victory Heights only permits domesticated dogs, cats, birds or fish that can be housed as pets. They should be cared for in a humane manner, in accordance with international practices. All dogs must be kept on a leash when not within the boundary walls of the owner's or occupier's plot. Owners always need to pick up after their dogs. Pet food of any kind should not be left in common areas, structures including front porches, decks and or balconies. Pet owners will be held legally responsible for the actions of any animal brought to or living in Victory Heights.

ARABIAN RANCHES

A freehold development located along Emirates Road, Arabian Ranches features town houses and villas that range from two- to six-bedrooms. Some of the sub-communities include Alma Townhouses, Alvorado, Gazelles, Al Mahra, Al Reem, Hattan, Mirador La Coleccion, Palmera, Saheel, Savannah and Terra Nova. There is also a set of exclusive Golf and Polo homes.

Petcare and services: The community stands out with exclusive shops and medical facilities for your pets. The Ranches retail centre has Pet's Delight (04 361 8184/5), a one-stop shop offering everything you need, while the LeMarche supermarket (04 361 8374) provides you with other necessities. The Veterinary Medical Centre (04 430 9797) at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Centre and Pet Corner at MotorCity are also close by, while Homely Petz (050 871 7072) also provide their services throughout the community.

Residents speak: Isabelle: "We especially chose this villa with a big garden for our dog to play. The lake between Palmera 3 and 2 towards the desert side are ideal areas to walk your dog."

Why you'd like it: The homes are spacious with some offering views of the golf course. Most of the villas include gardens and yards that provide plenty of space for your pets to play. Inside, floor-to-ceiling windows provide for plenty of light and sunshine for your pets. The high garden walls surrounding the villas are an added safety feature.

Why we like it: Built around a golf course, the Arabian Ranches is a totally integrated residential and leisure community that has flourished into one of the most popular freehold areas in Dubai.

The attraction of large spacious homes packed with facilities has encouraged many expatriate families and their pets to live here. The five- and six-bedroom villas come with ample storage space, which is ideal to keep pet food bags and cat litter sacks if you purchase supplies in bulk. Also, overlooking the golf course, the high-end detached Hattan villas, with their open terraces offer enough space to keep your furry friends entertained. Step outside your home and the exteriors are equally appealing. Peaceful and green, this vast community features abundant landscaped areas, pathways and parks where you can spend your leisure time with your dog. There are special doggy-waste bins at various points.

Though the development only allows dogs and cats, this is a perfect place for horse lovers too as the nearby Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club offers some of the city's finest equestrian facilities. The Club features 336 air-conditioned stables, two polo fields and an international standard exercise track where your horses can be kept in top form.

You can be assured that your equine friend will receive the ultimate care by professional trainers and stable staff in terms of feeding, grooming and training. The facilities include an arena made of sand-plast, one of the best surfaces as a platform to train horses. Additionally, the club offers transportation facilities — a horse truck will ferry your equine companion safely and comfortably anywhere in the UAE or GCC.

GREEN COMMUNITY

Located in Dubai Investment Park (DIP), this community features a mix of apartments, town houses, bungalows and villas. (Also see page 19.)

Petcare and services: The community mall - The Market — houses a pet store, clinic and a supermarket. For pet supplies, Choithram's supermarket and Pet Corner (04 885 3637) would come in handy, while the on-site vet clinic — Noble Veterinary Clinic (04 885 4848) — would be your closest port of call for your pet's health. The Blue Oasis Petcare Hospital (04 884 8580) next to Premier Inn, in the Green Community, is also an option. What's more, the 20,000 square feet dog's park Paws Pet Planet (04 884 8894) and the new Urban Tails Pet Resort (04 884 8847), the world's first seven-star hotel for pets are in Dubai Investment Park.

Resident speak: Shobha Hiremat: "The community is friendly enough as one sees lot of pets. As long as you keep your dogs on a lead and clean up after your dog, everyone is happy. Homes are insulated well enough to keep [pet] noises inside."

Why you'd like it: The homes here feature spacious interiors with excellent finishing and big windows, allowing your pet enough room to roam around. The scratch-proof ceramic tiles are perfect for your four-legged friends. They are also easy to clean and provide a pleasant, cool surface for extra-furry pets. Generous garden spaces in the front and backyard of the villas could be ideal for dogs — even the larger breed — to play off their leash.

Taking your dog for a walk in the community's quiet, winding cobbled streets will always be a pleasure. Don't worry if you need a pet sitter — you have Paws Pet Planet and Urban Tails Pet Resort right next door. A fun place to frolic off-leash, Paws Pet Planet is Dubai's first facility with indoor and outdoor daycare areas featuring lawns, trees and a splash pool that offer your furry friends ample space to play and exercise.

Urban Tails Pet Resort offers suites for 70 dogs and 40 cats and features classical music, air-conditioning and plasma TVs besides other facilities to ensure they don't get homesick when their owners are away.

EMIRATES LIVING

A collection of freehold properties located off Interchange 5 of Shaikh Zayed Road, Emirates Living comprises town houses and villa communities such as Emirates Hills, The Lakes, The Meadows and The Springs. The homes range from two- to seven-bedrooms.

Petcare and services: For pet supplies, you have Spinneys in The Meadows (04 360 6484) and Emirates Hills (04 360 6511), while Choithrams in The Springs (04 360 6626) and The Lakes (04 380 1010) are close by. At Pet's Delight (04 361 7767) in Emirates Hills, you can treat your pet to a wide choice of accessories, delicious food and healthy treats. The Veterinary Hospital (04 338 7726) in Al Quoz is convenient, while Dubai Pet Sitting (050 565 1742) offer their services to the area.

Why you'd like: A residential community lined by leafy cool streets, Emirates Living has attracted young families, offering a perfect setting for residents and their pets. The single-family detached villas feature private gardens enclosed by boundary walls offering extra space for your pet to play. The communal lawns and walkways make for quick pleasant walks. The Emirates Hills community has a wide range of exclusively designed luxury villas, finished with hardwood floors and huge windows that bring in a great deal of sunshine for you and your pets. This was the only Emaar development where investors were allowed to build the homes of their choice.

For pet owners, the homes surrounded by leafy gardens and high walls are perfect to set up play areas or gazebos. Plus there are plenty of shaded pathways and recreational spaces that offer you opportunities to walk your dog through the neighbourhood on a leash.

Developer speaks: A spokesperson for Emaar Properties says, "There are no approval systems or additional fees for keeping pets in the Arabian Ranches, The Greens, Emirates Hills and The Meadows communities of Emaar Properties.

"However, to ensure the welfare of all residents, all pet owners are expected to uphold certain community rules agreed to with the owners' associations. Accordingly, no animal, including poultry, fowl, wild animals, horses, cattle, sheep, goats, swine or any other type of animal not considered to be a domestic household pet, should be brought into or kept within the community," the spokesperson adds.

"Domestic dogs, cats, birds, fish and reptiles may be kept as household pets, provided they are not kept, bred or raised for commercial purposes, nor, as determined by the owners association, should they be kept in unreasonable quantities."

It is important that pets are housed and cared for in a humane manner and in accordance with best international practices in animal care. There are restrictions on unreasonable amount of noise by animals, he says. No animal should become a nuisance, he adds.

"All dogs should be kept on a leash within the common areas when not within the boundary walls of a unit. Pets are strictly prohibited within sports areas, swimming pool surrounds and in parks."

Dog droppings in the common area must be promptly removed and properly disposed. "Dog handlers include resident domestic employees who exercise the pet. Non compliance may result in a Notice of Violation being issued to the defaulter," he warns. 

Did you know?

  • In Dubai, every pet has to be registered at the municipality where they are assigned a unique number/tag on their collar. To obtain such a tag, the animal must first be vaccinated and micro-chipped.
  • There are 16 dog breeds prohibited by Dubai Municipality. They are American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bull Dog, Bull Terrier, Old English Bull Dog, American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Tosa, Husky, Doberman, Shar Pei, Perro de proso Malloquin/Bull Dog, Neapolitan Mastiff, Argentinean Mastiff, Miniature Bull Terrier, Canary dog fila Brazilerio/ Brazilian Mastiff and Rottweiler.
  • Communities that do not allow pets: Jumeirah Beach Residences, some buildings in Dubai Marina, Limestone House - DIFC, Marina Residences and Oceana - Palm Jumeirah. Dubai Festival City has restrictions on keeping dogs as pets.
  • You cannot walk your dog at Marina Walk and Palm Jumeirah

For more information, call Dubai Municipality, Veterinary Service Section — Public Health Department at 04 289 1114

Amanda Anderson of Homely Petz says, "It is ideal to keep cats in-house for the first two weeks when you move to a new place to familiarise them with the home as felines are known for exploring new territories. For domesticated cats, neutering does prevent them, to some extent, from straying off." 

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