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District One residents can enjoy 8.4km of biking and running tracks Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Families with children prefer communities that are safe, secure, clean, pet friendly, have easy access to daily amenities, such as a supermarket and a clinic, and plenty of open spaces and play areas to walk and bike around. A nursery and a school in the area is a bonus. Dubai, with its ease of doing business, great infrastructure and choice of communities, is considered by many expats as a great place to raise kids. Barring five months of summer, the emirate offers great weather and gives young families the chance to venture outdoors to the beach or the desert for some fun in the sun. We look at four kid-friendly communities that offer a great promise to families.

Sobha Hartland

This mixed-use waterfront community along the Dubai Water Canal has an elegant collection of beautiful villas, luxurious apartments and high-end town houses. Spread over 8 million sq ft, it boasts beautiful landscaping, lush gardens and trees that families find very peaceful and attractive. Most homes have panoramic views of Dubai’s skyline and world-class amenities just minutes away from their doorstep.

Jyotsna Hegde, president of Sobha Realty, says Hartland has everything for those looking for comfort, tranquility and convenience. “The amenities include expansive green spaces,” says Hegde. “About 30 per cent of the land has been dedicated to greenery, a community centre, provisions for indoor and outdoor sporting activities as well as a boardwalk, and retail and food and beverage outlets. Additionally, its location in Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City in the heart of Dubai makes it easily accessible.”

The community distinguishes itself as the ideal home for families with children by also ensuring the presence of two British-curriculum schools here. “You have Hartland International with great facilities as well as the UK-based North London Collegiate School Dubai [NLCSD]. It has a competitive programme for students with a great curriculum and provides an enriching and engaging environment for overall evelopment,” says Hegde.

Hartland offers a range of properties — from the one-bedroom apartments of One Park Avenue to the beautiful five-bedroom Forest Villas with a great tree cover. The Estates villa collection is a perfect choice for high-net-worth buyers who prefer the comfort and privacy of living in rich forestry along the Dubai Canal. “The range of choices available to residents from all walks of life is what sets us apart. Other projects in Sobha Hartland include Creek Vista, Hartland Greens and Gardenia Villas,” explains Hegde.

Property prices for Garden Houses start at Dh5.33 million and go up to Dh39 million for the bespoke villas. For those who prefer living in apartments, there are spacious studios, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments with viewing decks and spectacular two-, three- and four-bedroom duplexes. All residences are built around the greenery, giving the homes a different look and feel. Apartment prices in the community start at Dh961,000. There are 152 families that have moved into Hartland so far and the number is growing every day.

District One

This upscale gated community is a stunning destination for families to raise their children. The ease of life here is amazing with enough facilities for kids to learn, enjoy and play, all within the community. Located in the centre of Dubai within the Mohammad Bin Rashid City, District One ticks all the boxes of being a holistic kid-friendly community.

Riyaz Merchant, CEO of Realty Force explains, “District One features the Crystal Lagoons, 7km of natural water and man-made beaches. Forty per cent of the area dedicated to lush greenery, open spaces, parks, kids’ play areas with ample activities to keep families and children engaged in healthy living within the community. It is one of the least dense communities in Dubai.”

He adds: “Being a gated community, District One offers a lot of safety and security for families. Parents looking for schools for their children will find a choice of seven schools here, offering mid to high-end education facilities.”

Schools in the area include the Hartland International School, North London Collegiate School, Dubai College, International Concept for Education in Meydan and Safa British School, Kent College Dubai and Gems Our Own Indian School. “The Safari Kids Nursery is operating within the community, adding value to the place as most parents prefer children getting learning support in areas close to their homes.”

The community also provides world-class amenities such as the Meydan nine-hole golf course, an 8.4km biking and running track and 14km boardwalk. It also has a cycling track all the way to downtown, promoting an active and healthy lifestyle for families. “The community has grown beautifully and now houses a supermarket, retail shops, a family hospital and clinic, hotel, mosque and entertainment facilities. All these give a family community feel to the area. Moreover, every villa in the place comes with a private pool, which adds fun to children activities within their homes. Once the Meydan Mall opens its doors, it will provide families with even more recreational facilities.”

Merchant says the community has four-, five- and six-bedroom villas split over the Contemporary, Modern Arabic and Mediterranean styles. It also has seven- and eight-bedroom mansions offering tranquil living along the crystal lagoons. And the apartment choices range from one- to three-bedroom units with stunning views of the water body. “The buildings are equipped with gym, café, library, all offering an exclusive community living experience.” While phase one and phase two of District One already has families living in it, handover of apartments in phase three start from March 2020, going up to 2022. Handover of some of the mansions have also started. Property prices in the community start from Dh1.2 million for the apartments.


Among the older communities of Dubai that still have a huge demand for families moving in with kids, Jumeirah tops the list. It’s central location, proximity to the sea, the quaint cafes, peaceful neighbourhood malls and good schools all tick the right boxes.

Harry Tregoning, managing partner of Tregoning Property, says, “Being an older part of Dubai, Jumeirah has excellent infrastructure, including schools and supermarkets. This is obviously a draw to many parents, especially to those who are working.”

Schools here, such as the Jumeirah Baccalaureate School, JESS Jumeirah, Jumeirah Primary School, Jumeirah College and several nurseries, make this a great favourite with parents from different nationalities. Most villa communities here have shared swimming pools, gardens, gyms, with some excellent parks in the neighbourhood. Property options include a range of villas and town houses starting at Dh100,000 for a three-bedroom villa.

Dubai Hills

Elegantly planned for families, this community is dubbed the green heart of Dubai. “It is a family-friendly community that has many attractions such as the park, mall, club and an 18-hole championship golf course,” says Rakesh Mirchandani, director of KGR Real Estate.

Good schools are also key to making a neighbourhood family friendly. Within this community you have Gems Wellington Academy and the Kings School Dubai. “There is also a hospital and the community is pet friendly. A new extension of the Metro line will connect to the mall, making commuting easier,” says Mirchandani. “The properties include freehold apartments, town houses and villas. The newly handed over apartments in the Mulberry development are being rented out very quickly. These bright apartments are well designed and feature floor-to-ceiling windows.”

Prices in Dubai Hills start from Dh1.6 million for two-bedders and Dh2.7 million for three-bedders.

The Maple community consists of three-, four- and five-bedroom town houses and the smallest ones were initially launched at a starting price close to Dh1.9 million.

The Sidra community consists of three-, four- and five-bedroom independent villas. The villas, which feature a modern design, have been sold out, with the developer offering attractive payment plans.

The “crème de la crème” are the ultra-luxury six-bedroom residences at the Estates in the Hills Grove and the Hills Views community. These are closer to the DH Club and even closer to the golf course.