Ideal for families, Khalifa City A (KCA) boasts spacious colourful villas ranging from two- to six-bedroom units. Image Credit: Silvia Baron/ANM

If you are looking for a calm and quiet lifestyle, one of the options available in Abu Dhabi is Khalifa City A.

This residential community, off the main island, is part of the Madinat Khalifa City suburb, which has Khalifa City B and the upcoming Khalifa City C as its other segments.

Along with new residential communities such as Al Raha Gardens and Golf Gardens bordering it, this is a family favourite, especially due to the abundance of schools and nurseries in the area. Khalifa City A comprises over 2000 villas in different shapes, colours and sizes.

Located 30km from Abu Dhabi Corniche, the community lies adjacent to the main highway to Dubai and is close to the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

However, with limited retail — except for The Pink Shops, a popular retail stretch — and lack of leisure facilities, most residents prefer to shop at Al Raha Mall, Etihad Plaza and Carrefour on Airport Road or head to the adjacent Abu Dhabi Golf Club or Yas Island for leisure pursuits.

Your say...

Leasing experts
The Khalifa area, encompassing Al Raha Gardens and Golf Gardens, continues to grow in popularity as the area develops and additional services and facilities are provided. Rental rates have remained steady over the past three months. The appeal of Yas Island hospitality and the surrounding Golf courses will continue to enhance the attractiveness of this neighbourhood over the coming months and years.
Andrea Menown, leasing manager LLJ Property, Abu Dhabi

Due to timely advice to our clients on prevailing market conditions and changing rental rates, we are able to maintain full occupancy rate in Golf Gardens. In addition, Khidmah, also offers tailor-made facilities management – Khadamati – services to facilitate domestic and day-to-day needs of residents.
Shelley Jenkins, property management director, Khidmah

The opening of the new bridge near Sas Al Nakhl leading into Salam Street and the new Saadiyat Island route, has made it more convenient to travel into Abu Dhabi. Between the Shangri-La, Traders and the Fairmont hotels and the Souq we now have an enormous range of fabulous restaurants within our reach.
Lea Arnold-Phillips, Australian, housewife — Khalifa City A

Golf Gardens is a lovely development with lots of friendly faces around. We spend a lot of time at Souq Qaryat Al Beri at Shangri-La Hotel or at the hotel on Yas Island. On weekends we go to the Abu Dhabi Golf Club which offers nice views, a good menu
and is within walking distance.
Claire Langham, British, housewife — Golf Gardens


  • Villas are huge and feature individual designs, colourful exteriors and spacious living spaces
  • A peaceful area for those who want to avoid the daily hustle and bustle
  • Abundance of schools and nurseries in the vicinity, making it ideal for families
  • Proximity to Dubai


  • Expats can only rent a property here as ownership is restricted to Emiratis
  • A drive to Abu Dhabi main island could take at least 30 to 40 minutes
  • Nothing is within walking distance, you need to drive everywhere
  • No parks or recreational facilities, night life totally non-existent
  • Streets have no pavements, making it hazardous for walkers, joggers and runners

How to get there

From Abu Dhabi take Maqtaa bridge on to E22, take Airport Road, exit Khalifa City North towards Al Raha Beach on to 16th Street; From Dubai: Take Shaikh Zayed Road towards Abu Dhabi, exit highway after signs for Khalifa City, take roundabout on to 3rd Street

Current rental prices

Khalifa City A: Dh140,000 – Dh280,000 p.a
Golf Gardens: Dh250,000 – Dh550,000 p.a
Al Raha Gardens: Dh200,000 – Dh350,000 p.a
Source: LLJ Property (Khalifa City A and Al Raha Gardens); Khidmah (Golf Gardens)

Average rental decline

Khalifa City A: 20%-25% (from Dec 2010 to Jan 2011)
Golf Gardens: 20% (towards Dec 2010)
Al Raha Gardens: 15% (from Dec 2010 to Jan 2011)
Source: Better Homes 

Khalifa City A (KCA)

What Ideal for families, Khalifa City A (KCA) boasts spacious colourful villas ranging from two- to six-bedroom units situated independently or within compounds comprising a group of four to six homes. 

Unit size Average four-bedroom villas vary in sizes starting from 3,229 square feet with generous plot areas.

Amenities and facilities Most villas come with private pools, front and backyard gardens. There isn't much of retail in the immediate vicinity except for a few outlets in the Pink Shops stretch that meet the residents' basic requirements.

2-bed villas: Dh140,000
3-bed villas: Dh160,000
4-bed villas: Dh180,000
5-bed villas: Dh200,000
6-bed villas: Dh220,000
5 to 6-bed villas with pools: Dh250,000-Dh280,000

Resident's tips Lea, who lives in a five-bedroom villa with a private pool says, "While newcomers may find it appealing to live within a community such as Al Raha Gardens or Golf Gardens, the villas in KCA offer much better value and more space. The main cause for concern is that there are no bike paths or footpaths in the area. The only footpaths are along the main roads that run along either sides of Al Raha Gardens and I know there have been many incidents of people being hit by cars and trucks while running or riding bikes."

Property's verdict KCA is ideal for a suburban lifestyle. However, residents need to drive as nothing is available close by. With most streets lacking speed bumps, the roads are often used as a race track. Often associated with the phrase ‘not much to do', residents have something to cheer with cafés such as Miss J Café and Le Broiche already set up and plans to bring Beyond Fitness, a fully serviced gym in the pipeline. 

Golf Gardens

What Adjacent to Abu Dhabi Golf Course (ADGC), this family-friendly community set amid lush gardens offers four- to six-bed villas with private pools and three- to four-bed town houses. Both type of units come with two carports while a few villas boast golf course views.

Unit size Villas with pools: 4,349 to 7,276 square feet. Town houses: 3,380 to 3,681 square feet

Amenities and facilities Residents can access the community club that houses a swimming pool, squash and tennis courts, cafés and children's play areas. The development also provides on-site security, a prompt housekeeping team and a retail zone, while Etisalat is the telecom service provider for homes. Pets are allowed, with strict policies though.

4-bed villas with pools: Dh330,000
5-bed villas with pools: Dh350,000 - Dh400,000
6-bed villas with pools: Dh400,000 - Dh550,000
3-bed town house: Dh250,000
4-bed town house: Dh270,000

Resident's tips "The villas stand alone and aren't too close to each other. Here we have wide streets, and the houses look out on to the street. Golf Gardens offers a community feel and also houses Dukkan, a well stocked supermarket. However, for my shopping I tend to go to Carrefour and Spinneys at Al Bandar or Abela (all ten minutes drive away). A great location, as the island is easily accessible, five minutes to Al Yasmina School which is highly regarded in the area", says Claire Langham, who lives in a five-bed villa.

Property's verdict The homes display spacious layouts with quality finishes. It is evident that the Gardens Club with its facilities is the centre of all activities, including Halloween, Christmas or just pool parties. Rentals are on the higher side compared to other developments but this, we feel, is proportionate to the location, the community spirit and the facilities on site. After all, the more you pay, the more you get! 

Al Raha Gardens

What Popular with families, Al Raha Gardens is a gated development featuring villas and town houses that come with carports. Echoing traditional Arabesque design, the homes range from three-bed town houses to five-bed villas that feature pools and gardens.

Unit size Villas: 2,723 to 4,489 square feet. Town houses: 2,530 to 2,756 square feet

Amenities and facilities The homes feature spacious, modern interiors, quality finishes and provide for Etisalat connectivity. Residents are allowed to keep one pet. Opening this month, the community retail centre — Gardens Plaza — will house Al Safa supermarket, Jones the Grocer and many other outlets that will add to the residents' convenience.


4-bed villas with pools: Dh280,000
5-bed villas with pools: Dh350,000
3-bed town house: Dh200,000
4-bed town house: Dh220,000

Resident's tips Becky, a British housewife who lives in a four-bedroom town house says, "It is a lovely community for a family to live in with pathways, cycle tracks and gates manned 24/7. I also frequent the Pink Shops' Abu Ali's Fruit and Vegetables and Titanic Dry Cleaning, which are very friendly. For family weekends, Yas Island and Souq Qaryat Al Beri is just a ten-minute drive away with its yummy selection of restaurants and bars! However, in terms of rents they are reasonable now than in 2008."

Property's verdict Al Raha Gardens provides playgrounds and walkways that one misses in Khalifa City A. However, some villas are located pretty close to each other and lack privacy. It is adjacent to the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway and close to Al Raha Mall, Al Yasmina and Al Raha International schools. With so many conveniences at your door step, the homes are ideal for families, but those with extra cash.

Property recommends

16th Street in Khalifa City A, especially the stores in the Pink Shops buildings. A strip of low-rise buildings, the Pink Shops feature restaurants, cafés, pharmacies and stationery stores that meet the day-to-day needs of residents.

Khalifa City A amenities

Your guide to services and retail options available in the neighbourhood.

Schools and nurseries

Al Raha International School
Where: Area 135, Al Raha Beach Gardens
How: 02 556 1567
What: IB curriculum

Al Yasmina School
Where: Near Al Raha Gardens
How: 02 501 4888
What: National curriculum of England

Canadian International School
Where: 26th Street, Khalifa City A
How: 02 556 4206
What: Alberta Programme of Study

Gems American Academy
Where: Intersection of 3rd and 16th Street, Khalifa City A
How: 02 641 6333
What: American curriculum

Horizon Private School
Where: 20th Street
How: 02 556 0811
What: IB curriculum 

Humpty Dumpty Nursery
Where: 16th Street
How: 02 556 1068
What: With a focus on learning through play, Humpty Dumpty accepts kids from 12 months to four years. 

International School of Choueifat
Where: Street 15, near Etisalat
How: 02 556 2555
What: SABIS curriculum

Little Smarties Nursery
Where: 21st Street, Near Pink Shops
How: 02 556 5500
What: Where learning is fun, the nursery offers a safe environment for age groups 12 months to four years.

Stepping Stones Nursery
Where: On 26th Street
How: 02 556 5991
What: Modern Montessori education for children from 18 months to four years. 

Teddy Bear American Nursery
Where: 33rd Street
How: 02 556 8566
What: Nursery programmes for children aged between one and four years.

Health care

SEHA Ambulatory Care
Where: 16th Street
When: Sun to Thu, 7am to 3pm
How: 02 556 1695
What: SEHA offers a range of medical services including an out-patient facility, a comprehensive laboratory and modern diagnostic facilities. 

Bin Sina Pharmacy
Where: Pink Shops, Khalifa City A
When: Sat to Thu, 8am to 12am, Fri 2pm to 12am
How: 02 556 2140 

Al Hilal Bank
Where: Villa 6, Opp Khalifa Clinic
When: Sat to Thu, 8am to 3pm
How: 800 66 6666 

Union National Bank
Where: Al Qubaisi Compound, Near SEHA
When Sat to Thu, 8am to 2pm
How: 600 566 665 

National Bank of Abu Dhabi
Where: Etihad Airways HO, Khalifa City A
When: Sun to Thu, 8am to 1:30pm, Sat 8am to 12pm
How: 02 556 2998 


Abu Ali Vegetables and Fruits
Where: 16th Street, Pink Shops
How: 02 556 2327

Ali Al Saadi Supermarket
Where: Street 16, Near the Fire Station
How: 02 556 2757
What: Offers home delivery 

Abela Supermarket
Where: Etihad Plaza
When: Daily 8am to 11pm
How: 02 556 1061


Bu Tafish
Where: Pink Shops, Khalifa City A
When: Daily 10am to 1am
How: 02 556 5477
What: For seafood lovers, this could be the place to be. Specialising in seafood and grills, Bu Tafish also offers home delivery services and takeaways.

La Brioche
Where: Street 16, Near Khalifa City Market
When: 6am to 11pm daily
How: 02 556 7076
What: The French style café and patisserie serves a healthy breakfast menu, fresh juices, cakes, pastries and breads. 

Miss J Cafe
Where: Pink Shops, Khalifa City A
When: Daily 7am to 12am
How: 02 556 8541
What: A café offering a wide variety of breakfast items, soups, sandwiches, sweet and savoury crêpes, pastries and cakes.


Abu Dhabi Golf Club
Where: Sas Al Nakhl
How: 02 558 8990 

Al Raha Mall
Where: Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway
How: 02 556 2229 


German Veterinary Clinic
Where: Street 39, Khalifa City A
How: 02 556 2024
When: Sun to Thu, 8am to 7pm; Sat 9am to 5pm. Consultation by appointment only.
What: A clinic offering medical and surgical care for pets. 

Pure White Cleaners
Where: 16th Street, Pink Shops
How: 02 556 2422

Sharani Wellness Spa
Where: Corner of 35th and 62nd Street
How: 02 556 2601
What: Look and feel good with Sharani's range of beauty treatments, yoga and dancing classes all under one roof.