Al Badia District in Dubai Festival City is fast becoming a sought-after location for buyers and tenants in search of a luxury lifestyle. When these residential projects were being planned, Al Futtaim Group Real Estate wanted community living to be the soul of these developments.
Just drive past Dubai Festival City towards Al Badia and the city buzz melts away into this pristine and verdant version of idyllic living, complete with plush landscaping and water elements. The three distinct sub-communities — Al Badia Hillside Village, Al Badia Residences and Marsa Plaza — are close to the Dubai Creek. And while they inspire quiet living, they are not more than two minutes away from the highways that lead to Business Bay or Bur Dubai, and are within 10 minutes from the Dubai International Airport. Perfect for families, Al Badia also offers facilities for leisure, recreation and education.
Al Badia Hillside Village
Al Badia Hillside Village is an epitome of urban living coupled with a connection to the past in the form of Arabesque architecture cloaking the seven sand-coloured condominiums. Cobbled streets lead to the entrance of each condominium, barred by heavy wooden doors. It bears semblance to a traditional Arabic souk or Dubai’s Al Fahidi Historic Neighbourhood, as the building design concept includes brown-coloured wind towers crowning parts of the rooftop and latticed designs.
With only four apartments in a floor and only five floors per condominium, privacy is guaranteed, along with spacious open terraces and courtyards. Within walking distance of Dubai Festival City and its several dining and leisure options, the community is ideal for those who want to enjoy such a picturesque part of the city.
Al Badia Hillside Village has a mix of nationalities, including Chinese (16 per cent), Indians (16 per cent), Iraqis (13 per cent) and Iranians (9 per cent).
Price (excluding utilities)
For one-bedroom units with sizes from 1,240 sq ft, the starting sales price is a little over Dh1.54 million, while two-bedroom units with sizes from 1,726 sq ft have prices starting at nearly Dh1.84 million. Three-bedroom units with sizes starting from 2,213 sq ft have a selling price of at least Dh2.76 million.
Al Badia Residences
Adjacent to the Areej Club is Al Badia Residences, which has an ideal blend of town houses and low-rise apartments. The Mediterranean architecture elements are plain to see: arched windows, domes, red tiled roofs and exterior walls that look like stucco. With phases one and two completed in 2007, phase three of the residences was added in 2012. The property has a lush feel with well-maintained landscaped gardens and panoramic views of the Al Badia Golf Club. A popular residential area, its residents include Indians (14 per cent), Emiratis (12 per cent), Iraqis (11 per cent) and Chinse (8 per cent).
At least 56 per cent of tenants in Al Badia Residences’ phase one and two have converted into owners.
Price (excluding utilities)
For phase three, rents start at Dh143,000 per year for a 1,693-sq-ft, two-bedroom unit and go up to Dh179,000 for a 2,145-sq-ft three-bedroom unit. The four-bedroom town houses, with sizes starting from 3,849 sq ft, are rented out for Dh300,000 per year, while a five-bedroom town house with sizes from 5,386 sq ft command rents that start at Dh325,000.
Take urban community living to new heights at this luxury residential property with an amazing view of the Dubai Creek that is second to none. Completed in 2008, the units consist of one- to four-bedders and penthouses. The architecture is rather sleek for those who enjoy a modern feel to the community.
The building’s blue glass facades echo the colours of the creek. Decked with amenities such as an outdoor swimming pool, a supermarket, hairdressers, gym and dry cleaners, Marsa Plaza is popular among Emiratis (32 per cent) and Iranians (19 per cent), as well as those from the Indian subcontinent. It is also home to the InterContinental Hotel Residence Suites, which offers fully furnished residences.
Price (excluding utilities)
A two-bedroom unit with sizes from 1,651 sq ft command an annual rent of around Dh143,000 per year, while rents for a three-bedroom unit with sizes from 2,675 sq ft start at Dh201,000.
Schools that make a difference
One of the reasons 88 per cent of families own their properties in Al Badia is because of its proximity to two Al Futtaim Group-owned schools: Deira International School and The Universal American School. Deira International School runs a British School curriculum and boasts around 1,600 students from 80 nationalities. The Universal American School sits on a 70,000-sq-m campus and is home to approximately 1,500 students from 75 nationalities.
Ramesh Patel, South African
“My wife and I have been staying at the furnished InterContinental Hotel Residence Suites, Marsa Plaza, for two years now. In time, we felt that this was home and we’ve now purchased a comfortable two-bedroom home at Al Badia Hillside Village, which has lots of privacy and excellent views of the Creek. Currently, it’s being furnished and we’ll be moving in at the end of the month. As I travel for work quite frequently, we needed a home close to the airport. For us, Dubai Festival City is one of the nicer parts of Dubai and you can get to the mall in no time.”
Gianpiera Bühlmann, Swiss
“My husband and I have just moved to Dubai in August. My husband took a job in the Swiss International School Dubai in Al Jadaf and so we wanted to purchase a home close to his workplace. We looked at several districts such as the Palm Jumeirah, Arabian Ranches and Dubai Marina, but we were looking for something different. We also wanted to live in a location where we can interact with various cultures. Our home in Al Badia Hillside Village is a dream — lots of natural light and spacious. Our three-bedroom home allowed us to bring our prized furniture collection we bought from Italy, Switzerland and other parts of Europe, in addition to hosting my paintings — I’m an artist. I also love the amenities, in particular Al Areesh Club, where I go swimming three times a week. My husband and I love the idea of getting to the mall on foot.”
Mamata Bhattacharya, British
“My husband and I rent a three-bedroom penthouse in Al Badia Hillside Village for four years now. Our two boys, who used to study at the Universal American School, have now gone abroad for studies. Before we moved out here, I’d already seen a lot of properties in Jumeirah and Emirates Hills. Our boys had passed their entrance exams at The Universal American School, so it made sense to rent something here. What we love about Al Badia Hillside Village is the Arabesque feel and the high ceilings as our furniture, which is of a medieval style, needed such a space. I was the vice-president of the parent-teacher association at the Universal American School for 2014-15. Since then, I host small women get-togethers in the community. We were also ready to invest in Dubai and considering we like this community so much, we’ve recently bought an apartment here.”
Check out  getthat.com/property  for hundreds of properties for rent and for sale in the UAE.