The dancing fountain at the Marina Walk. Image Credit: Kishore Kumar/ANM

Picture the combination of an unrivalled location, waterfront living and a chic urban lifestyle, and you will be picturing Dubai Marina.

The first purpose-built waterfront development in the city, Dubai Marina is strategically located near Interchange 5 on Shaikh Zayed Road and is close to business hubs such as Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City.

This popular neighbourhood is an important part of what has become known as ‘new Dubai', with its desirable residential high-rises complemented by unmatched amenities.

One of the most attractive things about living here is the abundance of shopping avenues. Dubai Marina Mall offers a plethora of retail and dining options and a Cineplex as well. Equally well-known is the Marina Walk, a pedestrian-friendly walkway lined with restaurants, cafés and retail outlets.

At the same time, this vibrant community doesn't overlook life's necessities; it houses supermarkets (including Spinneys), pharmacies, nurseries, salons and dry-cleaners.

Entertainment options include going on a marina exploration or visiting the hip and trendy hotels and nightclubs. In addition, there is the Dubai Marina Yacht Club, featuring a clubhouse, a charter office and berthing facilities.

Living here would be a one-of-a-kind experience. Whatever your lifestyle, there is something for everyone.

Positives

  • A vibrant community, lovely to walk around in good weather
  • Close to two Metro stations, with plenty of taxis and easy access to Shaikh Zayed Road
  • Dotted with restaurants, cafés, hotels, spas, shops and nightlife venues
  • Most units offer views of the Marina

Negatives

  • Ongoing construction means diversions are regular
  • Traffic congestion during rush hours, due to the high volume of residents living here
  • Pricing of homes is still on the higher side in comparison with other parts of Dubai
  • No schools in the immediate vicinity

Average sale prices

Studio Dh380,000 – Dh420,000
One-bedroom Dh500,000 – Dh1.1 million
Two-bedroom Dh800,000 – Dh2.5 million
Three-bedroom Dh1.3 million – Dh3.5 million

8-10% Average sales increase from January to May 2011
Source: Harbor Real Estate

Average rental prices (per anum)

Studio
Dh35,000 – Dh40,000
One-bedroom Dh55,000 – Dh80,000
Two-bedroom Dh80,000 – Dh140,000
Three-bedroom Dh100,000 – Dh240,000

2-4% Average rental increase from January to May 2011
Source: Harbor Real Estate

How to get there

From Dubai, drive along Shaikh Zayed Road, at Interchange 5 (take Exit 32) to the right towards Dubai Marina. From Abu Dhabi, take the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Road to reach Shaikh Zayed Road (E11). After Ibn Batuta Mall, take exit number 29 to enter Dubai Marina.

Property recommends

Marina Walk, an ideal place to feel the community vibe. It features plenty of restaurants, cafés and retail outlets. Don’t forget to check the dancing fountain, popular with children who try to match their steps with the rhythmic swaying of water.

Your say... 

Sales and leasing expert
Dubai Marina still holds its top spot among the most sought-after destinations in Dubai. This community, which was a rental haven for most owners with lucrative rental returns, has now seen a shift in interest. With more affordable prices, there is an increased interest from end-users. Hence demand for superior quality units with views over the marina and sea has risen. The towers in the luxury category are the Dubai Marina Towers, Park Island, Marina Quays, Marina Promenade, Al Majara, Trident buildings and Marina Terrace. At Harbor, the best economic deals are available in Sulafa Tower, Zumurud Tower and the Marina Diamond buildings.
Pooja Banwani, sales and leasing consultant, Harbor Real Estate 

Residents
Do check if the chiller charges are inclusive in the monthly rent or charged separately. Also, if you area pet lover, find out if pets are allowed in the building before moving in. In terms of dining options, Dubai Marina offers a wide range. A good place to find a variety of cuisines would be the Marina Walk and The Walk at JBR. Wrap and Roll Haandi Restaurant and The Rupee Room could be a good choice if you're in the mood for Indian or Pakistani cuisine.
Nivedita Prabhu, Indian, tenant 

Dubai Marina is a great part of Dubai to live in. The location is central to everything you need, be it transport, the beach, the malls… everything you could wish for is at your fingertips. A massive high point for me is that the Dubai Marina Mall is a five-minute walk away, so shopping, including for food, is easily taken care of. The Metro station is close. The area may be one of the slightly more expensive places to rent and construction may still be ongoing, but it is worth it when you have the amenities only the Marina can offer.
Gemma Jones, British, tenant

Living in Dubai Marina

Your quick guide to residential options in this neighbourhood.

1. Dubai Marina Towers 

What Located behind the Marina Walk, these six towers, namely Murjan, Al Mass, Fairooz, Mesk, Yass and Anbar, feature one- to five-bedroom units and three- and four-bedroom villas.

Amenities and facilities Landscaped gardens, outdoor children's play areas, a 25-metre lap pool in Angsana Spa, barbecue areas, gyms, du connectivity, 24-hour security and card access to enter the towers. Pets are allowed.

Rentals
1-bed apartment
Dh90,000 – Dh95,000
2-bed apartment Dh135,000 – Dh155,000
3-bed apartment Dh175,000 – Dh220,000
4-bed apartment Dh270,000 – Dh300,000
Source: Hamptons Mena

Sales
1-bed apartment
Dh1.2m – Dh1.4m
2-bed apartment Dh1.8m – Dh2.2m
3-bed apartment Dh2.5m – Dh3.1m
Source: Better Homes

Property's verdict Popular with couples and families, these were the first towers in the area and represent Phase 1 of the Dubai Marina project. Developed by Emaar Properties, the homes display top-quality finishing and luxury amenities. But you do pay for the privileges in the form of higher rentals and prices. With the Marina Walk at your doorstep, residents could have the best water views and a whole range of retail and dining options. You also have the convenience of a Metro station a few steps away while a Spinneys, cafés, pharmacy and a dental clinic are close at hand. However, during weekends, the rush at the Marina Walk could be a disturbance for residents. 

2. Marina Promenade 

What A premium residential enclave of six high-rise towers, Marina Promenade comprises one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. In addition to the towers, the development also features a set of large villas. 

Amenities and facilities Swimming pools, fitness centre and gym, games room, squash and badminton courts, community lounge, leisure decks, barbecue areas, du connectivity, concierge service, CCTV and access control system and four levels of parking.

Rentals
1-bed apartment
Dh80,000 – Dh90,000
2-bed apartment Dh120,000 – Dh140,000
3-bed apartment Dh190,000 – Dh200,000
Source: Hamptons Mena

Sales
1-bed apartment
Dh1m – Dh1.2m
2-bed apartment Dh1.45m – Dh1.8m
3-bed apartment Dh2.3m – Dh2.6m
Source: Elysian Real Estate

Property’s verdict
With so many residential options available in this community, Marina Promenade units stand out for their high quality finishes, a well-equipped kitchen and the tower’s prominent location that overlooks the most scenic part of the bay. However, prices for units could vary depending on the view. The higher you go, the more you pay. For the fun-loving, this could be an ideal abode as it is a five-minute walk to the beach, the Dubai Marina Mall and the Dubai Marina Yacht Club, and is also close to Hilton Hotel and The Walk at JBR. On the downside, the ongoing construction of Al Sufouh Tram line could cause traffic bottlenecks in the area.

3. Ocean Heights

What An 84-storey tower comprising luxurious one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and exclusive penthouses.

Amenities and facilities With a state-of-the-art gym overlooking a temperature-controlled pool and leisure deck, and a day spa, sauna and jacuzzi, this is pampered living. Plus, there are 600 parking spaces, a barbecue area, a children’s play area and a crèche. The tower has du connectivity.

Rentals
1-bed apartment
Dh60,000 – Dh85,000
2-bed apartment Dh85,000 – Dh125,000
3-bed apartment Dh130,000 – Dh180,000
Penthouses Dh350,000 – Dh400,000
Source: Better Homes

Sales
1-bed apartment
Dh700,000 – Dh1.4m
2-bed apartment Dh1.4m – Dh2.2m
3-bed apartment Dh1.9m – Dh3.5m
Penthouses Dh6.5m – Dh8m

Property’s verdict
Easily accessible from Al Sufouh Road, Ocean Heights will appeal to young couples and families seeking a lifestyle of sheer luxury. The amenities and facilities in store leave residents spoilt for choice. The interiors are spacious with quality finishes and a well-equipped kitchen with German stainless-steel appliances. The floor-to-ceiling windows serve their purpose as most units offer Palm Jumeirah views. From an investment point of view, these homes are priced comparatively higher. But considering the quality of accommodation available, the pricing is justified. Renters, however, could get a good deal here.

4. Park Island

What Park Island features four residential towers — Blakely, Bonaire, Fairfield and Sanibel — having one-, two-and three-bedroom suites ranging from 709 to3,915 square feet.

Rentals
1-bed apartment
Dh60,000 – Dh75,000
2-bed apartment Dh105,000 – Dh125,000
3-bed apartment Dh190,000 – Dh210,000
Source: Hamptons Mena

Sales
1-bed apartment
Dh831,000 – Dh1.1m
2-bed apartment Dh1.4m – Dh1.7m
3-bed apartment Dh3.4m – Dh3.9m 
Source: Better Homes

Property
’s verdict
The apartments feature spacious layouts, light-filled interiors and currently offer views of the Palm Jumeirah. However, a tower coming up on the west of Park Island could block views as construction progresses. Benefitting from an excellent location, the Park Island
towers are situated opposite JBR’s Murjan towers. Unlike many other locations, there is easy access to residents, even during weekends. From a convenience point of view, there are dry-cleaners, a salon and a few other retail outlets that provide essentials. Families employing maids should note that the two-bed units do not include a maid’s room.

5. The Marinascape

What A twin-tower complex featuring the 35-storey Oceanic and the 25-storey Avant, the towers offer two- and three-bedroom waterfront apartments, penthouses and villas.

Amenities and facilities The units feature built-in wardrobes, a 3G super-wired technology system, du connectivity, basement storage, parking, a well-equipped kitchen and a maid’s room. The towers house a health club, Aquacentro, which offers an infinity pool, gym, an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam and sauna rooms and squash courts.

Rentals
2-bed apartment
Dh120,000 – Dh150,000
3-bed apartment Dh150,000 – Dh190,000
Source: Better Homes

Sales
2-bed apartment
Dh1.4m – Dh2m
3-bed apartment Dh2m – Dh3m
Source: Better Homes

Property’s verdict
The prominent location of Trident’s Marinascape could offer residents the best views of the marina. The homes feature high-quality finishing and spacious layouts but come at a price. Residents also have the convenience of retail and food outlets below the tower that include a Blue Mart Supermarket and Nandos. For those who do not drive, there is the Metro and a taxi rank just outside the building. However, it should be noted that the
elevators are small and could be a hindrance if you are moving in big furniture. Stairs could be an option in this case. Also, the pools cater to all units of the two towers and could get busy during weekends.