For those who seek affordable family living, Al Reef area is a great option. Image Credit: ANM Archive

Al Reef is a residential complex to the north of Abu Dhabi International Airport on the outskirts of the capital city. It comprises of four villages full of villas surrounding a central complex of apartments and light retail.

It is an ideal choice of residence for those who have to commute to Dubai each day, or who don’t need to travel into Abu Dhabi itself each morning. Its proximity from the city means that you get much more for your money in terms of rent.

Despite the community’s proximity to the airport, aircraft noise isn’t as bad as you may think. All windows are sound-proofed.

Where it’s located

Al Reef is located on the northern perimeter of Abu Dhabi International Airport. The E11 Ghweifat International Highway runs along the eastern side, and the E12 Shaikh Khalifa Highway runs from the north.


There are four residential compounds comprised of two, three, four, and five-bedroom villas: Contemporary Village, Desert Village, Arabian Village, and Mediterranean Village. In the centre of the community is the collection of apartments known as Downtown, featuring spacious apartments of one to four-bedrooms. Studios are also available.

Villa rents start at Dh120,000 annually for a two-bed, and prices roughly increase by Dh20,000 for each additional bedroom. A one-bedroom apartment in Downtown will cost around Dh85,000 annually.

Downtown has sen huge improvements in 2015


Taxis can be booked and there is a bus that runs through the community regularly towards Zayed Sports City. Car is the ideal method of transport and parking is generally excellent. Downtown parking can be busy in the evenings as some people attempt to get as close as possible to the shop. If you’re prepared to walk for an extra 30 seconds then it is no hassle.

Traffic entering in the evening can be slow moving on the E12, while leaving Al Reef in the mornings is generally hassle-free, although passing trucks can slow things down by the roundabout near the main entrance.


The area is served by a single Select supermarket in the central plaza. It’s open between 7am and midnight seven days a week and is well-stocked with all you need to get by. A Carrefour (at Deerfields), Spinney’s (in Khalifa City) and Geant (at Yas Mall) are much larger supermarkets and are all within a 10 minutes’ drive.

There is also a mobile phone shop, two barbers, a ladies salon, and two launderettes. There is also a recently-installed ATM.


The dining options in Al Reef cover most tastes, although a lot of places also deliver. There is 800 Pizza, Il Forno Italian Restaurant, Rawdat Al Reef Lebanese food, fried chicken, bagels, and a soon-to-be-open Costa Coffee.


Each of the residential villages has their own green spaces and parks. All have adventure playgrounds for children while they are also equipped with swimming pools and gyms. The central Downtown area has a communal green space – albeit made of plastic – next to the plaza.

Various private boot camps and exercise groups operate within the area.

All villas come with a small garden, and lucky ones a pool, too