Dubai does indeed have its idyllic slice of suburbia, and there's plenty on offer Image Credit: Thinkstock

Two of New Dubai’s oldest villa developments, The Springs and The Meadows have retained their appeal despite their relative ages (both a decade old).

Part of Emirates Living (a large network of neighbouring communities by master developer Emaar), The Springs and The Meadows are numbered, individual gated districts bordered by swankier neighbours The Lakes and Emirates Hills (a collection of mega-mansions that is currently Dubai’s answer to Beverly Hills), and newer developments such as Jumeirah Village Triangle, by developer Nakheel.

As a result of being one of the first freehold villa communities in the city along with a number of international schools and nurseries, supermarkets, cafes and salons, the areas have long been a favourite among expat residents, and you will find a large number actually own their homes rather than rent.

While you will find a variety of different size homes in each type of community, The Springs villas start from two bedrooms, while The Meadows start from three. And if you’re new to the city – don’t be fooled by the names, there are no freshwater sources or vast expanses of green fields to be found here. On the upside, there are a few pleasant lakes and public walkways, where families and dog walkers visit when the weather is hospitable.

Where Part of the Emirates Living area of New Dubai, The Springs and The Meadows sit between Jumeirah Lakes Towers and the Al Khail Road. No metro stations service the area, though buses pass through frequently.

Good for Families - There are international schools and nurseries in the area, plus community swimming pools and playground facilities. All villas have their own garden, and some have pools (installed by landlords/previous owners rather than master developer Emaar).
Pets - Dogs in particular are increasingly unwelcome in Dubai’s neighbourhoods, but gardens and open green spaces in these neighbourhoods mean there is plenty of room for your four-legged friends.
Grocery shopping - In total, the communities share a large and small Spinneys, Milk & Honey store and a well-stocked petrol station, open late.
Convenience foods - The area has a McDonalds, Texas Chicken, Subway, Tim Hortons, Zaatar W Zeit, Starbucks, Wendy’s and Costa Coffee, to name but a few.

Bad for Taxis - RTA vehicles are notoriously hard to come by in The Springs and The Meadows, with residents often told they can expect to wait up to an hour for a taxi during peak timings. More often than not, taxis don’t turn up at all.
Security and petty theft - Missing hosepipe fixtures are a regular occurrence, and reports of attempted and successful break-ins have been more frequent recently than in the past. Security presently seem more concerned with enforcing rules on walking pets on leads and not cycling around lake areas.
Dining out and nightlife – the main options in the area are very casual dining, and the nearest bars are in nearby Emirates Hills and The Lakes, at The Address Montgomerie Dubai and Reform Social & Grill respectively.

Transport There are no metro stations in the area – the nearest are Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lakes Towers on Jumeirah Lakes Towers side, roughly a ten-minute car journey from most Springs and Meadows clusters. Bus F31 services the neighbourhood, with frequent stops along main roads and outside major community numbers and landmarks.
Taxi Taxis are easy to find unless you need one during peak hours (rush hour during the week and Thursday and Friday evenings), or during the shift changeover period, around 4pm daily.
Traffic Thanks to the ugly ‘upgrades’ to the area’s main roads, making them five-lane highways, congestion is rare, and usually only caused by the strip’s badly coordinated traffic lights.
Rent As of May 2014, the average rent for a three-bedroom villa in The Meadows was Dh220,000-250,000 per year, while the average rent for a two-bedroom villa in The Springs was Dh120,000-135,000, according to the Dubai Land Department’s rent calculator.

Five to try in The Springs and The Meadows

SportZone at Fitness First Open to both members and non-members, this large sports hall offers facilities for basketball, tennis, badminton, indoor cricket and more.
Meadows Village Centre, http://www.fitnessfirstme.com (04 4370545).
Royal Bakery Feast on freshly made saj bread, manakish straight from the oven, mixed grills and crunchy salads at this affordable Lebanese bakery and café.
Next to Springs Town Centre Mosque (04 4227970).
The Nail Spa A friendly ladies-only salon offering manicures, pedicures and more, in clean, comfortable surroundings. Worth paying the extra over visiting other nail salons in the area. Springs Town Centre, http://www.thenailspa.com  (600 44001).
Zen Yoga Try a variety of different yoga styles and new classes such as Booty Barre at this studio, with both mixed and ladies-only sessions. Springs Town Centre, http://www.yoga.ae (04 4224643).
Milk & Honey It often feels like this small gourmet food store has more staff than customers, but if you’re interested in imported goods and products for dietary requirements such as gluten or dairy-free, it’s worth a look in.
Springs Town Centre, http://www.milkandhoney.ae (04 4356363).