Jumeirah, Jumeirah: There are at least a dozen Dubai localities with Jumeirah in their name Image Credit: AbdelKrim Kallouche/Ahmed Ramzan

Dubai What’s in a name? A lot if the word in question is ‘Jumeirah’. Or why else would so many communities in Dubai sport the name?

From the good old Jumeirah 1, Jumeirah 2 and Jumeirah 3 to newer areas like Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Jumeirah Park, Jumeirah Heights, Jumeirah Village Circle, Jumeirah Village Triangle and the more recent Jumeirah Golf Estates, Pearl Jumeirah and Jumeirah Corniche – Dubai’s list of Jumeirah-tagged communities is long. And perhaps it’s no coincidence.

A spokesperson for Nakheel, which has developed five of these communities, told XPRESS: “Several Nakheel community developments feature ‘Jumeirah’ in their names. Historically, the word Jumeirah is associated with prestige, high-end living and Nakheel created a family of brands to reflect this. Nakheel’s Jumeirah projects include Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Islands, Jumeirah Heights, Jumeirah Park and Jumeirah Village.”

As perceptions go, the name Jumeirah carries a sense of exclusivity and is considered the B everly Hills of the Middle East. Mohanad Alwadiya, managing director, Harbor Real Estate said: “The original Jumeirah district has a lot of value to the city and its residents due to its historic positioning and unique waterfront location. Developers and projects use the word Jumeirah in order to build on the inherent emotional values and equity associated with the original district.”

There’s also an unmistakable pride about living in a Jumeirah community. Few understand this better than Indian businessman Ram Buxani, one of the earliest expats to arrive in the UAE.

Jumeirah and Dubai

Buxani, who has lived in Jumeirah 1 for 35 years and has picked up freehold properties in Jumeirah Park and Pearl Jumeirah said: “The history of Dubai cannot be isolated from the word Jumeirah. When I arrived in the UAE in 1959 I had my first glass of water from Jumeirah. In those days the wells of Jumeirah used to supply water on donkey-backs to the city. The water in Jumeirah 1 used to be salty and would be used for washing, while the sweet water from Jumeirah 3 was used for drinking purposes.”

Going further back in time, Jumeirah is said to be the location of an important archaeological site, home to a wealthy settlement in the early Islamic era. A Dubai Museum team has even excavated big houses built of beach rock covered with lime plaster at the site.

Etymologically speaking, Maya Mazloum, head of academic studies and Arabic instructor at Eton Institute, said the word Jumeirah has two origins. “The original word in the spoken language is Qumeirah, which over time became Jumeirah. Qumeirah literally means the beautiful reflection of the moon on rocks or stones on the seashore.”

She said the second standard meaning is derived from the Arabic root system. “Here, we understand that the word Jumeirah comes from J-M-R, which literally means ember or a glowing piece of coal. The temperatures in this part of the world are so high that they help palm dates ripen more quickly. The fruit is also very sweet and tasty. So Jumeirah can mean the right place for the right fruit.”

Little wonder then that properties in Jumeirah communities are among the priciest, with high demand for housing – both rentals and ownership.

A luxury villa on Palm Jumeirah costing Dh172 million is considered to be the most expensive property ever listed for sale in the emirate.

Flagship project

The Nakheel spokesperson said: “Over 30,000 people currently live on Palm Jumeirah and it is also home to nine luxury hotels, with more on the way. Our flagship project, it is a world-famous location and one of the world’s most sought-after places to live and visit globally. Nakheel continues to enhance this island with a number of new tourist attractions, leisure facilities and residential offerings including the Nakheel Mall, The Palm Tower, The Boardwalk and Palm West Beach.”

She said: “Our other Jumeirah projects are in demand too. For example, last year we sold out Legacy Nova villas at Jumeirah Park within hours of their launch. Land released last month at Jumeirah Park was quickly purchased by investors eager to be part of this growing community.”

It’s the same story in other Jumeirah communities. Paul Clark, property consultant with Ocean View Real Estate, said property prices in Jumeirah Golf Estates range from Dh5.5 million for entry-level townhouses to Dh30 million for a plush five bedroom mansion. Similarly, rentals range between Dh250,000 and Dh1 million.”

Even the Jumeirahs of old town command high rentals that could go up to Dh500,00-Dh750,000, said one broker, That’s not to say the high rises of Jumeirah Lake Towers or Jumeirah Beach Residences are any less appealing. Sonia, an Indian housewife in Jumeirah Lake Towers, said: “I just love it here. The other day I was mentioning to an overseas visitor I live in JLT and his reaction was spontaneous. ‘Wow, Jumeirah’, he said.”

On the flip side, she added: “It’s another matter the uninitiated could end up in a maze if they don’t get a Jumeirah address right. There are so many of them, you could go around in circles.”


Jumeirah Janes and a Jumeirah Falcon

The word Jumeirah is evident not just in community names – but practically everywhere. Forget the upmarket hospitality brand Jumeirah and its hotels like Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Beach Hotel on, well, Jumeirah Beach Road, even a completely unrelated café on Oud Metha road calls itself Jumeirah Falcon. There is a slew of educational institutions too like Jumeirah Primary School, Jumeira Baccalaureate School, Jumeirah College, Jumeirah English Speaking School and so on. And of course, there are the Jumeirah Janes, a catchphrase to describe pampered wives of wealthy expats living in the suburbs of Jumeirah.



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