Dubai: If you think of Dubai as nothing but skyscrapers, sand dunes, superhighways and sun-kissed white sand beaches, you’re about right.
But that’s not all. Its horizontally built-up “parcels”, especially in the "New Dubai" freehold districts are certainly worth exploring, and vastly more fascinating.
How? More than the majestic high-rises, set your gaze upon the vibrant nooks — and discover the greenery-amid-a-desert kind of spread.
Town Square's green spaces, tranquil neighbourhood, easy access are compelling reasons for its mini-city-within-a-city vibe. It also happens to be light on the pocket.
Since its 2015 launch, the development has been a big draw to younger, up-and-coming residents. Property investors, too, have found it worth their money.
Its main pull: larger units, parks spanning 154,000 square metres (or 15.4 hectares — the equivalent of more than 28 football pitches), for starters. There are 16 community gardens (and counting), retail/town centres as well as leisure activities and a number of dining options.
To the designer and developers’ unbounded credit, it’s a complete community package.
Take it from Portuguese couple Frederico Martins and Tatiana Martinho. In 2020, amid the pandemic, they upgraded their living space, by moving to Town Square Dubai.
“We took advantage of the dropping rents to upgrade our living,” said Martins, a commercial manager for a Dubai private company.
They moved homes from Downtown Dubai where they lived in a one-bedroom flat, and into a sprawling three-bedroom (plus maid’s room) townhouse at Safi, one of Town Square’s sections.
“It was a huge upgrade for us — and for nearly the same amount we were paying at Downtown Dubai,” explained Martinho.
“For example, we were paying Dh75,000 per annum as rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Downtown Dubai. We leased the townhouse in Town Square Dubai for just Dh80,000 per annum in 2020. We loved every bit of our stay there. We had a big garden area which our cats enjoyed.”
We love it here and we want to have our own townhouse. Since there is a down-payment required, we decided to downsize and save for our future home.
The couple was the move was for the better then. Recently, moved again, this time to a two-bedroom apartment paying Dh50,000 per annum to save up for a down-payment so they can purchase. And they’re looking no farther than Town Square itself.
“We love it here and we want to have our own townhouse. Since there is a down-payment required, we decided to downsize and save for our future home,” said Martins.
Martinho added: “The community here is very welcoming. There are many facilities. We have two large hypermarkets – Carrefour and Spinneys. Plenty of restaurants have opened up. The dog park is a great place for pet lovers. All in all, it is a self-contained community. We love living here.”
TOWN SQUARE: FACT FILE
- 2015: Community project launched
- 750-acre (31 million sq ft): area of mixed-use community
- 1 million sq ft: retail space
- 3,000: Number of townhouses planned (when fully developed)
- 18,000: Number of apartments
- 250-rooms Hotel within the community
- 10 years: Development timeline
- Designer: Nelsen Partners
- Developer: Nshama Group
For German expat Nicole Alagha, 37, a fitness trainer, it was the generous green spaces that drew her in.
“Coming from Europe, we are used to vast greenery in and around our residential living. When I saw the effort that went into making it such an eco-friendly place, I jumped in to lease an apartment.”
Coming from Europe, we are used to vast greenery in and around our residential living. When I saw the effort that went into making it such an eco-friendly place, I jumped in to lease an apartment.
Alagha took up a studio apartment for lease in July 2021 for Dh30,000 per annum. The asking rental price now for a one-bedroom unit is around Dh45,000 per annum while that of a fully furnished apartment hovers around Dh60,000 per annum.
Another unique feature: good connectivity with the rest of Dubai — thanks to its accessibility to key road networks like Umm Suqueim, Hessa, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed road among others.
“I have flexible working hours so I never get stuck in traffic.” Despite rents in the area rising, she is protected under Rera (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) rules, Alagha said.
“We were previously living in an apartment and when we started to have children, we wanted to move to a townhouse with a large garden space for children to enjoy,” said Portuguese expat André Chaves, 34.
The Chaveses live in a four-bedroom (plus maid's room) townhouse in Town Square's Naseem district, paying an annual rent of Dh125,000. “Our property is 329 square meters. For the space, we believe that the asking rental is quite reasonable.”
The sense community among residents in priceless. “Our children have friends around the community. We just renewed our contract too and the landlord did not increase the rent. So all in all, it is a great living experience.”
For Filipina entrepreneur Narita Mangaran, 38, the community’s calm and quiet air are top considerations. “I love the tranquillity of the neighbourhood here. There are so many eateries and cafes. Most of the time I have my meetings here.”
There’s so much more to it, though. Mangaran said as an entrepreneur, she has found the community to be a great hub for networking. “The community has attracted many young tenants and investors. It has been great networking with them.”
Mangaran said her rent also is up. “In July 2021, I leased a two-bedroom apartment for Dh43,000 per annum. For my renewal in 2022, the rent went up to Dh49,000.” It’s all part of the supply-and-demand equation. “The community is getting busy and yet it is so quiet and peaceful.”
Retail, dining outlets
Mohammed Ameen opened Foor Circles, a South Indian-themed restaurant, at Town Square in July 2022, and thanks community members for their continuous patronage. “It is my first venture in the restaurant business. And I am pleasantly surprised that we have achieved a break-even just four months after launch date. This is all thanks to the growing community in Town Square and from the surrounding communities who dine in or order take-a-ways.
He said: “My family and I hail from South of India. When my wife and I moved to Dubai in January 2022 we were struggling to find a restaurant that serves South Indian food. So I asked developer Nshama if I could start one in the area. They were extremely supportive. Paperwork was done fast. "I am so grateful that our restaurant has been well received not just by in Town Square's Indian community but other expats and Emiratis who regularly dine with us.”
Slate is a casual food joint at Town Square's Hayat Boulevard 18 serving international cuisine, healthy fares and drinks — and its signature Slate Burger. The owner, Pakistani expat Qurat Ulain Siddiqui, said since she opened the restaurant back in September 2021, there has been no looking back.
“The community has grown massively since then," Siddiqui, who lives in Al Zahra Townhouse. "More people have moved to the community so the demand for take-aways and dine-ins has been high. Among the district's residents, a friend-of-a-friend happenstance is common. "We have a good network and it helps (the business) a lot.”
When Nshama Group launched Town Square in 2015, they made a deliberate decision towards generous green spaces and an expansive design, a fact valued by many residents today.
It’s not done yet
At the moment, Town Square is divided into "parcels" of apartments and villa communities: Naseem Townhouses, Safi Townhouses, Zahra Townhouses, Hayat Boulevard Apartments, Hayat Townhouses, Noor Townhouses, Sama Townhouses, Reem Townhouses, UNA Apartments, Al Zahra Apartments, Safi Apartments among some others.
Two additional “parcels” within the community together have 300,000 square feet of retail, food & beverage, and cinema joints — alongside 800 residential units in six towers above the retail and parking podium.
Eventually, the 750-acre development will hold have 3,000 townhouses and 18,000 apartments during its 10-year development timescale.
“During the pandemic, rents across Dubai dropped and the Town Square Dubai was no exception,” Niraj Masand, Managing Director, Artha Realty LLC.
“Given a fact that the development was fairly new and well-constructed, it became attractive to a host of young tenants and investors.
“Many residents took advantage of the rental drop in the area. What is more, being a fairly new community the properties provided a fresh flavour to an existing portfolio of units for rent in the city,” Masand said.
Rent vs buy
According to Artha Realty, average rental for studios in the area hover between Dh28,000 per annum and Dh35,000 per annum. Sales prices for these range between Dh300,000 to Dh375,000.
Asking rentals on one-bedroom apartments ranged from Dh45,000 to Dh60,000 per annum. Sales prices for these are between Dh400,000 and Dh550,000.
Two-bedroom apartments are leasing for between Dh65,000 and Dh75,000. Sales prices for these range from Dh750,000 to Dh850,000.
Rentals for three bedroom apartments hover between Dh95,000 and Dh125,000; sales prices are between Dh1 million and Dh1.3 million.
Three bedroom townhouses are currently asking for Dh125,000 to Dh140,000. Sales prices are between Dh1.7 million and Dh1.9 million.
Four bedroom townhouses rentals are asking a price between Dh140,000 and Dh180,000. Sales prices hover between Dh1.9 million and Dh2.35 million. [All prices by Artha Realty LLC]
Leisure facilities within and nearby
- The Al Qudra cycling track
- Al Qudra Lake
- Love Lake
- Dubai Miracle Garden
- Global Village
- Dubai Polo Equestrian Club
- Recreational park (with facilities for kids | adults)
- Dedicated children’s area with a “kids train”
- 70-seater carousel
- Jungle gym with slides | monkey bars | swings and a Splash Pad and Water Fountain
- Dog Park
- Battle Park
- Skate Park
- Trampoline Park
- Wave Rider
- Shopping | Dining areas
- Ranches Primary School (10-minute drive)
- Jebel Ali School (13-minutes drive)
- Fairgreen International School (15-minute drive)
Food Circle, The Lime Tree Café and Kitchen, Boutique Kitchen, Caya, Parka, KFC, Starbucks, Subway and Krispy Crème are some places where people can dine in.
Off Al Qudra Road (D63), close to Arabian Ranches 2, Mudon, The Sustainable City, Dubai Studio City, and the Al Qudra cycling track.
Bus Numbers: 29 and F13 (they both pass by Town Square Dubai)
• LIVA is a 12-storey residential building under development at the Town Square Dubai. Sales prices here start from Dh450,000.
• MAHA Townhouses in Town Square Dubai are three and four-bedroom townhouses. The townhouses come with six payment plans on the project.
• Shams Townhouses come with a 50/50 payment plan. Booking on the property can be made paying 10 per cent. Prices start Dh1.62 million upwards.