We take a look around Barsha in the latest in our series of neighbourhood guides. To buy, or not to buy?
Time Out Dubai staff
To some it’s just the hinterland behind Mall of the Emirates, but, with much of ‘new’ Dubai within a stone’s throw and a host of facilities cropping up to deal with its young, growing population, Barsha is going places. Don’t believe us? Well, just take a look. There are plans for a community park – sporting a pond, no less – and Barsha Mall, plus the Metro’s arriving in just a few months. And then there’s what’s already here. More than meets the eye, we think…
1 Gold and Diamond Park: It will not come as a surprise to find out this ‘park’ is a mall and that it sells gold and diamonds. Launched in 2001, it has become one of Dubai’s shopping landmarks and something of a tourist destination. The park is scattered with cafés and restaurants, which make it easier to spend a whole day browsing and shopping for different designs. With 90 retailers you are also given the option to design your own jewellery. Behind Dubai Police Traffic Department, 04 347 7788
2 Royal Buddha: This Thai restaurant screams style. Its contemporary decor consists of red, black and gold, which helps to create a magnificent atmosphere. From your seats at the bar you can see the exhibition kitchen, providing an interesting spectacle. There’s a vast Thai menu and an extensive list of cocktails to choose from, but, if that stresses you out, the restaurant’s gold statue of a Buddha offers a reassuring presence. Ground Floor, Holiday Inn, 04 704 0801
3 Sushi Folie: Located in the lobby of Holiday Inn, Sushi Folie is a colourful sushi bar where the food goes around on a conveyer belt waiting to be selected by you. A great place to get a quick bite to eat without having to hang around. Lobby, Holiday Inn, 04 704 0804
4 Locker Room: A lively sports bar with a pool table that gives you the chance to idle away a few hours. Catch all the live sporting action on the seven 50 inch LCD screens while enjoying a traditional pub menu. Come Thursday, ladies get three free drinks. Golden Tulip Hotel, 04 341 7750
5 Roots Hair Salon: This is a branch of the same Roots you’ll find in the Fairmont hotel. It’s an accessible place, offering a range of services from spas to spray tans, as well as make-up lessons. All in all, an ideal place to pamper yourself without having to leave Barsha. Al Barka Building, behind Mall of the Emirates, 04 347 3343
6 Dubai American Academy: This international school follows the American curriculum. Built on 23 acres of land, the school, known as DAA, is easily accessible and ideal for residents in Barsha. With facilities including a library, media centre, football (soccer) pitch, gym, auditorium and 25-metre swimming pool available to students you can be sure your child will not run out of things to do easily. Next to third Barsh roundabout, 04 347 7770
7 LuLu Hypermarket: With different department stores and pharmacies available this LuLu caters to most needs. There are parking spaces for 1,000 vehicles and it’s well situated. The fish counter known, boastfully, as ‘Fish market’ provides you with plenty of variety at affordable prices. Behind Mall of the Emirates, 04 3418888
8 Grand Millennium Hotel: This newish five-star provides residents with a gym membership plan. There are treadmills, cross trainers, cardio and weight machines, as well as free weight training machines. They can also provide personal trainers, if you like being shouted at and paying for the privilege. Grand Millennium Hotel, 04 429 9999
9 Choco’a: Nestled in a corner of the vast, but exceptionally handy Mall of The Emirates, this tidy little place has delicious, mouth-watering and beautifully decorated chocolates. Feast on a selection of choccies from east and west delightfully wrapped to make somebody’s day! It’s one-stop choc shop for all your most extravagant and delectable, er, needs. Next to Mall of the Emirates, 04 340 9092
10 Mosaic Bar: While everyone is well aware of Après and Sezzam, the Kempinski’s Mosaic Bar is hidden away on the second floor of the hotel and is arguably the best of the lot. It has two private red tents, adding to the luxurious look, with low floor seating where you can enjoy shisha. Decorated with bean bangs that overlook the lavish infinity pool it is an ideal place to unwind and enjoy your drinks. Second floor Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates, 04 409 5999
Nazia Tabassum 45, Housewife
I’ve been living in Barsha for quite some time now. We are used to living in large houses back home in Pakistan and Barsha has larger houses. You get good maintenance if you are lucky and so it gives a homely feeling. Its proximity to the mall is a huge advantage: you get everything from clothes to groceries all under one roof. The new Emirates Bank that has just come up close by makes life easier as well. We have everything here: schools, banks, the mall. And now they have community parks coming up as well. Barsha is a great, because there’s hardly ever any traffic here and you have easy access to Al Khail road, which helps when Sheikh Zayed is congested. It’s just the perfect place to live!
Seemeen Muslim, 23
Living in Barsha is great. It’s so good because it’s close to the Marina, JBR, and The Palm and, also, you are very close to the Mall of the Emirates, which is amazing. You don’t need to plan to just land up at the mall. It’s a very safe neighbourhood, so you can walk around, which makes it a good residential area. It’s quiet and you have larger villas, which means you get your space.