What’s the area like? If you can get past the imposing look of JBR’s tower blocks, it’s dazzling. Located at the heart of ‘new Dubai’, the marina is a multi-million dirham man-made lagoon surrounded by trees, grass, fountains, archways and pagoda-type structures. Meanwhile, the cheaper JLT development is rapidly growing on the other side of Sheikh Zayed Road.
Amenities The area boasts plenty of luxury shops, a few high-street names and a couple of supermarkets. The weekly marina market is one of the best craft fairs in town. We also mustn’t forget the army of affordable restaurants and bounty of watersports on offer. With Marina Mall now open, there’s a Waitrose, high-street shops and, soon, a cinema at residents’ fingertips.
Best for Young families and professional bachelors.
Pros Because there are so many outdoor cafés and restaurants, there is a lively vibe at night and it’s remarkably pleasant to take a stroll down pedestrian strip The Walk, or along the beach – another very big draw. Once the JLT and Marina metro stops open (due Feb 2010), not only will residents be able to travel the length of Dubai, but it will literally bridge the gap between JLT and the marina, currently divided by SZR.
Cons Some parts are still construction zones. Despite the road system upgrades, it is hard to see how the sheer volume of people expected to move to such a concentrated area will move about. There also seems to be a proliferation of American-style food chains, and luxury shops stocking fur coats – rather than corner shops selling milk. Average cost of a two-bed apartment in Dubai Marina: To rent Dhs130,000. To buy Dhs1.6million. Average cost of a two-bed apartment in Jumeirah Lakes Towers. To rent Dhs90-120,000. To buy Dhs1.4million.