What’s the area like? On the outskirts of the city you’ll find a little slice of the suburbs in the desert of Dubai. Mirdif has its fair share of palatial monstrosities that all seem to be competing for the prize of kitschiest erection, but has plenty of smaller villas for people who don’t want – or can’t afford – to live in a city villa, but wish to start a family in the lap of quasi-luxury.
Amenities The Uptown Mirdif area, an outdoor, pedestrianised precinct, has really raised the desert development’s game – so much so that you often forget you actually are in the desert. Mushrif Park is another perk – a big desert space with playground facilities, swimming pools (segregated) and a large wilderness area for off-roading. The family-friendly ’hood naturally has several schools and nurseries, with four more just across the road in Al Mizhar. The Arabian Centre Mall has also opened and houses a hypermarket. The mammoth Mirdif City Centre is also nearing completion. This mall will include 450 shops, five-a-side football pitches and an outdoor precinct with an open-air cinema.
Pros The peaceful suburban respite from Dubai’s 24-hour lunacy and the slightly better-value rents. Also, its proximity to Festival City.
Cons It’s an age away from the city proper. Also, unless you’re a plane spotter, being in Dubai Airport’s flight path could tire quickly. The traffic is worsening, and likely to become a serious problem once the malls and other nearby new developments open. The metro is only an option as far as Rashidiya – then you have to jump on a feeder bus the rest of the way. Average cost of a three-bed villa in Mirdif: To rent Dhs110,000-130,000.