Quiet suburban residential district is popular with families

What’s the area like?
On the outskirts of the city, past the airport and the Bin Sougat Mall 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.

Mirdif has developed at pace over the past couple of years, with the Uptown Mirdif area, an outdoor, pedestrianised precinct, really raising 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.

Best for
Families and couples; those who don’t mind a commute.

The peaceful suburban respite from Dubai’s 24-hour lunacy and the slightly better value rents. Also, its proximity to the now booming Festival City.

Unless you’re a plane spotter, being in Dubai Airport’s flight path could tire quickly. The traffic is also worsening, and likely to become a serious problem once the malls and other nearby new developments actually open.

On the radar
Unfortunately don’t expect a Metro stop – lines only extend as far as Rashidiya. However, vast residential developments (both villas and apartments) are due for completion in 2009, as is Mirdif City Centre, and Arabian Plaza is scheduled to open soon. The former includes 450 shops, five-a-side football pitches and an outdoor precinct with an open-air cinema; the latter will have Choithram’s first hypermarket.

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