Coastal homes have always been in demand but if a pad by the sea isn’t an option, a lake is the next best thing.
And if you can’t find a lake, make an artificial one.
That’s what Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) did.
It’s just that instead of one lake, the master developers created four to magically transform a hitherto barren stretch of land into a vibrant mixed-use waterfront district we now know as Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT).
Later, one of the lakes was emptied to make way for a sprawling park in Cluster Q.
Comprising 26 clusters (each named after a letter from the English alphabet), with the last one, Z, in the making, JLT is one of the most sought-after locations in Dubai for residents and business owners alike.
It also remains a firm favourite among investors looking for reasonably-priced apartments in the emirate.
And that’s not necessarily because of the lakes or JLT’s freehold status that allows expatriates of any nationality to buy property in the sprawling neighbourhood.
There are several other factors that tilt the balance in its favour.
For starters, JLT is among the few places in Dubai where one can enjoy a serene lifestyle amid the hustle and bustle of the city.
It also has a jovial atmosphere and a thriving food scene, helped by culinary treasures such as Bait Maryam, 1762, Jazz@Pizza Express and the newly-opened Oh Sugar Café in Cluster X.
Being just off Sheikh Zayed Road, means JLT is close to all key business areas, including Dubai Media City and Internet City.
Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Marina Mall and Ibn Battuta Mall, Bluewaters Island and Ain Dubai are a short ride away, as is Jebel Ali.
Another advantage of living in JLT is that it is connected by two Metro stations — Sobha Realty (formerly Dubai Marina Metro Station), and DMCC, and it is also well-serviced by RTA buses.
Each cluster is self-contained, with everything from supermarkets, banks and pharmacies to restaurants, salons and fitness centres located within its precincts.
S. Martin, a French expatriate, who lives with his family in a two-bedroom apartment in Cluster D, said he snapped up the unit in 2015 without a second thought.
“It ticked all the right boxes. But yes, the lake and the park were the real differentiator as they foster a healthy and active lifestyle,” said the homeowner.
The sales price-per-square-foot for apartments in JLT has increased by 3.49 per cent to average at Dh927.5, according to Bayut and dubizzle’s latest property report.
Studio apartments here are priced at Dh450,000. A one-bedroom apartment costs Dh800,000, while two-bedroom units hover around the Dh1.5 million mark.
However, Martin is in no mood to sell his apartment, or let it out.
“I bought this place so that I could live here. I never looked at it as an investment. That’s incidental,” he reasoned.
Pakistani housewife Marim Ali, who lives in Cluster S, said she loves the multicultural vibes of the neighbourhood.
“If diversity is the key to harmony, JLT is just that. Not just people, we also have all kinds of cuisines from all over the world,” said the mother-of-two who relocated here last year. Like other residents, Ali feels she’s spoilt for choice when it comes to amenities and outdoor pursuits.
“All convenient stores are within a few hundred metres from my house, and the boardwalks and footbridges are perfect for an evening stroll,” she said.
There’s never a dull moment at JLT. The place remains buzzing with activity throughout the summer, but it’s during cooler climes that the place goes into overdrive with flea markets, pet shows, yoga classes and outdoor movie nights held at the community park.
JLT is also home to several hotels such as Taj, Bonnington, Pullman and Movenpick. There are also several holiday homes. Among the downsides of JLT is a shortage of parking spaces and schools, and the one-way traffic, which makes driving around certain clusters quite a hassle if you are not using Google Maps.
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