UAE’s greenest community: Farm your own food, live with the gazelles in this Expo City neighbourhood

Featuring a lake, a wadi and cooler temperatures, 60% of Expo Valley will be green


Sahim Salim

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Published: Thu 5 Oct 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 5 Oct 2023, 11:47 PM

Fancy waking up to the sights and sounds of a lake and a wadi, with gazelles roaming around your neighbourhood? This will soon be a reality as the UAE’s greenest community takes shape.

An Expo City Dubai development will be the first in the UAE to feature 60 per cent green areas within a community, a top official has said. Expo Valley — one of two new residential developments at the Expo 2020 Dubai legacy site — will offer a “truly harmonious living experience that integrates nature, space and convenience”.

The first phase of Expo Valley’s Shamsa Townhouses sold out, with the second announced last month.

“From the comfort of their homes, residents will enjoy unobstructed views of lush greenery, including a lake and a wadi, where they can observe wildlife and see gazelles grazing in the neighbourhood. Plus, they will be able enjoy the outdoors, with walking trails and cycle paths to explore their surroundings,” Ahmed Al Khatib, chief development and delivery officer, Expo City Dubai, told Khaleej Times in an interview.

A villa and townhouse community, Expo Valley is developed and designed with a unique topography known as ‘folded earth’ that “creates a natural buffer against noise and dust, lowers the temperature and offers more privacy for residents”.

“This generates a unique microclimate, providing a more comfortable environment and offering opportunities for urban farming and farm-to-table dining,” said Al Khatib.

Mangrove Residences within Expo Central — the other residential development — has a more urban setting. Despite this, it features “stunning landscaped courtyards and semi-private community gardens”.

Mangrove Residences is the first of three clusters of buildings that make up Expo Central, with the other two — Sidr Residences and Sky Residences — “coming soon”.

Construction status, costs

Construction on the residential projects has started, with the first units scheduled to be handed over in January 2026, Al Khatib said.

Shamsa Townhouses come in two variants of three- and four-bed units, with a basement parking for two vehicles. Prices for phase 1 started at Dh3.4 million.

Apartments at Mangrove Residences start at Dh1.2 million and range from one-bed apartments to three-bed townhouses and four-bed loft apartments.

Car-free living

Expo Central is pedestrian-friendly, with its districts car-free to improve safety and air quality. Micro-mobility solutions, including e-bikes and e-scooters, are encouraged, said Al Khatib.

The three residential plots are located within 250 metres of the iconic Al Wasl and within a five-minute walk of all Expo City’s attractions and amenities. It offers easy access to the Dubai Metro, which means “residents can reach Dubai Marina within 20 minutes”.

“Residents with cars will find underground parking and enjoy easy access to major highways, connecting them to Dubai and beyond,” the official added.

Expo Valley will feature car-free lanes and dedicated tracks for cycles and e-scooters.

Living at a World Expo legacy site

When asked what it would be like to live at Expo City, Al Khatib said: “Imagine living at the heart of a former World Expo site – in London’s Hyde Park, or overlooking Seattle’s Space Needle, or the Eiffel Tower."

“Expo City Dubai now offers an opportunity to live in the city we built for the world. It will be an incredible place, with offices and businesses of all sizes drawn to the city’s enabling Free Zone environment that provides a springboard for them to scale and grow, to take advantage of all the city’s attractions, events and experiences that are right on the doorstep.”

Townhouses are luxury homes that offer privacy “while keeping residents connected to a vibrant community featuring swimming pools and recreational facilities, clubhouses and outdoor cinemas, play areas and pop-up cafés”.

“Expo City Dubai is an essential part of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan and incorporates environmentally friendly design while emphasising wellbeing and happiness. Expo Valley and Expo Central are designed to meet the highest levels of sustainability and cater to a variety of lifestyles and preferences. They build on the World Expo’s sustainability credentials while also supporting Expo City Dubai’s wider decarbonisation journey and the UAE’s net zero targets,” Al Khatib added.


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