Studying in Dubai: Residential Life
Moving to a new country and finding accommodation is an exciting and challenging adventure. Dubai is like no other place in the world when it comes to the choice of living arrangements. Below you’ll find some of the best places for a student to live in the city and make the most of the Dubai experience.
Dubai International Academic City (DIAC)
Home to over 25,000 international students from every corner of the globe, DIAC houses universities such as Heriot-Watt, one of the only campuses in Dubai that offers its own accommodation. In DIAC, students from different universities can share housing and recreational facilities, allowing them to mingle and learn about each other’s cultures.
Being a member of the DIAC community also has its own extra perks. Those who live in the area can benefit from access to facilities such as visa services, car rentals and even travel agencies. These facilities are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
DIAC also hosts the Week of Welcome (W.O.W) – the biggest annual festival for international students. It provides students with a smoother transition to campus life and culture by allowing them to become familiar with their new environment and interact with peers and faculty members. This is all done through the many exciting activities and events that take place throughout the week – and on top of that, over 50,000Dhs worth of prizes are given away too.
It’s easy to see why Downtown Dubai is often considered one of the most desirable locations to live in the entire UAE. It houses some of the UAE’s crowning jewels: the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall (not to mention the famous Dubai Fountain!), as well as leading universities such as Canadian University Dubai.
Downtown living is all about apartments. There are many styles to consider, from the towering silver skyscrapers to the rustic, Arabic-styled apartments. Most of them have their own pools and gyms, so fitness-conscious students won’t need to worry about spending money on expensive gym memberships.
Arts and culture are also an important part of Downtown Dubai. Its Opera District gives local artists a chance to showcase their talents and provides a space for cultural exchange between Dubai residents. Leading the community is the Dubai Opera House, an ideal venue for sporting events, films, art exhibits and more.
The Dubai Metro runs through Downtown, which means that moving around Dubai is easy – and that’s without including the driverless taxis that are starting to appear!
Dubai Silicon Oasis
Dubai Silicon Oasis is an up-and-coming area that is close to the Academic City and has had considerable government investment since its foundation. Over the last few years, the area has expanded and improved greatly, with new buildings, shops and restaurants opening regularly. In Silicon Oasis, students will find the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), which provides degrees accredited by both the US and the UAE’s Ministry of Education.
For those who want a quiet lifestyle away from the activity of inner-city living, Silicon Oasis is ideal. The local lake is well suited for early morning jogs or late evening strolls. The buildings and residential areas are new and accommodations are guaranteed to be modern and spacious. Public transport can be limited, so those looking to explore Dubai would be best off doing so using taxis or their own cars.
Dubai Marina is built around a stunning man-made marina and is near Jumeirah Beach Residence, which contains the world-famous Walk and many other entertainment hot-spots. Offering great views of the Palm, it’s also close to the American University in Dubai (AUD) and the Dubai Knowledge Village.
There are two metro stations located in the Marina, as well as access to the Dubai Tram, which makes transport across the city easy, fast and cheap.
Located in the heart of the Marina is Dubai Marina Mall, a modern and thoughtfully designed spot for shopping and leisure. In addition to the Mall, there are also countless other shops, restaurants and cinemas, which means that an adventurous student will never have to eat or shop in the same place twice.
Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT)
Directly opposite Dubai Marina, JLT is a large development which consists of 80 towers organized into 26 clusters, named from A to Z. It houses MODUL University and shares many of the same advantages of living in the Marina. However, the cost of rent for an apartment is generally cheaper in JLT than in the Marina.
Transport is also simple and cheap within the area, which means it’s possible to get around without a car. Clusters A to N are serviced by the JLT Metro station, while O to Y surround the Damac Properties Metro station, which is also part of the Dubai Tram route. There is also a buggy system that brings people between clusters for a small free.
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About the Author: When he’s not geeking out over the latest Marvel films, Chris Davy is an English teacher who splits his time between Dubai and the UK.