Living in... Dubai's Palm Jumeirah

Despite the rise of many rival luxury developments, the man-made island has enduring appeal for its 70,000-plus residents and hundreds of thousands of tourists

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Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

Palm Jumeirah, set on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, is considered by many to be the unofficial eighth wonder of the world.

This impressive manmade island, which was created using 120 million cubic metres of sand and seven million tonnes of rock, can be seen from outer space.

In 2001, Nakheel was handed the responsibility of developing what is now one of the most instantly recognisable landmarks in Dubai.

Within just five years, its first residents set up home on the unique development. Today, this thriving community is home to more than 78,000 people.

In terms of size, the island covers 560 hectares, which is big enough to house 600 football pitches.

It is four times the size of Hyde Park in London and 1.5 times the size of Central Park in New York.

Ricky Wolf, property consultant at Allsopp and Allsopp said families, singles, young professionals and couples can all enjoy Palm Jumeirah living.

The promenade of outlets gives visitors and residents a relaxed European dining atmosphere

“The Nakheel development is a thriving hub for tourists and residents alike,” he said.

“An array of cafes, restaurants and bars can be found in hotels and areas around the community.

“The promenade of outlets gives visitors and residents a relaxed European dining atmosphere for a refreshing breakfast, lunch or dinner while taking in the spectacular sea views."

For fitness enthusiasts, he said, there is a running track between the Shoreline and Golden Mile apartments on the trunk of Palm Jumeirah.

The 2.5km track is popular with runners, dog walkers and families. It is lined with play areas and exercise machines.

As its name suggests, this bustling neighbourhood is carved in the shape of a palm tree. Once completed, it doubled the coastline of the city by adding 80km to Dubai’s original shoreline.

The Palm Jumeirah island consists of the trunk, the crescent and 16 fronds, which are accessible only to homeowners and tenants.

Along the trunk, which is the main access point by road in and out of the island, are 20 buildings that make up the Shoreline Apartments. Each building is named after a type of date, in line with the date palm theme of the island.

They have 2,600 apartments, from one-bedroom to four.

Palm Jumeirah, home to more than 18 hotels and resorts, a waterpark and its own dedicated public transport network, the monorail, added another string to its bow this year despite being in the midst of a health pandemic.

In October, it launched the world’s largest fountain at The Pointe, which overlooks the famous Atlantis Hotel.

Shoreline Apartments

How well connected is Palm Jumeirah?

Although Palm Jumeirah is an island, it is connected to the mainland via its trunk and cars can drive on and off the island freely.

While there is no Dubai Metro connection to the Palm, it has its own dedicated monorail.

The Palm monorail stretches along the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah and has four stations – the Gateway station, at the entry to the Palm, the Atlantis Aquaventure station, at the far end, and two intermediate stations, Al Ittihad Park Station and the Nakheel Mall Station.

The main station at the entrance of Palm Jumeirah links up with the Dubai Tram by a walkway. The station has 1,600 parking spaces.

It operates seven days a week and runs every 15 minutes from 9am to 10pm. You cannot use your Nol card to pay for the monorail tickets. A one-way journey costs Dh20 while a two-way ticket is Dh30.

The area is also well serviced by RTA buses with bus stops dotted throughout the community.

Rent prices on Palm Jumeirah

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the residential sales and rental market in Dubai. The cost of renting a home in the city fell in the past few months, giving greater choice to tenants.

A report by property company Core said rental prices for apartments in Palm Jumeirah dropped by 9 per cent between July and September this year compared with the same period in 2019.

Rents for villas remained relatively unchanged with just a 1 per cent drop this year compared with last year.

Studios on the island now average Dh54,000 a year. That is about Dh6,000 less compared with rental values a few years ago.

One-bedroom flats cost about Dh89,000 on average and that rises to Dh114,000 for a two-bedroom property and Dh145,000 for a three-bedroom.

For those with a larger budget and desire for more living space, there are villas on the Palm too. A three-bedroom villa or townhouse can be rented for Dh380,000 a year.

The fronds, which has with a private beach for tenants and homeowners, is the height of luxury and there are mansion-sized villas with more than seven bedrooms in some cases.

The average rental price for one of the larger properties costs about Dh1 million a year but can rise to Dh5 million, depending on size and location.

Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah's location and landmarks

The Atlantis Hotel is one of the first landmarks that springs to mind when you say Palm Jumeirah.

The five-star hotel is one of more than 20 hotels and resorts on the island including Fairmont The Palm, Five Hotel and Anantara The Palm.

Nestled between the calm turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf and the majestic Dubai skyline, Atlantis is the crown of the world-famous manmade island.

It is one of the most visited tourist sites in the city and has its own waterpark, Aquaventure.

Another standout feature on the island is the Abdul Rahman Siddik Mosque. It is the only mosque on Palm Jumeirah.

Facilities on Palm Jumeirah

For retail, Nakheel Mall is a multi-floor shopping centre with more than 350 shops and restaurants.

It is situated on the trunk and can be accessed via car or the monorail.

Numerous beach clubs can also be accessed along the shoreline apartments for a reasonable entrance fee starting from Dh50.

There is no available land left on the island. Any undeveloped areas are already accounted for and one of the main projects under construction is the Palm Tower at the centre of island.

The 52-storey Palm Tower is part hotel and part luxury residences.

Its star attraction will be its rooftop pool, restaurant and viewing deck complex. The viewing deck and hotel will open in 2021 and Nakheel Mall will be its access point.

The Pointe is another must-visit attraction for visitors. It has shops and restaurants and even a dog-friendly beach.

The centrepiece of The Pointe is The Palm Fountain, a choreographed fountain that holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest fountain, and measures more than 7,300 square metres.

Two giant floating platforms cover more than 14,000 square metres with more than 3,000 LED lights. The highest jets shoot water to a height of 105 metres. Daily shows start at sunset and run to midnight.

Schools and nurseries on Palm Jumeirah

The Palm Jumeirah is a popular residential spot for people of all ages. While the island does not have schools on site, it has a good selection of campuses near by.

Dubai College, just a few minutes away in Al Sufouh, is one of the oldest UK curriculum schools in the city and one of the few secondary-only schools. It has been rated outstanding by the KHDA.

Gems Wellington International School is also near by. Just a stone’s throw from the Palm on the opposite side of Sheikh Zayed Road is the American School of Dubai, which follows a US curriculum.

A version of this article was first published on December 14, 2020.

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.