With its specialist hospitals and scientific research hubs, it's easy to mistake Dubai Science Park (DSP) for an industrial centre with little to offer families looking to set up home.
But that could not be further from the truth, as rapid development in this blossoming community has seen it grow to include three high-rise apartment blocks, hotels and an exclusive enclave of more than 400 villas.
It is fast becoming one of Dubai’s up-and-coming neighbourhoods.
Developers first broke ground in 2005, but the residential aspect of DSP has only recently begun to take shape.
The community strives to be Dubai’s most innovative and vibrant community for the sciences, and a place where professionals and residents can work, live and flourish.
Alongside residential options, the community comprises a twin-towered high-tech headquarters, alongside an eco-friendly laboratory complex and two warehouses set aside for research and development.
Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, DSP’s managing director, said that while the area suits those working nearby, it is attracting new residents due to its convenient position and schools.
“The location is central and easily accessible to main highways, which people consider to be very important,” he said.
“Younger people are conscious of their environmental impact and want to be close to where they work.
“People living here do not need to work in DSP, but a lot of the companies moving here have employees who want to live here.
“It will soon have all the components that a modern family would want, and that will include some great new restaurants and other exciting retail outlets.”
What makes Dubai Science Park a good community?
So far, approximately 2,000 people live in the neighbourhood, but that is expected to soar as the Arjan residential towers fill up.
The Millennium Mont Rose Executive Apartments has 198 serviced rooms, while the Villa Lantana gated community has 440 luxury villas set in green, spacious grounds in the shadow of DSP's headquarters.
The Science Park is home to more than 400 businesses and research centres, but aims to be more than just an industrial hub for scientific innovation.
Situated in south Barsha, this district is also home to two specialist hospitals, including the NeuroSpinal Hospital and Mediclinic Parkview Hospital, which has a special emphasis on family medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, and paediatrics.
Conveniently, these two facilities are just a short walk from the apartment blocks and Villa Lantana – ideal if you need urgent care, or a 24-hour pharmacy.
How well is it connected?
Public transport links are still in their infancy, but the nearby Miracle Garden, Motor City and Studio City RTA bus stops provide plenty of link options if you need to travel into the city or out to Arabian Ranches and Town Square.
The F29 service eventually terminates at Mall of the Emirates, while the F20 and F30 buses service the area and are within walking distance of the community.
The nearest Metro station, First Abu Dhabi Bank, is an eight-minute drive away.
Major highways of Umm Suqeim Road, Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Road and Al Khail Road provide easy access to Downtown Dubai and Dubai Marina, Jumeirah's beaches are only a 15-minute drive away.
Location and landmarks
The DSP headquarters are the area’s most obvious landmark, as its twin wedge-shaped buildings dominate the skyline.
Situated just off the D63 Umm Suqeim Road, DSP is just a short drive from Motor City, home to Dubai Autodrome and an ever-increasing range of shopping and dining opportunities and the Park Inn Radisson Hotel.
Dubai Miracle Garden, Global Village and IMG Worlds of Adventure are also located close by.
How much does it cost to rent in Dubai Science Park?
A 79-square-metre, one-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment in one of the new DSP Arjan apartment towers will cost approximately Dh45,000 per calendar year.
Larger two-bed apartments, spread across 140 square metres, cost approximately Dh65,000.
Each comes with access to a shared gym and swimming pool, as well as covered parking.
A spacious three-bedroom corner detached villa in the Villa Lantana community currently rents for approximately Dh160,000 a year.
“With just 440 villas, the Villa Lantana community is quite niche and has retained that exclusive feel to it,” said Fahad Tanko, a senior sales negotiator at OBG Real Estate Broker.
“There is low supply and there is not much new development planned for these kinds of homes, but the Arjan area is moving very fast.
“It is a great location for the nearby Studio City and Motor City, and in terms of connectivity, it is hard to beat.”
Facilities in the community
The Villa Lantana residential development is a short drive from the My City Centre Mall, Smart Start Nursery and Foremarke School, with many more international schools within a short drive of the business district.
The Arjan residential towers have mini-marts, hair salons, pharmacies and coffee shops. A huge park close to DSP headquarters is also due to open soon, connecting a running track with the Villa Lantana community.
It will also have several multi-use sports facilities, such as football, tennis and basketball courts.
The Fatima Buti Atiq Mosque, Masjid Abu Bukr Al Siddiq Mosque, Khalfan Bin Shannaf Mosque, Masjid Al Hussein Ali Yateem and Ali-Al Haj Mosque are all close by.
The Fellowship Church in Al Sufouh is a 15-minute drive away, while the closest temples are a 30-minute drive, located in Al Raffa.
Supermarkets and shopping centres
The My City Centre Mall has a Carrefour Market, Minutes, Al Ansari Exchange, Shakespeare and Co and several other popular fashion and beauty stores.
A range of other supermarket options are close by, including West Zone Fresh Supermarket, BlueMart Supermarket, Jyothi Supermarket and Greens Supermarket.
Schools and hospitals
Gems World Academy, JSS International School, Mediclinic Parkview Hospital and Neuro Spinal Hospital are the standout facilities in the area, as is the nearby Foremarke School, to be renamed Repton Al Barsha from September.
Headmistress Zoe Woolley has been at the school for five years and has seen the community grow rapidly in recent months.
“It has changed hugely in that time,” she said.
“We operate a lot of before and after-school activities which is great for working parents or those with busy lifestyles.
“It is so important parents can choose a school where they live and work, so we tick a lot of boxes.
“DSP has a lovely community feel. The people who work here reach out to us and we have great links with Park View hospital and the DSP headquarters.
“Everyone wants to be involved and it is very important for all of us that there is a sense of community here.”
Restaurants and places to eat
The My City Centre Mall has the usual fast-food options, including Hatem Persian dining, McDonald’s, Papa Murphy’s pizza and a Tim Hortons coffee shop.
A huge number of outlets in Studio City and Motor City offer authentic Arabic, Indian and Syrian food, such as Saj 2 Go, Marmarita Restaurant, Bazerkan Lebanese Restaurant and Achha Baba Restaurant.
There's also Maison 15, an independent restaurant and library with a leafy courtyard garden, serving seasonal food.
What residents say
Fouzia Ahmed, a British mother of two who works in banking, moved to Dubai 10 years ago and has lived in Villa Lantana 2 since 2018.
“We were the first people to live in this house we are renting. A lot has changed and it has become more of a community,” she said.
“The area is getting much busier, which is a good thing, but the main attraction is the schools.
“Being close to schools rather than our work was more important.”
Mrs Ahmed’s two children are 9 and 8, and said the after-school activities are a key ingredient when building a community.
She said although rents have fallen slightly during her family’s time there, pent-up demand means vacant villas are soon snapped up.
“The commute to work in Downtown is pretty straightforward,” said Mrs Ahmed, 36.
“That makes a big difference to living here, rather than somewhere like Arabian Ranches that can catch a lot of traffic and add 20 minutes to your day.
“Working from home, our daily activities for the family were focused around DSP, and all amenities that we needed were on our doorstep.
“There is a new park opening up nearby with some great sports facilities, so there is lots to like. It is getting busier all the time.
“There are always lists on Facebook of people enquiring about the availability of villas.
“If you bought here, I imagine you would be quite happy.”