The capital of the UAE, and the country’s second-most populous city, Abu Dhabi offers a variety of attractive residential options for expats. Though the housing market does not have as many surplus options as Dubai, with a little bit of information, you can find the area that works best for you and your family.
Here are some of the most popular residential areas for expatriates.
- Al Reem Island
If you’re looking for a home in a waterfront high-rise, Al Reem Island is the ideal neighbourhood for you. The upscale apartments found here come with state-of-the-art amenities, which make for an ultra-modern lifestyle. The presence of highly rated schools, parks, restaurants and shopping centres makes the area an easy sell for expats moving with their families.
- Yas Island
Located 20 km from the city centre, Yas Island offers apartments and villas surrounded by a range of exciting recreational attractions, including the Warner Bros. World, Ferrari World, Yas Mall Dancing Fountain and Yas Waterworld. The presence of a number of highly reputed schools and hospitals makes the neighbourhood ideal for families. Retail stops such as Yas Mall, Debenhams, Home Centre and West Yas Plaza mean you never have to drive too far from home to get exactly what you want.
- Saadiyat Island
Saadiyat Island offers its luxury-seeking residents huge villas and high-end hotels, flanked by a glamorous beachfront. With a host of cultural hotspots, such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and entertainment and shopping options, like Saadiyat Beach Marina Village and the Art Central and Galleria Mall, the neighbourhood is a complete package for expats. Located slightly outside of the city of Abu Dhabi itself, the villas on Saadiyat Island are also available for sale, offering an unparalleled suburban experience to residents. The St. Regis villas are particularly popular.
- Al Marya Island
Located at the north-east end of Abu Dhabi, near Al Reem Island, the Al Marya area is considered Abu Dhabi’s new central business district. Boasting five-star hotels, entertainment and multiple high-end shopping avenues, the famous INSEAD business school’s Middle East campus is also located here. With a choice of apartments and villas available for rent, this area remains popular with bankers and executives looking to cut down on travel time.
- Khalifa City
20-minutes’ drive from Abu Dhabi airport, Khalifa city area is in a quiet, suburban part of Abu Dhabi. With villas and apartments available for sale or rent, the area has its own splash park and fitness centres, making it hugely popular with families with young kids. It also boasts with nearby restaurants, shopping, schools and hospitals, making the area independent and self-sufficient.
- Al Khalidiya
Close to the city centre, the Al Khalidiya area combines old Emirati architecture with crisp modern developments. The area is dotted with small parks, green spaces, eateries and shops. Al Khalidiya Park, at the heart of this community, is hugely popular with kids and families all year round. With the corniche around the corner, the SKMC Centre (specialising in diabetes) and the London Consulting Medical Centre nearby, this is a perfect spot to immerse yourself for a real taste of UAE living.
- Al Reef
Al Reef is a hugely popular residential area on account of its proximity to Dubai and Abu Dhabi airport – ideal for people who need to travel often to Dubai, or internationally, for work. Located on the Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Road, the area can feel a bit isolated, but its own shopping malls (Deerfields Mall and Green Mart) and Al Reef Club add enough entertainment to keep residents happily occupied. The area also has a number of schools and hospitals nearby.
- Al Raha
Facing Yas Island, the Al Raha area is considered an up-and-coming luxury residential area that is already gaining popularity with expatriates. A 25-minute drive to downtown Abu Dhabi, the area offers apartments for rent within the Al Raha Gardens and Al Raha Beach communities. With its own beach, outdoor cafes and restaurants, it is a lovely area for people looking to make the most of the water and pristine beaches. Ideally suited for single people, or young couples without kids.