In between, it travels the breadth of Dubai, running parallel to the Persian Gulf coastline. The stretch between Trade Centre Roundabout and Interchange 2 is home to many of Dubai’s skyscrapers, both old and new, and this section is recognised as the main residential arm of the highway in the city. Sheikh Zayed Road is quite unique because it’s a leasehold community, whereby a private developer owns each tower – as opposed to freehold communities where different landlords buy from the developer and lease their units out. Only locals and those from the Gulf can own here; other nationalities cannot buy and develop, they can only lease as tenants. Although a predominantly new high-rise community, there are around a dozen old properties built more than 15 years ago that initially established the area. On the northwest side these include Saeed Tower 2, Fairmont Dubai, Shangri-La Hotel and Al Meraikhi Tower, with construction commencing in the late 1990s. These older buildings are still very impressive as they have been refurbished since then. On the southeast side, older buildings include Dusit Thani, Maze Tower and 21st Century Tower; the latter took the title of the world’s tallest residential building when it was completed in 2001 with 55 storeys. You will find good facilities such as swimming pools, gyms and parking in most buildings, while the new towers boast excellent finishes and a great location. Burj Al Salam is a good example of one of the newer buildings. Sheikh Zayed Road is a convenient place to live as Downtown and the iconic Burj Khalifa are only two minutes away. Residents have easy access to banks, small furniture shops, car showrooms and dealerships, real estate offices, pharmacies and many restaurants and cafés.
Accommodation is mostly one, two and three-bedroom apartments. A one-bed averages 800 to 1,100 sq. ft. a two-bed between 1,200 and 1,700 sq. ft., a three-bedroom apartment from 1,500 to 2,200 sq. ft. and a four-bed can reach 2,600 sq. ft. for a penthouse. Burj Al Salam and Park Place are among the most popular buildings and the latter has excellent finishing, fully equipped kitchens, and one of the best swimming pools with great views over Jumeirah. There are also many serviced furnished apartments on Sheikh Zayed Road that include everything – appliances, furniture, DEWA and maintenance – in the rent. You’ll find serviced apartments in Dusit Dubai, Shangri-La Hotel, Holiday Inn Dubai, and World Trade Centre Apartments.
As one of the UAE’s main thoroughfares, Sheikh Zayed Road is inevitably busy during rush hour but most residents get to grips with the busiest times quickly and work around them. As it’s a twelve-lane highway, the road can clear just as quickly as it gets crowded. The Metro helps with access and much of the Red Line runs the length of the highway.
Many executives live on Sheikh Zayed Road, especially in the serviced apartments where the employee might have a one-year fixed contract before they are relocated to another city or country. Buildings that offer mostly three-bedroom apartments are popular with families who like the close proximity to Downtown Dubai and the easy access to schools in Jumeirah and Barsha.
Patrick Dennison is currently residing in a one-bedroom executive suite in The Apartments, Dubai World Trade Centre.
"I’m not contracted to work in Dubai for very long and as the nature of my job as a pharmaceutical consultant requires me to spend the majority of my time at the office, staying at World Trade Centre Apartments on Sheikh Zayed Road suits my needs very nicely. I’m currently halfway through a six-month contract before I relocate to Saudi Arabia, and because of this my employer arranged my accommodation here and chose it because of its convenient location and proximity to work. On weekends, I can explore Dubai quite easily, head to Dubai Mall and Dubai Fountains and take my pick of the many cafés and restaurants. Because I don’t know too many people outside of work, it’s nice to have so much on the doorstep to keep me entertained and busy. During the week I can cook for friends in my apartment as the kitchen is small but has everything I need, and the dining area and lounge is quite spacious."