Neighbourhood guide: Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai

Of the areas that have come to define the “New Dubai” – ­Dubai ­Marina, JBR, Al ­Barsha, Discovery Gardens – Jumeirah Lakes Towers is one of the most likeable and liveable. The well-connected clusters of JLT are part-residential, part-commercial, and a majority of the inhabitants are up-and-coming couples and young parents, giving the 25 clusters […]

Of the areas that have come to define the “New Dubai” – ­Dubai ­Marina, JBR, Al ­Barsha, Discovery Gardens – Jumeirah Lakes Towers is one of the most likeable and liveable. The well-connected clusters of JLT are part-residential, part-commercial, and a majority of the inhabitants are up-and-coming couples and young parents, giving the 25 clusters – most with three towers, some with two – an always-on vibe.

Attractions

JLT is roughly divided into three sets of clusters, originally built around four lakes, one of which is now a park. The combination of well-maintained green patches and the lakes render it a pretty community, and the evenings are filled with cyclists, joggers and dog-walkers doing the rounds, while groups of diners throng the lakeside cafes.

The 55,000-square-metre park is popular for outdoor activities with children young and older, many of whom cycle along its periphery, while a nearby foot bridge connects the three ­clusters.

During the cooler months, market days are held over the weekends, with makeshift stalls selling clothes and trinkets. Live music and finger food from the surrounding cafes make for a carnival-like ambience.

During the summer, movie nights are organised and advertised on a noticeboard in each building’s lobby, along with other general-interest information, such as collection services (from old batteries and books to clothes for charity) and homes for sale or rent. Close-knit community living, then, is JLT’s most attractive feature.

Dining

Without exaggeration, you could get breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the year and not have to eat the same dish twice. At last count, on the ­Zomato app, JLT is listed as having 250 restaurants, serving all manner of cuisines. Options include health-­focused chains such as Kcal, Right Bite, Under 500 and 77 Veggie ­Boutique, and meal-plan services such as A Point. Branches of popular ­Indian restaurants ­Delhi ­Darbar, Tibb’s Frankie and Haji Ali compete with fast-food chains Papa ­Murphy’s, ­Doner Force and Sheikh & Shake (not to be confused with Shake Shack).

The three licensed ­Mövenpick, ­Pullman and ­Bonnington hotels offer shisha ­cafes, happy-hour deals, dance floors and accommodation for guests. Wi-Fi-equipped outdoor seating promotes a sense of cafe culture.

­Because a number of the towers are commercial, many cafes and restaurants have lunch deals, while the multiple ­Spinneys and 24-hour ­Carrefour, Zoom, Géant and locally branded outlets make ordering groceries to your front door a breeze, even at 3am.

Retail

In addition to the area’s 24-hour super­markets, stores such as Manila Mart and the organic Succharia dessert parlour stock speciality items. There’s an array of spas, salons, massage parlours, nail bars and barber shops, some open until 11pm.

Even though most residential towers have a gym and swimming pool, there are also a handful of fitness centres offering sophisticated equipment, personal trainers, and yoga and other group-­exercise classes.

From pharmacies, laundries, florists and pet shops to ­preschools, dentists, opticians and medical centres, convenience is around every corner.

Transport

Clusters A to N are serviced by the JLT Metro station, while clusters O to Y surround ­Damac Properties (formerly Dubai ­Marina) Metro station, which also falls on the Dubai Tram route. A buggy system ferries people between clusters for a fee of Dh5.

Free outdoor parking for up to two hours during the daytime, and unlimited overnight from 8pm to 8am, is available in each cluster, but finding a slot during office hours has been described as nightmarish bordering on impossible, which is one of JLT’s only drawbacks. An upside is that the flow of traffic has greatly eased after a few months of renovations and new traffic lights. So if, like me, you’re a resident, the space – parking and otherwise – is a complete pleasure.

pmunyal@thenational.ae

Source: art & life

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