Long-term residents unlock the best kept secrets and hidden gems in their communities
Abu Dhabi has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years. From the time when all activity was concentrated around the Corniche, the UAE’s capital today has expanded outwards to include several sought-after island communities. Residents are spoilt for choice to live either in Downtown Abu Dhabi or in outlying districts.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the new developments and want to be updated on Abu Dhabi 2.0, help is at hand. We’ve enlisted long-time residents from three communities across Abu Dhabi to give us the lowdown on all the hidden gems, best-kept-secrets and best places to hang out in the areas they live in.
Meet some #UAEInsiders showing us around old and new communities in Abu Dhabi.
In love with the Corniche
Sally B., a 30-year-old, Lebanese, Egyptian expat, lives on Corniche Road and wouldn’t have it any other way. Born and raised in Abu Dhabi, Sally loves how her community is located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, the hub of all activities and where all the action unfolds. The strategic location ensures that nothing is too far away, be it work or play.
A fitness enthusiast, Sally endorses Corniche Road for all the amenities put in place to encourage residents to lead a healthy lifestyle. “The best thing about my community is that it is my favourite walking and jogging spot,” says Sally. She also loves how the beach and parks are within walking distance, which allows her to go for long walks on the beachfront promenade.
On weekends, you are likely to spot Sally hanging out in her go-to haunts such as Emirates Palace, Etihad Jumeirah Towers, Marina Mall and Corniche Beach. “Some of the not-to-miss places in my community are the Emirates Heritage Club and Hookah Lounge,” she tells us.
A suburban tale in Khalifa City
Jessica C., a 29-year-old Lebanese expat, has been a resident of Khalifa City for six years. And there’s nothing she would change about these six years.
She loves how Khalifa City is a quiet and family-oriented area, away from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Abu Dhabi yet only a 30-minute drive from the city centre.
“The best thing about my community is the safety and diversity it offers. You can see so many different nationalities living here,” says Jessica.
She recommends Circle Café in Al Raha Gardens, the Local café in Khalifa City, Starbucks and Jones the Grocer for dinner and to hang out in general in the community.
The skyscraper life on Reem Island
Mahmoud A., a 37-year-old Lebanese expat, moved to Reem Island in Abu Dhabi 8 months ago and has loved the skyscraper life ever since.
“My community is the next best thing after my home town,” says Mahmoud.
He decided to move to Reem Island since it comes with assigned parking, a pool, a gym and a spacious well-fitted apartment.
With parking being one of the pet peeves of most Abu Dhabi residents, Mahmoud loves how a parking spot is easily available in Reem Island. Also, the neighbourhood is home to residents of all ethnicities and this diversity is a top drawcard for Mahmoud.
One doesn’t really need to venture outside Reem Island on the weekends for entertainment or dining because all amenities are on site. “Some of the best places to hang out in my community are the Paragon Mall and Boutik Mall,” recommends Mahmoud.
He picks the Reem Park as the not-to-miss place in his neighbourhood, courtesy of its sports play areas and beach walks.