Umm Suqeim, also spelt Umm Sequiem and Um Suqiem is an older, more established area and can be quite beautiful in places and mainly peaceful, once you get behind Jumeirah Beach Road. It is split into 3 parts Um Squime 1,2 and 3- the further you go up the roads in a Jebel Ali directions. Houses and villas on the seaside side of the Beach Road are on the beach- or almost- as close as you can get in Dubai. On the other side, it is quiet and about as green as Dubai gets with well established gardens and parks as well as plenty of shops, restaurants and ameneties.
-families & couples
I live here...
Name: Annie Kirkaldy
How long in Dubai? 11 years
How long in your area? 11 years
Family circumstance: Married, 3 high school age children
Accommodation Options: The suburbs of Umm Suqeim 1, 2 and 3 are home to expatriates and Emiratis living side by side on well-maintained streets. You're never far from the local mosque and the regular call to prayer is part of the Arabic ambiance and a daily reminder that you're living in the Middle East.
With easy access to Sheikh Zayed Road and great public transport access, this area suits commuters and families alike.
Villas owned by private landlords are the main type of accommodation, with only a couple of apartment buildings on offer.
Villas can be grouped in compounds with shared facilities such as gyms, swimming pools and playgrounds but often are independent with garden gates and garages opening onto the street.
Compound living can offer a sometimes bustling ready-made community but if you crave a quieter life with more privacy choose an independent villa or a compound without shared facilities.
Renting is the only option for expats in Umm Suqeim and prices are high but with so much property available there are some reasonable leases to be found - include the older properties in your home search to get the best deals.
Facilities: Residents of Umm Suqeim are well served with supermarkets (what Aswaaq doesn't sell, Choithrams does!) and most streets have small corner shops that will deliver essentials. Many local unlicensed restaurants will deliver food to your home and being close to some 5 star hotels means a fine dining experience is never far away.
Many people walk, jog and cycle around the Umm Suqeim neighbourhood and down to the beach, and the nearby Madinat Jumeirah and Jumeirah Beach hotels have amazing gym and beach club facilities for those who can afford their high membership fees.
There are many nurseries and schools in this area so walking to school in the cooler months is a luxury for a lucky few; some schools open their pools for paid swimming sessions for children and adults in the afternoons and evenings. Two nearby theatres at the Mall of the Emirates and the Souk Madinat offer a varied programme of entertainment, with the DUCTAC theatre hosting a range of arts and dance activities for all the family.
Umm Suqeim has some local sandy parks that are maintained and cleaned daily by the municipality. Some streets however can be busy with traffic so not all are suitable for children playing or cycling outside.
Why we like living here: Ten years ago when we moved to Dubai and chose to live in Umm Suqeim 3 people couldn't believe we were living 'right down there'! Ten years on we're still here and I truly feel we live in the middle of Dubai. Nothing seems too far away and visiting guests can make their way around the city easily, especially to the beach which is within walking distance. It's ten minutes in the car in either direction to my children's schools and the Mall of the Emirates and the Dubai Mall with their shops, cinemas and restaurants. Saying hello to the mullah in the mosque, my kids able to play in the park and walking to Eat and Drink restaurant for a weekend shawarma are just some of the things I love about living in the mixed Dubai community that is Umm Suqeim.
A bit about me: I moved to Dubai almost 11 years ago with my husband and three daughters after previous postings in Cairo and Nairobi (next year I will have lived abroad for 20 years!) and am originally from the UK.
We're never sure how much longer we will live here but hope to stay at least until our children finish high school. We love living in Umm Suqeim 3 and are now living in our second villa in this area even though we are now subsidising our rental allowance massively in order to continue living here.