Emergence of gated communities have resulted in their increasing adoption as a better place, away from the noisy city locale.
Jebel Ali remains parent to a number of gated communities that have been flourishing since the year 2000. Their introduction to the people residing within the noisy streets of Dubai, was unfamiliar and hence untrustworthy. The alien concept of secure residential areas like the Greens, Meadows, Gardens, Springs, Discovery Gardens etc. brought curiosity along with hesitant customers. Rents were very inexpensive at the beginning of these projects and attracted a lot of expatriates. However, its location, far away from the reaches of the main city was and is a major problem.
At its premature stage, tenants adopted the locality with a Choithram or Spinneys nearby for daily supplies. Although the community had yet to develop, residents enjoyed its facilities. Swimming pools, tennis court, football court, cricket pitch, community park and golf courses began to attract more visitors. Before the year 2004, people had to sign up for a waiting list in order to gain access to their own apartment in the ‘posh’ place.
Gardens is one of the most popular gated communities in Dubai. It has quickly transformed to a green environment with ample security. Not only do people find the place peaceful and refreshing, they also feel secure within its boundaries to roam around any time of the day. Walking, jogging and spending time with family has become a convenient option.
Although, people who have readily adopted this serene accommodation, have another side of the story to tell. Hours are spent travelling to and from the main city. Exhaustion, frustration and body pain while traveling is not new to them. Also, living unaware of your neighbors’ identities can be quite an isolating experience. While such areas have encouraged interaction between cultures, people still choose to live with their own kind. They prefer their kids to play with their own kind. However, majority of these kids are under the supervision of maids. So the children get to play with whomever they like, but within the vicinity of their care-takers.
Increase in the number of residents and the unfortunate recession has brought a hike in rent for new tenants. The valuable land has now attracted malls like Ibn Battuta Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Marina Mall, Dubai Mall etc. These malls and shops placed nearby, bear expensive outlets with very few shoppers and many visitors. Each mall has become an icon of the emirate in it’s own unique form.
Despite the above discouraging factors, people still value the peace at home. Kids playing in the parking lot run towards the all-too-familiar car and jump into the arms of their parents. Likewise, parents rejuvenate themselves by a quick jog.
At the end of the day, both sides of a family are happy. Parents and children consider this sanctuary worth every dirham.