Freelance Journalist, Editor, Copywriter and Author – Dubai

Why I Love Dubai Motor City

Dubai Motor City

My other half and I recently moved apartments. After numerous heated discussions on where to live (he needs to be close to a gym, I need to be close to an MMI) and two long weekends spent looking at what cardboard boxes our budget could afford us in places like Tecom and JLT, I finally caved and admitted that, indeed, Motor City was the place for us.

See, my other half has this annoying ability to always seemingly be right. On the whole, he’s the level headed, sensible one of the two of us (apart from when it comes to buying random expensive stuff for his car. One sight of some sexy looking rims and all logic goes out the window). I have this innate ability to always be appealed to the most unfeasible solution to any problem. I also have a tendency to be very indecisive, so it’s often best to let him just take the lead on these things.

So, Motor City is now home, and I have to say, I couldn’t be happier. This is definitely one of Dubai’s most underrated areas, and in a way, I’m glad – it means we’re overlooked and we can live peacefully in our little artificially green bubble.

1. It’s so green

It’s not very often that you can say that an area in Dubai is ‘so green’ that it kind of reminds you a little bit of Europe, but that’s how I would describe Motor City. When I wake up every morning, all I can see are tree tops. When I walk out of my building, I see this:


No, this isn’t Europe

In the evenings, we sit on our terrace and enjoy the sound of birds chirping. It really feels like some place other than the UAE.  There is greenery everywhere in the area – trees, grass, plants.  And this happens to be the best time of year weather-wise, so we’re really enjoying it at the moment.

2. It’s very un-Dubai

I have a confession – I’m bored of the ‘glitz’ of Dubai. I’m bored of the five-star, overly clean feel of the place. I’m bored of the fact that everything looks the same. I’m bored of all the nightclubs that are full of plastic people who just scream “look at us, aren’t we so so so gorgeous.”

Motor City feels a little more real than the rest of the city. I see babies and the elderly on a regular basis – Dubai usually likes to hide these members of society. It’s predominantly a place for young families, and as much as I hate to admit it, I guess I’m getting to ‘that’ stage of my life.

3. It’s very laid back and quiet 

When I’m in bed at night, all I can hear are the crickets chirping and the cool breeze flowing through the trees. There is barely any traffic, and we take regular walks on the tiny cobblestoned streets. The only sounds I really ever hear are dogs barking and the odd child screaming. When the latter occurs, the soundproof windows are promptly sealed, I pour myself a drink and all is ok in Motor City again.

4. All your basic needs are a walk away

As a freelance journalist, coffee shops are my best friend. When working from home gets too lonely, I take myself off to the local Café Nero and indulge in latte goodness and free Wi-Fi. In Motor City, I have three coffee shops to choose from, and they’re all a delightfully green five-minute walk away. On the same street, you’ll also find Spinney’s, Boots, and a number of other shops that enable me to steer clear of malls for most days of the week.

Terrace living

Terrace living

5. The apartments are massive (and I now have a huge terrace to drink on)

When I first saw my friend’s Motor City apartment, I was impressed, mainly by the phenomenal balcony that seemed to stretch on forever. So when the boy and I started looking in Motor City and found a near identical balcony overlooking some beautiful trees, we knew we’d found ‘the one.’ I cannot wait to finally buy some garden furniture and spend hours on the terrace, sipping something alcoholic and contemplating life. Or stuffing my gob with good food.

And it’s not just the balconies that are great – the apartment itself is really spacious – huge kitchen, nice bathrooms, and a big bedroom and living room. Beautiful.

6.  We’re only 10 minutes away from The Marina 

Whenever I tell people I live in Motor City, they gasp in horror “you’re in the middle of nowhere.” Let me explain something to you, people. It takes me less time to get to The Marina now than when I lived in Downtown. Just because it doesn’t fall on Sheikh Zayed Road, doesn’t mean it’s out in the sticks! Granted, it’s hardly central, but it’s close enough, and we get to enjoy things like (relatively) clean air and greenery.

So, that’s what I love about this place! Anyone else want to add to this list?

  • I so agree!

    And I can only add that the community, as you’ll grow to learn with a little time, is amazing! We have many events and activities happening by and for the residents of both MC and neighboring communities. And speaking of events, we wait for you next Tuesday: Looking forward to meeting you in person 😉

    Also, you might want to check our pages:

    Motor City:

    MC Youth:

    Get Fit at MC:

    Weekly morning coffee for ladies:

    Weekly evening gathering for ladies:

    And much more coming up soon!! 😉

    Yes MC is one of my favorite places in Dubai.
    Been here for 5 years now and I love it! 🙂

    Rouba Abouzeid
    (Uptown Motor City)
    Facebook page:
    Family Blog:
    Motor City Residents page:

    • admin

      I will definitely come along one morning very soon! Thank you for the warm welcome 🙂

  • Tijana

    Yes, you just nailed it! Motor City is definitely one of the most attractive places o live in Dubai. My husband and I just moved here, but he has been living here for couple of years before I came to Dubai. And yes, we did consider and looked in Marina and The Greens. What you get in the sense of apartment of life quality is nowhere near to the wonderful living in MC.
    We both come from Europe, so little stone streets, trees, bushes and overall peaceful environment is what was so appealing for us and made the choice rather easy.
    Motor City has a real normal sense of community and I couldn’t live in a high-rise building anyway.
    This is just a perfect little gem of Dubai and I’m glad people think is so far away from everything. It is in a way, but far away from everything not so good in Dubai.

    See you neighbors! 🙂

    • admin

      It really is beautiful, isn’t it? The trees that we can see from our windows make it feel like some other place. Thanks for reading – maybe see you around! 🙂

  • First of all… Welcome. We’ve been living here for over 4 years and I know I cannot even imagine moving out of this place. That is after having changed residence 3 times in the previous 6 years.

    As you rightly mentioned its the best of all worlds. The glitz and glamour only a few minutes away and yet once you step into Motor city it’s like you have entered another world.

    You may want to check out

    • admin

      Thank you for the welcome 🙂 Will definitely check your blog out when I get the chance!

  • Hi Andrea,

    I’m looking at moving to Motor City later this month (January 2014)… I have loved the apartments I’ve seen so far, and everything seems perfect; except for a few comments that keep creeping up about the chiller fees.

    Can you honestly tell me if they are way more exorbitant than paying regular DEWA fees? I understand that it’s all based on usage, but I’m hearing things such as that there’s an annual fee that needs to be paid on top of your usage, and the sense I get is that it’s quite high…

    I would greatly appreciate your feedback because so far Motor City is where I’d really like to be, but don’t want a nasty surprise one month in!

    Thanks for a great article!

    • admin

      Hey Hazel,

      Thanks for reading 🙂

      With regards to the chiller, I am completely unaware of an annual fee. I know that we pay a set fee each month on top of the usage, but it’s something minimal like AED150 (I cannot remember the exact figure, but I can find it out for you if you need me to?). I know it’s winter, but for the first month we were here (which was November) we did use the AC for a while and our bill wasn’t too high at all – again, I can get the figure for you if you need me to.

      I too was worried about the chiller as I haven’t lived anywhere where I’ve had to pay it before, but so far I haven’t had any nasty surprises – but I’ve only been here a few months. It’s worth posting on the Motor City Facebook page as people on there are always happy to help.

      Personally I absolutely love it here and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in Dubai now. Let me know if you decide to move here 🙂

      • Thanks so much for getting back to me!
        Since messaging you, I’ve found out that a friend also lives in Motor City (loves it) and has said that the chiller charges aren’t too bad.
        I’m in the process now of looking at places all over Dubai but will let you know if I choose MC!
        Cheers 🙂

        • admin

          Great! Let me know if you need anymore advice 🙂

          Good luck on the search!

  • Kate

    I’ve just come across this article & wanted to let you know how helpful it’s been. I’m moving out to Dubai from the UK at the end of August with my husband & young daughter as my husband has got a job teaching over there. His sister is already in Dubai & lives in motor city, and we’ve been trying to decide whether to move to motor city or the school provided accommodation in mirdif (the school is happy for us to do either). I’ve been trying to weigh up the pros & cons of each area & this article is exactly what I was after – although we’d be housed close to other new residents in mirdif, overall motor city sounds like it will be the perfect place for us. I’m especially happy to hear its a good place for families even though it’s apartments rather than villas, my daughter will be 8 months old when we move over so it’s really important to me to find a community atmosphere & a safe environment for her. I’m also pleased to hear that it sounds like a sociable place to be, the move to Dubai is giving me the chance to give up my full time job for a while & spend extra time looking after my daughter, so I need to find some activities to keep us occupied! It’ll be a big lifestyle change for me though as I’m used to working long hours & being the main earner in our family. After reading your article I’m excited for the lifestyle that Dubai & motor city will be able to give me!

    • Andrea Anastasiou


      Thanks for taking the time to read my article! I’m glad you found it useful. Honestly, I think you’re making the right choice. There’s nothing wrong with Mirdiff, but it is close to the airport, so the noise can be a bit annoying at times, and in terms of greenery and community spirit there is no comparison. I genuinely love Motor City and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in Dubai – and from what I’ve seen it’s really perfect for families with young children. Also, there are various community events that go on – for example, there is a ladies coffee morning once a week. I’ve never been able to make it, but I know it’s very popular and a great way to make new friends.

      Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll be more than happy to answer them.


  • R

    Your description sounds very peaceful and serene. What sort of activities & sports are available for teenagers in Motor City Greens Community? I have a 14 year old and an 8 year old and my husband is currently looking at MC Greens Community as one of the options to live in.

    • Andrea Anastasiou

      It is very peaceful 🙂 What kind of activities are you looking for? There are a lot green spaces, swimming pools etc.

      • R

        Thanks! I was wondering if the community has basketball courts, communal gyms, etc.

  • Rafif

    Thank you so much! I also am moving from downtown this year and have been trying to make a decision about where to move to. Like you, every time I suggest moving to motor city people give me this look (Are you crazy? Whats wrong with the marina or JLT?) I have looked at several apartments in both and if you have a certain budget all you get is small, dark and very unfriendly square apartments.
    Thanks again!

    • Andrea Anastasiou

      You’re welcome 🙂 Motor City would definitely be my choice above all those. It’s really not far out of town at all.

  • S&P

    Hi Andrea,
    my husband and I just arrived in Dubai a week ago. I am so happy to come across your blog. We are looking for a place to stay and hopefully call home for the next 3-6 years. My last abode was in the tropics – all green with generous rainfall. I love the fresh air and clean feel that ensues after a heavy downpour so I guess you can appreciate how much I appreciate greenery.

    My biggest fear is ending up in some desolate, parched endless sea of sand. Your photos do show lovely lush trees – is it because they were taken during cooler months? I have to be reasonable in that I am aware I’ve moved to a city surrounded by desert and it cannot be green all year round.

    I loved the fact that you note people can balk and ask “What?? You’re staying where??” but if it is not too far off the city and accessible, it’s ok.

    Thanks again for the article. It gives hope to new arrivals that there can be a nice place to stay. Keep up the good work!

    • Andrea Anastasiou

      Hello there!

      I’m happy you came across this. Honestly, Motor City is a beautiful community and the only one that’s affordable and green – there’s also Al Barari, but that’s more expensive.

      Anyway, there is greenery all time of year there – some apartments overlook trees. We used to live in Weston Court 2 and all you could see from our windows were the tree tops. It was so green and beautiful – I’d suggest trying to see if there are any apartments in that building! But it’s not the only one that overlooks greenery, though.

      Good luck with your search – let me know how it goes 🙂


  • Nimesh Nambiar

    Andrea we are all set to sign up on moving to Motor City today and as my brain shouted Google it before acting on it, I gave in and found your blog. Having walked about most of the community yesterday, seeing different apartments and having lived in Dubai for about 7 years now, we couldn’t agree more with your 6 points. This is a lovely place, unDubai like it seems, and I am quite thrilled about the extra space we get! We are moving from The Greens which has become insanely overpriced for the limited property it gives. Thanks for this lovely work!
    PS: Do you hear the racing track sounds? I did not find that comforting but the most brilliant thing is the apartments are super sound proof. So that is fine too!

    • Andrea

      Hello! Happy to hear that you love Motor City as much as we did. We have now left Dubai, sadly, but I still think of the place very fondly. No, we never used to really hear the racing track sounds, and on the days that we did, we would just shut the windows, which completely kept the noise out. Enjoy – I miss that place!

    • Jinu Joseph

      Hi Nimesh… have you moved in yet to your new apartment in motor city? If yes, could you provide me with contacts for leasing? We are looking for a 2 bed with maids room. Its me,wife and 2 yr old son. Are these units freehold? Is everyday maintenance covered by the landlord or should I be budgeting for it? I do have many more questions. Grateful if you can help.
      Andrea, great work with the blog and the information provided.

      • Nimesh Nambiar

        Suppose this is a bit late to respond? The properties aren’t freehold. Maintenance is usually covered by LL, mine is. Hope you enjoy your stay!

  • Jay

    I enjoyed reading your post! I live in a studio in JLT, and I like it so much, but I am thinking of moving to a one bedroom in June. Do you still like Motorcity? I just checked the prices on Dubizzle, and the price range is between 75000 and 85000, which is very close to JLT and Tecom, but I think the apartments in Motorcity are larger. The problem is that only my husband has a car, I didn’t buy mine yet, and I am thinking how hard it is to take a taxi everyday to media city?

    • Andrea

      Sadly, no, we have left, but I loved it until the day we flew out of Dubai 🙂 I used to get a taxi from MC to Gold and Diamond Park three days a week and I never had an issue. But this was last summer, and I know things change fast in Dubai, so make sure you ask someone who’s still living there for a more accurate answer. But honestly, if I ever went back to Dubai, I’d live there again – best area of the city, if you ask me…and yes, the apartments are massive!

  • I used to love their buffet but now I don’t think I’ll ever go back.

  • Rajat Sarkar

    Hello Andrea, Just in Dubai I was reading your blog and would like to have your recommendations. There are many builders in Dubai from world class to worse.. will you be kind enough to recommend 4-5 top line builder and their corresponding building names in Motor city? I am looking for 2 bed room apartment with pool / gym etc..
    Thx in advance for your kind help,


  • Alexander Margini

    Wow soo true i work in real estate who does the ranches and ive had people who switched from independent villas to motor city apartments. They are amazing. Let me know if you need help in any way to find apartments here. Heres is an image to prove Motor city and what people think.

    Alex from Miami
    Mylo real estate

Provided by orange county fountain repair