Neighbourhood guide to settling down in Abu Dhabi

Choosing your neighbourhood in Abu Dhabi
Updated 2021-11-10 07:20

 Abu Dhabi is divided into different residential areas depending on which lifestyle you prefer. The more popular and higher rent areas are located in the city centre and the Corniche area along the beach. Sea view apartments offer a view of the water while city centre apartments offer the availability of malls, banks, restaurants and supermarkets within a stone's throw.

Popular neighbourhoods in Abu Dhabi

Homes in Abu Dhabi are mostly flats in high rises and villas for more spacious living. The following are some of the most popular residential neighbourhoods in Abu Dhabi:

Abu Dhabi City Centre

The city centre is what others may call 'downtown' where shops, malls and popular hotels are. It is the heart of Abu Dhabi where the once old souqs were, where the tallest buildings in Abu Dhabi are and where major businesses set up their offices. It consists of low and high-rise buildings conducive for expats to set up their residences. There are many parks too, such as Capital Park, which is right near Hamdan Street, one of the main streets downtown. For expats who love the city vibe, this is the most popular choice because everything is within reach and walking distance away from each other.

Tourist Club Area and Al Markaziyah

Two popular residential areas are homes of main malls and establishments such as the Abu Dhabi Mall and World Trade Centre Mall. Some embassies are also located here as well as hospitals and big supermarkets.

In Markaziyah, perhaps the most popular attraction among expats is the seaside, which is called Corniche. Residential buildings offer sea view properties for a price. Corniche is also home to a long strip of parks that residents enjoy when the weather is cool. There are also public beaches where people can enjoy pristine blue water.

Madinat Zayed and Al Wahda

If you want the rent to be more affordable than in downtown areas, Madinat Zayed and Al Wahda are perfect choices. Not far away from the city centre, these two residential areas are also popular choices among those who do not want the hassle of finding a parking space or those who want bigger floor plans for a lower price. Al Wahda Mall, which is one of the biggest and most popular malls in the capital, is also located here.


At the opposite side of the Tourist Club Area is Khalidiya, with high-rise and low rise buildings alike. Khalidiya Mall is also located in the area, as well as big and small business establishments. There are big parks where residents can enjoy the outdoors and five-star hotels for tourists.

Parking in Abu Dhabi

Parking in the city for residents can be difficult because of the number of cars in recent years. However, it also depends on which area you are looking at. The technique for finding a residence with secure parking is to find one without or with fewer commercial establishments in the building or around it. For example, living in a busy area of banks and a hospital will not have ample parking space available all the time.

Parking fees for residents can be paid yearly but will only allow you to park at designated residential parking lots. It does not guarantee you a fixed spot all year round. Underground public parking is also available.

The cultural vibe in Abu Dhabi

The vibe in Abu Dhabi is typically laid back but bursting with culture compared to its Dubai counterpart, known for its hustle and bustle of city life. Abu Dhabi is typically more relaxed, yet there are many things to do during the day. If you set out on foot from downtown to nearby places, you will explore some hidden gems, small cafeterias or cafes and restaurants that dot the streets. If you crave for your fill of culture, art galleries are abundant in the city, big or small and poetry nights happen weekly. You can also explore parks, museums and the Heritage Village at the edge of the breakwater near Marina Mall.

Useful link:

Visit Abu Dhabi

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