Khalifa City: A quiet heaven for families in Abu Dhabi
Every emirate has its own calm, quiet neighbourhood, situated away from the buzz of the city life and the sparkling lights at night. In Abu Dhabi, Khalifa City is that piece of serene residential paradise – at least according to its residents.
Located along the main highway to Dubai – about 25km from Abu Dhabi city and close to Abu Dhabi International Airport, Yas Island and Etihad Airways’ head office – Khalifa City hosts thousands of homes and residential compounds, along with reputable schools, shops, dining options and leisure facilities.
Ideal for families, the residential community off the main island is characterised by spacious, colourful villas with two to six bedrooms. One villa may either be standing on its own or situated within a compound of four to six homes.
Khalifa City also encompasses luxurious residential developments like Al Forsan Village, Al Raha Gardens and Golf Gardens. Small families, on the other hand, usually opt for Al Rayyana Complex, with its range of one to three-bedroom units.
“The large, luxurious villas and reasonably priced apartments in Khalifa City make it a popular spot for renting in the Capital,” said Emirati Khalid Mohsin, who has been a resident of Khalifa City since 2011.
“There were just hundreds of homes when I came to stay in this place, but it has now turned into a prominent residential area with hundreds of thousands of people residing here.”
Seen as a relatively cheaper alternative to living in the city centre, Khalifa City has attracted scores of middle-income earners, including teachers, sales and marketing persons and others. Large villas in luxury residential compounds, however, are a bit far from being affordable.
The annual rent for some apartments range from Dh55,000 for a two-bedroom unit to Dh140,000 for a four-bedroom one. In luxurious residences, a three-bedroom villa could cost a tenant Dh200,000 while a six-bedroom home could go as high as Dh500,000 a year.
Mohsin said that in this ‘city suburb’, residents pay not just for a comfortable home but also for a calm, relaxed lifestyle.
Other people in the community, like Ugandan expat Stephen Akiiki, would say Khalifa City offers all the convenience a family needs, too.
“This is a fantastic place to live in, with restaurants, supermarkets and coffee shops that are within short distances from many residential compounds,” said Akiiki, who has been staying in the area since 2014.
For some residents, running errands means heading to the “pink shops” – a row of buildings with stores on both sides and in the middle of Khalifa City – that offer a wide variety of products. They also have pharmacies, drycleaners, hardware stores and stationery shops around this area.
Akiiki added that “the presence of many schools and nurseries in the area makes it a favourite for many families”.
The city is home to a number of educational institutions with different curriculums. Among them are GEMS American Academy, which offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) and American curriculums; Raha International School, which offers the IB curriculum; and Al Yasmina School, which follows a British curriculum. Day cares and preschools are also just a stone’s throw from families’ homes.
True to its family-friendly reputation, Khalifa City has several public parks and playgrounds that have won the hearts of children. Swimming pools and green pathways for cycling, running and brisk walking also help residents maintain an active lifestyle.
The city is famous its two iconic sports venues that appeal not just to residents, but to investors as well. One is the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, a championship golf course that hosts European Tour tournaments. And the other is Al Forsan International Sports Resort, an equestrian centre with areas for football, shooting and paintball battles – plus a lake for wakeboarding.
2-Transport not a worry
Khalifa City may not be located at the centre of the Capital but people who live in the community don’t really have a problem with accessibility. Regular bus services are operated from the area to the city centre and to Yas Mall. Taxi drivers have also developed a routine of going around the compounds in the morning to look for customers heading out for work.
3-Convenience is key
Retail outlets have sprouted in the area through the years. At Etihad Plaza, towards the airport, there are a number of cafés, money exchange centres, a small supermarket and a telecommunications office. At the back of Raha Gardens, there is Garden Plaza, a small shopping development with a supermarket, fast-food outlets, a pet shop and a kids’ clothing store.