After living in Silicon Oasis for two years I am moving onto a different area, here is what I think of living in DSO…
*A relatively well priced area- you can pick up studio, one and two bed apartments for anywhere from 35,000-100,000 aed per year.
*New- The buildings and area is new so you won’t get an old, run down, falling apart building. Most apartment blocks are spacious and airy. Many come with pool and gym facilities. There’s a decent range of apartments to choose from and also villas in the Cedre villa and Semmer villa areas of DSO.
*Schools- there are schools in and around DSO making it a good option for families.
*Supermarkets- There are two spinneys and a carrefour, plus a number of smaller marts like Al Maya. There aren’t many cheaper supermarkets though or fresh fruit/veg markets, and most are quite small apart from the main spinneys which is one of the more expensive supermarkets. The new Souq extra houses a small-medium Carrefour and a few other cafes and fast food chains including McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, KFC and Subway.
*Up and coming- Over the last two years the area has expanded and improved A LOT, and it’s continuing to do so. There are a decent variety of cafes including a Starbucks, Shakespeare & co, La Brioche, Cha cha Chai for nice juices and of course tea and many more. So many great places for a coffee and breakfast/lunch. There’s also places to get ice cream for example baskin robbins and a few fast food outlets (McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut and Subway).
Get your shawarma fix at snackhouse…
Amazing croissants, coffees here, such a great breakfast spot…
One of the local favourites for tea or ‘chai’ and juices…
*It is a very clean area- everything is modern and the area is well maintained. It is rare for example to see litter on the streets- great job to whoever is responsible for cleaning the streets here!
*Location- It’s a bit “out in the sticks”… it’s not particularly close to any of the main areas like Jumeirah or downtown. Downtown is 15/20 minutes drive and over an hour on public transport (bus and then metro).
*Lack of public transport- there are very limited bus services in DSO. There isn’t a bus that will take you straight to Downtown for example. There’s the X25, 366 and 355. You can get to Rashidiya metro station but this will take around 20 minutes. DSO isn’t close to any metro line. Therefore it’s really an area for car drivers. If you have a car- it won’t be a problem. If you don’t you will end up spending a fortune on taxis, spending a lot of time on public transport or staying indoors and not doing a whole lot.
*Lack of bars- if you fancy a drink (of the alcoholic variety) after work you’re limited to the Premier Inn bar or drinking at home. Make sure you get an alcohol license to do this though. There is a MMI next to the spinneys at cedar villas.
*Lack of greenery- there aren’t any parks or many outdoor spaces in DSO. The closest thing is the “lake” which is where you will find people on their evening/morning jogs. Can you see the Burj Khalifa in the distance?
*Limited number of large restaurants- Although there are many cafes and fast food outlets, in terms of larger restaurants you are a bit more limited. I enjoy Al Arrab for their Arabic food and shisha, it also has a nice area with outdoor seating, Tomato and Basilica or Oregano for Italian and Taste Kitchen for a variety of fresh and organic options and The Monk for Chinese food. Of course there are more restaurants but I have not tried them all.
*Lack of activities- the yoga place I went to is now shut down, there are a few small gyms but overall DSO is lacking in activities in comparison to larger residential areas. Most people who live here seem to work and sleep! It’s not a very lively area, it’s on the quieter side. This also makes it a little harder to meet other like minded people living here.
*Distance from the sea and beach- we all know one of Dubai’s highlights is the amazing Arabian gulf waters and unfortunately living in Silicon means you’re about 30/40 minutes away from the sea by car and double that by public transport.
Overall, if you are looking for a cheaper place to live, you don’t mind being quite far out of main Dubai, and have a car then DSO is a decent option. Particularly if you work nearby.
However if you’re looking for a vibrant area with a lot going on, you enjoy beaches and bars and you like to keep busy with sports and other activities, then you may find one of the more central areas more appealing. As with all places it has its pros and cons and just depends what you are looking for!!
Hi, I live and work in Dubai. I enjoy getting out and about and seeing what Dubai has to offer, travelling in my holidays and spare time – prepare for blog posts about this, and cooking vegetarian recipes. I am passionate about travel and animals.