Access Granted

In spite of my initial fears of moving to the ‘Middle of Nowhere’ JVC has proven to be a great choice for me. There were the initial teething problems of Taxi Drivers who had no idea where JVC was, or even worse pretending to know where it was only to get very lost along the way, this lead to me adopting a kind of hyper-vigilant state whilst in Taxis only failing the one time when I fell asleep after a night shift and awoke on Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Road, speeding towards Jebal Ali.

Having to make a big U-turn to access JVC was also irritating but no worse than getting in to Business Bay from Al Khail Road side. Street 1 and Street 2 were the only access points for quite some time and heaven forbid if a taxi driver called to say he was in Street 1 and needed directions to your house (there were the days before Uber)……. There were so few land marks that finding said taxi driver might prove impossible, unless you could walk to ‘Atlantis Accommodation’.

There was also the problem with no traffic lights and zero street signs. Many a time I approached a cross roads only to find someone zooming through from the other direction. A couple of people came a cropper at these junctions; we saw the wreckage on our evening walks. Over time the powers that be made speed bumps all over the place to counteract the speeding and this worked, although your suspension might not have been happy about it.

But things have changed:

Taxi drivers now know where you are so they come straight to your location, rather than having to roam the streets trying to figure out where they are in order to give ropy directions. All of the streets and sectors are sign posted with blessed Google Maps getting updated regularly on all the new buildings. I cannot express how happy I am to hop in the back of a cab and ask for JVC and they ask ‘Mohamed Bin Zayed Road or Al Khail?’ I know that they know where we are heading.

Two new access roads have been opened which makes getting home a lot easier and even if you do miss the first turning then there is always an appropriate 2nd option. Gone are the days of driving in massive circles, trying to get back to Street 2.

Traffic lights at most junctions make driving a lot safer, no more slowing down to make sure you don’t get wiped out by a maniac. And even better than that? The speed bumps are slowly being removed so you don’t have to worry about scraping your undercarriage on the tarmac. I see massive chunks of tarmac dug out after most speed bumps in Dubai and it always makes my eyes water.

There of course are some teething problems with existing roads being dug up for reasons unknown. This has caused for some interesting interactions with Uber drivers who are 100% reliant on their GPS- ‘what do you mean, you can’t find my location?’ It has also meant that routine drives to the shop have been lengthened into battles of will between me and the constant diversions (At the time of writing: I have only given up and come home once). The one way system has also proven a little tricky for some to grasp, with a friend of mine calling to say she had just met an ‘idiot’ driving in the opposite direction and nearly running her off the road, only to find that it was she who was in the wrong. Bless her.

Most of the promotional blurb about JVC speaks of it being at the center of New Dubai and it really does have easy access to most places.

  • Hessa Street takes you straight to Sheikh Zayed Road or Jumeriah Beach Road, although it might take you a little longer to get home, especially rush hour. There is something to do with the over-passes that just slow everything down.
  • Al Khail Road, my personal favorite, will take you straight to and from the Airport, if you need to get away.
  • Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road will also take you there but not in such a direct fashion. But hop on there to head to Abu Dhabi.
  • Al Khamilia Street takes you the back way to Springs, Emirates Lakes and Jumeirah Lake Towers.

Why I moved to JVC in the first place……

I moved to JVC back in 2014 for the same reason as many others did back then, Affordability. I found myself in need of a reasonably priced 1 bedroom apartment and my current neighborhood (Business Bay) was letting me down. I did a lot of searches on Dubizzle, hoping to find my next dream apartment in the same location as my current one but I found the rent rates for the area had jumped by 20-30 thousand dirhams! How is that even possible, I here you ask? Property markets have always been an enigma to me but there was some interesting ‘goings on’ back then.

When I finally admitted defeat and searched for my price range across Dubai I was dismayed to see that JVC kept popping up. To me it seemed so far away from everything. All the way down Al Khail road! I don’t think I could even pronounce ‘Al Khail’ correctly at the time. I thought it would take me so long to get to work (Terminal 3) and cost a fortune in cab fares. To me, at the time, the center of Dubai was the Burj Khalifa and everything that happens within its vast shadow. Why oh why was life so unfair that I had to move so far away? (You can probably guess that I can be a little melodramatic?) So after having got over this mini meltdown and searching back through the lists of available properties, and seeing that there was quite a wide choice, I decided that I might have been unfair towards JVC and that I should go and take a look around. (Also time was running out before I had to move and International City and Al Qusais were the only other affordable areas and they were a definite HELL NO).

I made appointments with several estate agents to come and look at some flats and input the address into Google Maps….. I then discovered that the locations didn’t appear on there due to it being so new so I had to wing it. I did manage to miss the entrance to Street 2 and take the scenic route all the way around JVC (twice) but I rationalized by saying I was ‘getting to know the area’. A miss-spelled fake topiary sign, which sadly has since been removed, stated that I was in the right place. I eventually reached my destination. Missing the entrance to JVC would punctuate my first months of living in the area.

I saw 4 flats that day, I would have seen even more but security guards asked me for money before they would hand over the keys to empty apartments. This is a strange practice and I believe it has been stamped out in recent years. I was amazed to find a large variety of properties, even back then. I thought JVC was a brand new community, as I had never heard of it, but it seemed to have been established for a while. Some of the flats had been previously occupied. It was still super quiet, with minimal traffic and many vacant, sandy building plots. There was the suggestion of many future parks but they had not really been cultivated yet. There were no traffic lights or street signs, which made getting around a little confusing/dangerous, what with all the cross roads. But all in all I liked it. It was so much less hectic than the chaos that I had experienced in Business Bay.

My soon to be new building

I settled on a brand new one bedroom in Seasons Community, 600sq/ft including two balconies. The complex had a pool and a large fitness center. It was tiny but it was affordable. I managed to fit everything in and ended up living there for three years. I even managed to fit my husband in, once we got married.

Fitting it all in

Looking back at this slightly blurry photo of the aftermath of moving still gives me a little bit of anxiety! I can’t believe I managed to fit all of my things into such a tiny space. As the moving men were bringing in box after box of stuff, they were shaking their heads in disbelief. Can you tell I don’t go in much for the minimalist approach to life?

The day of the move proved what I already knew, that people had never heard of JVC. I had to draw a map for the mover’s truck to be able to find their way to my new little apartment and they also managed to miss the entrance to Street 2. HA! Everything was squeezed in and I was left to unpack well into the night. That first evening I didn’t have any curtains up. I switched the lights off to go to sleep and I could not get over how quiet the area seemed and so dark! There were so few street lights that the light pollution was almost zero, even that end of Al Khail Road didn’t have street lights yet, or traffic for that matter. That proved to be my new reality. Living in a very peaceful area, only 25 minutes from work (I maintain, to this day, that Al Khail is the best road main road in Dubai). I did find it a little deserted and lacking amenities but everything was available within a short drive. But that was 5 years ago; a lot has changed since then. Over the next few years I was always pleasantly surprised when I mentioned where I lived and realized that other people were living here or planning to move here. JVC really is the place to be and not just because of the very reasonable prices.

 

I would love to hear your reasons for moving to JVC? Were they the same as mine? How long have you been here? What changes have you seen over your time here?