Al Bateen is a prestigious and beautiful district in Abu Dhabi, home to impressive palaces, luxurious villas, diplomatic offices, marinas and the beach. The area is full of gorgeous greenery, tree-lined boulevards, manicured paths and multiple calming fountains. In addition, the district has a coveted location; stretching along the coastline on the South-West of the capital, Al Bateen offers all benefits of a waterfront community and allows easy access to the center of the emirate.
The neighbourhood is perceived as one of the most affluent places to reside in. Firstly the area is home to Al Bateen Palace, which is one of the residences of His Highness Khalifa Al Nahyan, the ruler of Abu Dhabi. Secondly, there are many other important establishments that host diplomatic and social events on a regular basis, which are mainly concentrated on Khalifa Bin Shakhbout St. Along with this, Al Bateen houses the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, as well as art galleries, grand hotels and famous restaurants. Generally, Al Bateen is a fashionable community that attracts a vast amount of people either for work or for entertainment.
Another side of Al Bateen is the beach, fishing ports and marinas. Al Bateen Wharf (Fishermen’s Marina), the seaside part of Al Bateen, is known as one of the oldest seafaring and fishing operational points in the UAE. Previously the area also housed the dhow yard, where traditional boats have previously been made. Lately, the neighbourhood has been redeveloped, withe old venues and buildings being regenerated, making way for elite housing and upgraded areas of 3 new marinas called Al Bateen Wharf, Marasy Marina and Marsa Al Bateen.
Al Bateen is said to be the oldest occupied area of the capital city. Along with traditional living quarters, the area comprises contemporary residential projects, with some containing primarily multi-apartment complexes and others including an existing number of detached housing such as large villas and townhouses. On the whole, Al Bateen is a low-rise development, with a few skyscrapers scattered across the skyline. Apartments are mainly concentrated in the communities of Al Marasy, Al Bateen Wharf, Bloom Marina, and the Al Bateen complex. Villas are clustered in Al Bateen Park, Al Bateen Villas, Al Bateen Airport and along Al Khaleej Al Arabi Str.
It is important for foreigners to note that Al Bateen is not included in the list of Abu Dhabi’s freehold areas, meaning the properties here may only be acquired by UAE nationals. However, overseas citizens may rent homes in the area as the development is consistently in high demand. Residents in the Al Bateen area will be mainly Emirati locals, along with well-off Arab and Western expat families.
Al Bateen neighbours the districts of Al Khalidiya, Al Manhal, Al Mushrif and lies close to Al Karama, the central part of Abu Dhabi. An undeniable advantage of the area’s location is that Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, one of the city’s major roads, runs through it.
As mentioned earlier, Al Bateen is conveniently situated and won’t take more than half an hour to reach the key destinations of the city. It will take only 5 minutes’ to get to the Corniche Rd and the ever-popular Corniche Beach. Major landmarks such as Louvre Abu Dhabi on Al Saadiyat Island and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which lie in Al Rawdah are both reachable within 20 minutes. Ferrari World on Yas Island is 30 minutes’ away from Al Bateen and Abu Dhabi International Airport is reachable within half an hour.
Since quite a lot of governmental centers, offices, schools and clinics are located in the vicinity of Al Bateen, traffic can be rather heavy here; during peak hours particularly.
At the same time, parking is not a problem for the residents and visitors as commercial venues, as well as private villas and apartment buildings all, come with garages or allocated parking spaces.
In place of public transport, a taxi is the only viable option in the area, since the nearest bus stops are found in neighbouring Al Karama – about 10 minutes’ away.
Several car rental outlets are located in the vicinity, such as chain Dollar Rent a Car at InterContinental Abu Dhabi or EuroStar Rent a Car on Khalidiya Str, and more. It’s worth mentioning that along with a full driving license, foreigners are required to have an International Driving Permit to avail this service.
In addition to the above, there are also many supermarkets and specialty stores, hotels, and restaurants in and around the area.
You will find many medical venues here, such as diagnostic centers, dental clinics, and day surgeries. There is also a cosmetic surgery center and a dermatology clinic as well. Some of the names include Al Bateen Healthcare Center – the state-owned hospital, Danat Al Emarat Clinic, and HealthPlus Diabetes & Endocrinology Center.
There are the following kindergartens: Redwood Montessori Nursery, Step By Step, British Orchard Nursery, all very close to the area. There are also primary and secondary school options nearby, including Al Bateen Primary Model School, Al Ghazali School, Al Bateen Academy, Spanish School, American Community School, French School, and Emirates College of Technology for Higher Education.
As for shopping, residents can go to Al Bateen Grocery, which is located near Al Bateen Park, or to the Al Bateen Stars Supermarket as well as a smaller outlet of Zoom near Bateen Tower. Iris Market is found at the intersection of Hazza Bin Zayed Str and Al Khaleej Al Arabi Str, moments away from the Al Bateen Park Villas. Other shopping facilities in this area include Spinneys and Khalidiya Garden. Al Bateen Mall is another shopping center in the area, it used to be the city’s bus station, but after renovation, the building has acquired an unusual design in the form of wings and has become a sort of trademark of Al Bateen. Marina Mall, on the other hand, offers more upmarket shopping (more than 400 stores) and a wider range of restaurants and entertainment. The mall is located a short drive from Heritage Village. There is also an entertainment area with bowling, a movie theater and more.
Al Bateen houses an array of luxury hotels, crowning the InterContinental Abu Dhabi as its most nurtured. Opened by the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed, it has a long history of existence in the capital. Once, the hotel hosted the first Gulf Cooperation Council Conference. Now, it provides excellent opportunities to have a great time both for visitors and its guests: amazing restaurants and bars all facing the marina and the promenade and a popular beach club. Other 5-star venues include the Abu Dhabi EDITION hotel, St. Regis, Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, and the Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Residences Emirates Pearl as well as many more.
The dining venues are primarily situated inside the hotels and commercial buildings, though there are still some stand-alone eateries, as well as a vast number of coffee shops and cafés outside. Just to name a few: Belgian Café, Robusta Coffee, Casablanca Moroccan Bar and No. Fifty-Seven Boutique Café. Restaurants are primarily located in the marina areas, like Ozo Restaurant serving Japanese cuisine at Al Bateen Wharf, Alba Terrace in the Abu Dhabi EDITION Hotel, Medi Terra Italian Café Lounge at Marsa, Tashas as well as many more.
Al Bateen has a great public beach, and what’s even more great about it, is that it’s never crowded, even on weekends. It is well facilitated and provides opportunities for beachgoers to do watersports, like paddling and kayaking. The area is divided into two sections, one for the general public and one for women with children, including boys under 6 years. Entry fee for a female to visit women’s beach costs AED 25 (USD 7), for children AED 5 (USD 1,4), while visiting the other part of the beach is free.
As mentioned before, Al Bateen is a long-established and well-to-do capital district, featuring the distinctive merits of an exclusive neighbourhood to the Royal residences, an advanced infrastructure, waterfront location and close proximity to the city center. Commonly, these factors ensure a good liquidity for properties.
Still, the area is experiencing ongoing improvements and renovation in recreational zones, such as the Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Park, the former Al Khalidiya Ladies Park, as well as further development of new residential parts, such as Al Marasy, Al Bateen Wharf, and the marinas’ areas. Once completed these projects will undoubtedly add value to the area and will allow owners to sell properties for a greater profit.
As per Bayut’s report for 2020, Al Bateen is Abu Dhabi’s top area to rent luxury villas (4 bedrooms plus), with rentals starting from AED 200,000 (USD 55,000) yearly. In Q1 of 2021 demand for the Al Bateen luxury villas was particularly high which allowed Al Bateen to be known as“the most popular area to rent luxury villas in Abu Dhabi” in the Bayut’s market report.
Rental prices for villas in Al Bateen became more affordable at the beginning of 2021, compared to Q4 2020. Thus, 5-bedroom villas in Al Bateen saw a moderate decline by 9%, which resulted in an average annual rental price of AED 178,000 (USD 48,500). Meanwhile, 6-bedroom homes remained relatively steady, averaging around AED 243,000 (USD 66,200) yearly.
Al Bateen Park is perhaps the best residential project in Al Bateen. It is an exquisite gated community with excellent lifestyle landmarks right on its doorstep, since it is located on one of the major roads of the capital, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Str. Developed by Aldar, Al Bateen Park features upscale facilities and amenities, such as an advanced security system, landscaped gardens with fountains and much more. Residents share the community’s pool, on-site gym, and multi-purpose sports courts. Al Bateen Park homes are represented by villas and townhouses, which come in various types: 6-bedroom stand-alone units with private pools, 4-bedroom stand-alone units and 4-bedroom related units. Styled in a contemporary design with traditional Arab touches, villas provide enough space for a large family and include multi-car lock-up garages.
A stand-alone villa featuring 4 bedrooms and 5,200 sq. ft. in size can be purchased for AED 6,400,000 (USD 1,743,000).
Al Marasy, the Arabic word for “harbour”, is yet another popular sub-community in Al Bateen. It is a contemporary low-rise residential complex featuring 8 family-friendly buildings and a limited number of 4-bedroom podium villas. The development stretches along the western coastline of the Abu Dhabi main island, behind the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which means Al Marasy overlooks its own marina. The area has extensive landscaped gardens, attractive sculptures and includes luxury amenities such as a pool, gym, spa, and a children’s playground. Residents can benefit from nearby coffee shops and restaurants, a supermarket, and dry cleaners. The Al Marasy project was designed by CBT Architects.
Currently, you will find many options to rent homes at Al Marasy: from 1-bedroom apartments to a larger family property of 4-bedroom residences and villas. An unfurnished 1-bedroom apartment of 1,022 sq. ft. in size is available to rent for AED 70,000 (USD 19,100) yearly.
The Al Bateen area is rich in cultural landmarks. Apart from those mentioned above, the area houses Qasr Al Watan – a large complex, where visitors can develop an insight into the history of the UAE, its governance, architectural legacy and more. Sightseeing tours allow visitors to explore the library with timeless literature, walk through the hall of presidential gifts and other impressive zones. Another place of historical importance is the Zayed Heritage Center; the museum displays the biography facts of the late Sheikh Zayed.
For a taste of Abu Dhabi art, you can visit the Etihad Modern Art and Antiques galleries located in the two adjacent villas behind the Al Bateen Mall. Modern Art gallery plays host to monthly exhibitions showcasing both international and Emirati artists. Some of the exhibits are available for free. The Antique section is home to a wide collection of Islamic, European, Arabian and Middle Eastern artworks, with the gallery initially only open for private viewing, now everybody interested may visit the venue.
The Observation Deck is among another top destination in Al Bateen, which is situated on the 74th level of Etihad Towers. It is the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi and it is extremely popular with both locals and tourists.
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