If your idea of the perfect afternoon involves rummaging for bargains in independent shops, haggling over prices and then topping off the afternoon with a lip-smacking curry, then you need Karama in your life.
Roughly translating as ‘dignity,’ Karama is actually one of the older areas of the city. Glittering, gravity-defying glass monoliths make way for low-rise architecture. Wide boulevards make way for bustling pavements and Berluti, Burberry and Bvlgari boutiques are replaced with affordable arcades and stores, with seemingly endless amounts of scattered stock.
Popular with bachelors and families alike, property standards and prices vary wildly but a well-maintained, high-quality property can still be rented for a far cheaper cost than newer parts of the city, such as Dubai Marina.
Residents Love The huge variety of amazing restaurants selling food at competitive prices and the lively street culture.
Residents Dislike The seemingly endless traffic and how some parts of Karama are beginning to show their age.
Located to the west of Sheikh Zayed Road, Karama is close to Dubai Creek and is easily accessible on the rare occasion that there’s no traffic.
Karama is serviced by two metro stations – ADCB to the south (formally Al Karama station) and Burjuman to the north. There is also an extensive bus service.
With such a plethora of stores to choose from, selling everything from leather goods and sportswear to watches and souvenirs, you can literally “shop ‘til you drop” in Karama. Whether it’s picking up a pashmina or updating your style with new sunglasses, you’ll be overwhelmed with the sheer volume of choice.
Alongside shopping is Karama’s restaurant scene, which is second only to Deira in the number of dining choices available. The excellent Indonesian (Batawi Café), the Nepalese restaurant (Yalla Momos), African steakhouse (Jambo’s Grill Café) and Filipino eatery, Seafood in a Bucket, demonstrate the wide selection of global cuisines at your disposal. Yet, it’s Indian restaurants that dominate the dining scene. If you’re partial to affordable spice fixes, Karama’s hard to beat.
Zabeel Park Nestled in between the World Trade Centre and Karama, on the other side of Sheikh Zayed Road, is Zabeel Park. This vast public space features a lake, where you can take boat rides, various courts for sports and a barbeque area.
What’s more, there are state-of-the-art interactive and educational exhibitions scattered around the park, which teach viewers about a range of subjects, such as alternative energy and communication. Throw in a BMX and skateboarding ramp, a running track, and the park should satisfy even the most discerning youngsters.